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October 11, 2011
Lead Big Bucks to Your Stand With a Scented Rag
Scott Bestul shares this old trick of dragging a rag soaked with deer urine to your stand to bring in a bruiser.
Why not just leave a trail of carrots or whatever?
Now, Mike, I would have pegged you as too sophisticated a critic to be guilty of repeatedly hitting too fat a pitch. But I ask you: What could be easier than to pooh-poohing someone else's method of hunting?
Let's take spot and stalk, a method I happen to like very much but which to a fair number of guys means driving around in a truck until you see the animal you want and then blasting the poor beast, who hasn't the slightest idea it's being hunted, from 300 yards with the wind at your back. Should I assume that's how you do it?
I've been on several Western spot and stalks, and my general impression is that even the more challenging ones are not so difficult as killing a buck in certain parts of the Northeast with a bow and all the lures and calls known to man.
But let me stop right there before someone thinks I'm trashing their favorite method of hunting because some versions of it (which may not even apply to them) don't meet my personal minimum challenge requirement.
Great advice here. Seems like it is boardering the "ethical vs baiting" debate. I am against baiting, but all for something like this.
i always do this....good tip
Mike, is there ANYTHING on this site that suits you?
Just seems a bit cheap and lazy to me.
Great old tip that should be brought to light every year, thanks Scott. This method has been used for years to kill many bucks and is effective. Whitetails live by their nose to survive and to reproduce so why not use it our advantage whenever we can. I started using doe-in-heat scents again a couple years ago and when timed right is deadly effective.
If some of you posters think it is a simple as dragging a scent line then kill a big buck you know nothing about hunting.
These gimmicks that you and Scott seem to advocate -- they don't involve YOU locating and stalking down the deer or learning its foraging pattern. They involve *ALTERING THE DEER'S BEHAVIOR" by altering its foraging pattern or (in the case of doe pee or buck pee) using its instinctive mating behavior to alter its movement. The basic idea is to override the deer's natural caution and teach the deer to come to you.
That isn't "hunting" as far as I am concerned. I don't say it should be illegal. I won't even say it's "unethical." I will say it's not "fair chase." I can understand why people would do it to get meat.
Do you jump into a river and catch the fish by outswimming it our do you use a hook and line. Come on man!
Running a little further with your premise that there is no substantive difference between hunting and fishing, wkgriffen, why not just put your food plot at the end of a device similar giant minnow trap, or surround it with big leg-hold traps, and hold the deer there until it is quite convenient?
Oh yeah. It's because hunting and fishing are not analogous and have completely different historical traditions and trajectories.
I understand your point exactly, Mike. And I agree that lawful, ethical, and fair are important distinctions --ones I fear aren't done justice in comments that seem to come across like, forgive me, pot shots.
Still, I'm leery of any "my-fair-chase-is-better-than-your-fair-chase" arguments; more often than not when you start seriously boiling them down you wind up merely splitting hairs. Duck hunters "alter the duck's behavior" with calls and decoys. Spring turkey hunters "use the animal's instinctive mating behavior to alter its movement." Are they all violating the rules of fair chase? Who's rules of fair chase?
I suspect that many of the things we are talking about are less a question of fair chase and more one of, as I said before, personal minimum challenge requirement. And that is not only personal, but also can depend a lot on where and what you hunt.
Oops. Sorry for the double post.
Wow, triple post. Doubly sorry.
Anyone can work a "cultural relativist" argument around it Dave. Some would say hair splitting etc. But then, if for example the B&C general notion of hunting by means that do not give "unfair advantage" to the hunter, and "fair chase" are just contentless catch phrases to be dismissed out of hand, what's the point of talking about "ethics" or "fair chase" at all?
Duck hunters. Sure, they use decoys. They also don't shoot birds on the ground or on the water. Fair chase for migratory bird hunters and dove hunters generally means you only shoot at flying birds. They're harder to hit that way. And they can veer off when they see you moving to shoot. Fair chase in migratory bird hunting also means that people are no longer allowed to use Punt Guns.
In Coyote Hunting in many states, "fair chase" means you can't use an electronically recorded animal call.
In fishing, since you can't actually SEE the fish necessarily, and since you actually can drown if you try diving real deep in an effort to throttle some togue with your bare hands, it means you use a line and a hook. For some, it means you only use artificial lures.
In deer hunting, fair chase IN MY VIEW means you don't attempt to override the deer's natural caution, and you don't attempt to structure its movement on the landscape.
If you're moving yourself to the place where the deer are, on the ground (not hiding above the deers' general plane of threat detection by lurking in a tree stand), you're hunting. That requires the skills of detection. Knowing where their *natural* ranges lie, spotting the deer before it spots you, closing with it, or following a track until you catch up to it.
If you're lurking in a tree stand over one of those urine traces or over a food plot you're using skills but it's not hunting. It's just shooting and killing. There is no practical difference between a food plot, a bucket of bait, or a urine trace if the whole idea is to get the deer to move to you, rather than moving yourself to where the deer are.
Triple post lets me give you pos feedback three times. Just for being willing to engage.
Pos being "positive" rather than a negative acronym using the same letters.
There is an element of cultural relativism, sure, but it's hardly absolute. There are a great many things that the majority of hunters would agree constitute unfair chase.
I'd go through this point by point, but I need to get the kid's dinner. So, let me just say this: I don't see why what sound like pretty fundamental rules like "no altering natural behavior" and "no using mating instincts to alter movement" should apply to one species but not another. That duck hunters don't shoot birds on the water is neither here not there. Bowhunters limit their shots to 30 yards. So, should they be allowed to decoy or call, but not gun hunters?
Doesn't make sense to me.
Mike do you belong to PETA?
Mike, I see the point you are trying to make, but really it sounds like "my way of hunting is better than yours".So in your opinion would someone who sneaks up on a feeding area to a natural ground blind while deer are out feeding and shoots a deer, be actual hunting? I know, it depends on if it was a food plot intended to draw deer as opposed to a normal ag field.Here in whitetail country Mike, you need to understand that you cant just follow tracks of the buck you are targeting or stalk your way through the bedding areas without blowing the whole herd to who knows where. Here we use great dicipline to pattern and hunt smart for a specific animal trying to fool dozens of others in the process. We take our time and "hunt" smart untill the chance comes, if it ever does. When you are dealing with small blocks of land you cant be out "hunting" your way without ruining your area. It is the smart way, to be patient and wait. Call it what you want, but it feels like hunting to me.
I'm sorry to be critical, but I do really believe that yours is the sort of comment that prevents us from have serious, open, important discussions about blood sport. If you disagree with Mike, please give a thoughtful reason.
@Olinger -- I am renowned on this web site for being a shy, retiring, inoffensive, metrosexual sensitive new age guy. So I won't use any of the immediate replies that came to mind when I read your remark. For the record, I am not a member of PETA. I have met some members of PETA. I occasionally get the opportunity to eat a Mighty Meaty (chicken, sausage, ground beef, and pepperoni) pizza in front of a member of PETA. It gives me a warm, squiashy feeling inside that almost rivals the sense of ironic fair play that I feel when I piss on a trail that leads to someone's tree stand.
No hank, it's not "my way is better than yours." So you target specific deer. Uh, and you need to do it without "busting the herd." OK. So why care if you bust the herd if you're after that one animal? Really, I'm not being facetious.
I don't know what you mean by "whitetail country." I live in whitetail country even though the F&S map does not seem to believe it. I shot my first deer in Maine, which is most assuredly white-tail country. I did it still hunting in a vast northern forest emerging onto a clear cut. I've shot deer in AZ at 50 yards seeing them, making an intercept plan, and stalking in close. I hunted with people as a youth and young man who would cross a track and follow it all day. I've done it. We walked that deer into near exhaustion. Another fellow and his young son bagged it. Those are the breaks.
Your access comment is interesting to me. Where you hunt, is it that you need food plots, scent lures, and tree stands because there's no public hunting land or no reliable access to private land?
"There is an element of cultural relativism, sure, but it's hardly absolute. There are a great many things that the majority of hunters would agree constitute unfair chase."
Would they? Do you really think so? From where I sit it sure seems like the prevailing attitude is "whatever works as long as it is legal."
That's funny, from where I sit every time we provide some information (left entirely up to the individual whether or not he feels he should put it into practice), somebody cries foul. And I don't mean just you, Mike.
That's fine, of course. Done right, with respect, it's a good thing.
Mike, access is not the issue. I own and hunt 1700 acres in Iowa, mostly timber, so I control most of the pressure on the herd. The bucks we are hunting now are deer that we have watched for years. 5+ year old bucks that know every trick. Its a whole different game when targeting an old buck that has been there before.If I am lucky I may get one chance at him, if not maybe next year.If picking one deer and hunting that deer and no other is not hunting I think I would still rather do whatever it is I am doing.I hunt elk, mule deer and antelope every year in wyoming and montana in the way that you would call hunting, but thats just not the way to do it here for older whitetail bucks.Good luck this season.
Something's still not being said Hank. How does being after that one particular deer require that you hunt it using a food plot and scent lures? It has no home range? You can't pursue it where it naturally would go without you trying to lure it to a designated place? Won't all those other deer come to your lure too?
So you plant a crop and throw some doe pee or whatever on the ground and this intermittent train of deer walk by until if all is well the right one comes along? Is that it?
"somebody cries foul"
Sure Dave. That's because there seems to be no limit to the kinds of things that people will do to lure a deer to the place (and if they could do it, at the appointed time) of the deer's execution.
You said you think we all have some agreed on limits? Oh really? I have yet to see you or anyone here articulate where one crosses the line between a bucket of bait, a food plot, or a scent lure. How are these different? Aren't they all meant to channel the movement of a deer to a place that is convenient to YOU rather than requiring that you skillfully move yourself to wherever the deer would otherwise be?
You seem to think there are limits. Name 'em. I haven't seen anyone at F&S clearly state what they think crosses the line from fair chase to culling.
And as I noted before, B&C's standard is "if it's legal it's fair chase" even if the rules from one state to the next are completely different.
Isn't the whole idea of being a hunting magazine or a writer for same to occasionally take an editorial stand? If the answer is "what's ethical is whatever you decide as long as it's within the law" well, sorry, I just think that is a real problem.
After all. The law and ethics aren't the same. The law simply draws a line between permitted conduct and that which is so intolerable that we make it illegal. The law allows all kinds of nasty behavior. It's the agreed-upon lowest common denominator that draws the line between tolerated scum and criminal scum.
Mike, you cant be serious. I make sure every inch of my farm serves some purpose for the wildlife, food,cover,water whatever. We hunt by leaving the majority of our property a sanctuary and only hunting the feeding, stageing areas and pinch points in the timber.I dont use scent, but I am sure it works.What do you suggest I tell my kids? What we are doing is not really hunting, but if we would have shot one of the 500 deer we saw while sneaking into our blinds over the years, that would have been real hunting, give me a break. I think fooling hundreds of deer for a season to possibly get the one you are after is far beyond what you are suggesting.The thing is Mike, you have seen too many bad hunting shows, and I agree, alot are really bad, but there is a reason we hunt this way in the midwest.If you were able to plant a major foodsource where you hunt in arizona, no doubt it would be a major draw, but here it is just one more option for a herd of deer that have anything they want allready.
No problem, Mike. Here are two: I have never hunting a high-fence place and expect I never will. I have never baited a deer and I suspect I never will. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Mike, and assume you were traveling or something when Scott (and I, as his editor) did an entire column detailing the reasons why baiting should be immediately banned in all states. Perhaps you missed it also when we took Scent-Lok to task when no other magazine in the industry would touch it with a 50-foot pole.
It's kind of funny, Mike: You seem so eager to make assumptions about how I hunt, to the point of accusation, and I've let you do so without an unkind word, but now that you ask: I have never killed a deer over a food plot. I don't have a single food plot planted. I don't have a single trail in the woods right now to help me pattern deer. Which is not to say I'm opposed to either; it's just the way I've chosen to hunt.
Ninety percent of my rifle hunting is in New York's Adirondacks--all still-hunting and tracking. The rest of my hunting is bow--often on public land.
The reason I don't point my finger at people who use calls, lures, trail cams, food plots, etc. is because I don't think they are automatically deserving of my repudiation.
Should be "single trail CAM in the woods right now..."
Sorry if I offended you Mike, but a couple of PETA members I have met argued with me that hunting shouldn't be allowed and they used some of the same reasoning as you. That is why I had to ask the question.
Mike: You walked a buck to near exhaustion?
I know more than a few hunters who would argue that, somewhere along that trail in the deep snow, you walked off the ethical high ground you've been claiming...
Interesting thread though.
Hank. I don't watch hunting shows. Ever. They really don't interest me at all. So, if there's food everywhere and food plots don't make a difference, why do it?
Olinger. I've never heard a PETA type argue that one mode of hunting was less ethical or not hunting than another mode of hunting. For every PETA type I've met it's dogmatic opposition to ever killing any kind of animal for any reason at all.
Scott. I (and my father) walked a doe to near exhaustion. We were exhausted too. If your friends would call that unethical then they have really odd notions of ethics. There was no "unfair advantage" to us on that day. Fair chase as I have heard the term used seems to imply one of two things, perhaps both. "No unfair advantage" a la B&C, and "the situation generally favors the outcome that your prey will escape unharmed." Of course, there's all kinds of reducto ad absurdem possible in such definitions. I try to avoid those because r.a.a. arguments usually are built on other logical errors including straw man arguments and the "fallacy of the excluded middle." (Yes, I am a rather big fan of Carl Sagan's "Baloney Detector Kit").
Thanks Dave, for the reply. It's nice to know that people think there are in fact some limits.
Now I will challenge you, I hope. I mean no insult. In saying "that's not hunting" I likewise mean no insult. I've already said I think all that should be legal. I've already said I can understand why peopole do it.
So here's the thing. If baiting is forbidden (because it attracts deer to a particular place), why not forbid food plots (they do the same thing). And if the general ban is on things that are intended to alter the deer's natural foraging behavior or overcome its natural caution (for ex, buck pee to make it come rushing to thwart a rival) isn't that ALSO basically just a device meant to channel the movement of the deer?
I really don't see a basic difference between bait, food plots, and sprinkling one of another kind of deer urine around. It's all meant to put the deer into a place where it might not otherwise go for the maximum convenience of the person holding the weapon.
I will try to find a link to Scott's article on the topic; he lays the reason out quite clearly, which I'd be happy to do now but have about two dozen deadlines screaming at me. Also, in an upcoming article, Scott plans to explain why he thinks food plots and baiting are not the same.
Quickly, I'll say that you seem to indict relativism and reducto ad absurdum as if neither can help us at all in understanding the topic better. You boy Carl Sagan was absolutely not above using r.a.a., as I'm sure you're well aware. Relativism probably doesn't get us all the way there, but neither does absolutism.
As it pertains to fair chase, you say: "No luring animals to alter their behavior."
Yet, as I say, duck hunters do it, and the fact that they don't shoot ducks on the water is red herring; bowhunters purposely limit themselves, too.
You say: "No using the animal's mating instincts to alter their movement."
Yet spring turkey hunters do it, and they don't bother to limit themselves much regarding the shot, but just blast away at close range with a shotgun. Pretty easy.
You say, "You cannot use a treestand to avoid the deer's natural defenses."
But you can climb above him when thermal's are rising?
You say, "You are not allowed to override the animal's natural defenses."
Heck, in much of rifle spot and stalk hunting, you never get anywhere near the animal's natural detection zone. Bowhunters--even the ones who use scents--are far, far less guilty on this point.
The relativists say: Everything is okay as long as it's legal. The absolutists say: It's only fair chase if you hunt upwind with a recurve bow (an obvious exaggeration for effect). Neither is right. The answer is in the middle.
I'm absolutely love it when someone argues a point well enough to change my mind--and I'm perfectly willing to alter my thinking. (I've done it many times and am never ashamed when I do) Are you as willing? Have I argued well enough for you to consider that your fair chase standards might be too rigid--and perhaps too influenced by your own experiences? That they do not account for any subtleties and circumstances?
If you do not like the excluded middle, maybe you can accept that the truth of this proposition is unknown--including unknown by you.
Like I said, it's somewhere in the middle of "everything is okay" and "only this is okay" and I don't claim to know precisely where. I suspect it has to do with hunting being hard, not easy. Exactly how hard it should be I cannot say. And to do with a honest attempt to honor the animal.
That leaves a lot of wigge room, but I doubt there's a better answer.
(Ay, ay, ay! I've never going to make those deadlines!)
Don't worry about replying right away. Those deadlines... get r done. Been there done that.
I think there must be some underlying assumption about the deer in the midcontinent of the USA I am missing. So I'll tell all n sundry about what deer hunting has been like in Maine (a little) and Arizona (a little).
Maine, circa 1973-1984: north central Maine specifically, greater vicinity of Greenville. Unless you were a resident working for (this is a pun for all you downeasters) "Great Scott!" paper, you had maybe two weekends to get your deer. Sunday hunting not allowed. So you shot ANY DEER YOU COULD GET DURING LEGAL HOURS. Buck. Doe. Not important. If you wanted your meat you took the shot because the odds were against you seeing ANY deer of any kind during the hunting season during legal shooting hours.
The exceptions were people who owned apple orchards. (Now corn grows in the area. That's from global warming. In 1975 a corn field in Greenville had about as much chance as an ice-cube at the equator). People shot deer from their orchards because it was easy and doable in the limited time available. They didn't use scents or rubs or plant food for the deer. They took the opportunity to get meat from the animals that preyed on their orchard crops. It never has seemed like hunting to me. It's legal and, in my view, ethical. The deer are a damb pest on orchards. But it's not hunting.
In Arizona, specifically southern Arizona, there are darned few crops that deer would feed on anyhow. And the pecan groves are pretty much out of their reach. So the deer you hunt are actual wild deer. Not semi-domesticated deer. You shoot any buck you can get in range, because you're unlikely to see a buck and does are not legal take. To make things more interesting, you need to make sure it's the right kind of buck, because mule deer and wt deer ranges here overlap, and permit tags (awarded by lottery) are by SPECIES.
So in all my life, the general experience has been in most years you don't get a deer. In most places where you can hunt there are no food plots, no farmers fields. You go out there and scout. During hunt season you go where you think they are and you work at getting close enough to them, sneakily, so that you can get a clean clear shot.
To be sure, not everyone does it that way. We have road hunters that just cruise around on one or another vehicle type and hope that an animal crosses their path and they can shoot it. That's not hunting either, IMO. (According to GFD, it's legal as long as your guns aren't loaded in the vehicle and as long as you step off the road before you shoot, and don't shoot across the road).
So that's my experience with deer hunting conditions.
"Heck, in much of rifle spot and stalk hunting, you never get anywhere near the animal's natural detection zone."
In my experience, a deer's detection zone is about 300 meters. During the hunt season here, as in Maine, if a buck sees you or winds you, he's "good as gone." Well, w.t.s anyhow. Mule deer strike me as kind of inquisitive in ways that aren't healthy to them. But in the desert they prefer thick thick scrub and you usually won't see one until you're within 75m. It's why I still-hunt thickets when nothing seems to be moving in the open.
Wow, great thread. Love the discussion and thought that has gone into the back and forth comments.
I hunt NH and the area is similar to what Mike described for Maine; woods, woods, woods. Lots of oak, so the deer have food at their feet pretty much wherever they are.
I still hunt. I've tried scent-killing spray. Doesn't seem to help. I can still hear deer bound off or huff at me when the wind shifts. I don't connect every year, but when I do, it tides me over until the next time.
its good to hear writers defending their positions, and good that some of the readers are calling them out. nice thread so far.
Quickly, regarding a deer's detection zone, I think we'd agree that it doesn't end suddenly at 243 or 300 or 321 yards. Here's what I know, however: I've been downwind of deer at 300 and at 30, and there's a big, BIG difference. The bowhunter lives in the heart of a deer's detection zone, many rifle hunters live at the very fringes, where they can often get away with an awful lot without the deer ever knowing what's going on. Which is fine; I like rifle hunting. But I think it is very difficult to claim that the rifle hunter shooting at 300 is practicing fair chase and the bow hunter using some do pee isn't. Fair chase is about giving some advantage to the animal, and in my opinion, it's not even close in the above example: The bow hunter is giving more.
As to your challenge, I've already said that I don't see much of an ethical difference between baiting and using small food plots. The reasons to ban baiting and not plots are more cultural; baiting on public lands, for example, breeds confrontation between hunters, baiting has been shown to turn deer nocturnal, which affects all hunters who may be hunting those deer. These are just two examples.
But it doesn't really matter: As noted, you don't say any of this--plots, scents, calls--should be illegal; you don't call any of it unethical, and I agree. The question of whether to ban it, then, it kind of moot.
I'm sure you've noticed that the oft-quoted rules of fair chase are purposely vague: "The animal much have a REASONABLE chance of escape." "The hunter must give SOME advantage to the hunted." "Hunting must be hard, not easy." "You actions must challenge the animal's natural defenses." Etc. etc.
As usual, it's up to individual hunters to interpret the finer points as they pertain to specific situations and police themselves--with gentle, constructive guidance from leaders in the hunting community.
While I'm at it: If using scents or decoys or calls to lure and kill a free-roaming, wild animal isn't "hunting," then I don't know what it is. We do not call the native Americans who drove bison off cliffs, rattled antlers to lure deer, and dressed in deer skins to make decoys of themselves killers; we call them hunters. Our greatest historical hunting heroes--from Audubon to Gerstaecker, from Meshach Browning to Elliot and Ol' Flintlock--fire-hunted deer from canoes, hounded them from horseback, shot them from scaffolds over salt licks. These guys are pillars in the rich culture and history of "hunting" not "murder."
Most of today's hunters give far more advantage to the animal than our early heroes ever did. (And it is not hopelessly anachronistic to compare the two because we need a definition of hunting for all times.) Most of us are unequivocally "hunters," IMO, and what we do--including calling, decoying, and using scents to lure wild deer--is "hunting." Whether it's your cup of tea, or your style, or you preferred way of hunting is another matter.
Using scents and food plots is not hunting and never will be. I reject a priori any references to fishing lures unless you propose that the only way to legitimately hunt with a "pee soaked rag" is to cast it in front of the target animal at the end of a fishing line and bring the buck to you, and then hook the buck with a triple hook, drag it up into your tree stand, and club it to death.
These are different traditions. Talk of duck hunting as an analog to deer hunting or fishing as an analog to deer hunting is a transparent effort to DODGE the point.
Likewise, so is bringing up Paleoindians. Yeah. They used buffalo jumps. Modern hunters don't. Likewise, modern hunters don't use M2 Brownings to fill their tags with an entire herd of deer either. I suppose it's doable. Big food plot. Plenty of pee scent. A choke point, and a belt of ammo. No problem.
Back to the ISSUE. Pee soaked rags and food plots are intended to override the deer's natural caution and place it on the landscape where it is convenient for YOU. That ain't hunting. Never will be.
300 yard shooters are hunters. Contrary to whatever you seem to think, the deer ARE aware when you're trying to spot them from afar and they DO run like the blazes. The only valid comparison between what distance shooters do with your practices would be if the 300 yard shooter put a bucket of corn at the end of a drag line created by a bucket of doe pee so that the deer would step boldly out into the open and then stand there and wait for you to shoot it. Then it wouldn't be "hunting." Just "shooting."
I like the effort at cheap substitution, Dave. Meaning I don't. No one used the word "murder."
"The bow hunter is giving more."
Not if he's hunting over a food plot or using scents to lure the animal. That's bs. It's not hunting.
If the bow hunter is going where the deer are and stalking close enough to make a good shot then he's giving more. If he's set everything up get the deer to move to a place convenient for the shot then it's just shooting. It's not hunting at all. Not even close to it.
I smell a lot of BS and self importance, because just leaving a "scent trail" does NOT bring a big buck mindlessly drooling past your "out of site" (deer do look up by the way) stand. Chasing a deer to exhaustion sounds less like "fair chase" and more like a vendetta. Bet the meat tasted really good with all that adrenaline and other hormones.
Mike, very cordially:
If your argument is "it's not hunting, because I say so, period!" then I don't know where to go from here. To dismiss my thoughts as "cheap substitution" seems, well, cheap. As I see it, you've done quite a bit of dodging yourself, not to mention some pretty blatant attempts at intellectual intimidation (that I do not find intimidating). Yet I have been kind enough not to call you out on any of that to this point. I never said that you used the word "murderer;" I used it, for effect. No need for me to apologize either.
"300 yard shooters are hunters. Contrary to whatever you seem to think, the deer ARE aware when you're trying to spot them from afar and they DO run like the blazes."
Am I just supposed to accept that your experiences are valid and mine are not? Sorry. I've seen plenty of examples when animals ARE NOT aware and DO NOT run like the blazes. We'll just a have to agree to disagree on that one.
And to suggest that the rules of fair chase cannot cross over from one species to another because they have "different traditions" seem to me, I sorry, absolutely wrong. They aso happen to share a tradition.
Mike, let's not fight. I sincerely appreciate how pure you want "hunting" to be. But what can I tell you, I think you're wrong. I don't think yours is any purer than mine.
But hey, I could be wrong.
I wonder, would you accept that you could be?
Well, not-so-cordially, I didn't make that argument. I explained why it's not hunting. It's not hunting because they're techniques used to train the deer to come to you (in the case of food plots) or simply override the deer's natural caution by invoking a hormone response.
What I rejected was the effort to raise a silly analogy by recourse to fishing or waterfowl hunting, which have separate traditions, and separate considerations. The point being in my reducto ad absurdem article that if you want to claim that using a lure for deer is okay because bass fishermen use lures for bass, then you're not hunting but you might be fishing. In that event, show some real brass and haul that deer in on a Heddon Tiny Torpedo and club it to death as you would with other things that you lure to the place where it is convenient for you to get them.
"I wonder, would you accept that you could be?"
A better argument than you have made here. I have not seen you address directly the basic fact that these techniques you advocate train the deer to come to you. You say you think small food plots are basically baiting. Why would you object to 'baiting' at all if it does basically the same thing (move the deer to you) as the other deer luring techniques that you advocate?
Put another way, if scents are OK because bass fishermen use lures, then surely ANY food plot, or a feed bucket, or even a damb dinner bell if it will work, are likewise ok "because bass fishermen use lures."
The basis for your support seems to be "if it works at training the deer, it's OK."
I say that's not hunting.
"I smell a lot of BS and self importance"
That is because you need to shower.
"Chasing a deer to exhaustion sounds less like "fair chase" and more like a vendetta."
It's fair chase because the odds favor the deer. But I guess in Wacky World it's not fair chase because the deer was pursued openly, rather than being shot when it was nuzzling a bucket of corn.
"Bet the meat tasted really good with all that adrenaline and other hormones."
If it's adrenaline and hormone agitation in your deer you fear, then that buck you just worked into a state of blind agro by sprinkling some other buck's urine or some doe-in-estrus scent on it's territorial imperative is going to taste raunchier than roadkill.
"And to suggest that the rules of fair chase cannot cross over from one species to another because they have "different traditions" seem to me, I sorry, **absolutely** wrong."
Absolutism at it's most self-confessional I see.
Odd you need to talk about fishing or ducks when we're talking about deer. For most people interested in logical discourse, when you start reaching into the arena of weird and strange analogies, you're on weak ground.
What a thing to say, Mike. And I thought we were having a nice discussion.
"Absolutism at it's most self-confessional..."
I said "seems absolutely," with technically is not absolutism. A awkward combination of words perhaps, but I suspect you'll forgive me.
"Odd you need to talk about fishing..."
Fishing? I never said word one about fishing. I think you have me confused with someone else.
"The point being in my reducto ad absurdem article..."
Despite that fact that I said nothing of fishing, I totally get your r.a.a. agument; I'm just not much moved because it assumes that comparing the hunting of different species and comparing the hunting of one species and fishing of another are equivalent. I don't think they are.
"a transparent effort to DODGE the point..."
Honestly, Mike, I think I have directly addressed your basic point. I've clearly said that while baiting and food plots may not be my cup of tea, I'm not ready to repudiate those who use them because I don't think either is unethical (on which we agree) and I think both can constitute "hunting" (on which we disagree). You have a far more strict definition than I do--too strict I believe.
I know you're not wild about comparing species, but I don't think I can bring myself to believe, as I think you do if I'm hearing you correctly, that:
--Calling a turkey to 20 yards and blasting him in the head with a shotgun is hunting, but calling a buck to 20 yards and shooting it with an bow and arrow isn't.
--Or if you really need me to just stick to deer: Calling a deer within 20 yards and shooting it with a recurve bow isn't hunting, but shooting one from 300 yards away with a scoped rifle is. I get your argument about altering natural movement and all. I just think your parameters are far too strict.
By the way, I bagged a nice doe on public land this past weekend. I walked a mile in and packed the meat out. No food plots, trail cams, scents, or calls. I'm pretty sure I was hunting, but I thought maybe I should check with you. ;-)
Just curious, after reading all of these comments, how exactly am I suppose to hunt my family's 100acre Missouri property, if I can't use a treestand, foodplot, scentlures or calls without being verbally persecuted by someone who has the avalibility of 100s or 1000s of acre to chase deer down on.
Just curious, since you have all the answers.
I would like to reply, but since I left a scent trail, and a "food plot" and you followed it in, it just wouldn't be "fair". Questioning others LEGAL hunting habits is not my place. Each person has different skill levels, areas to hunt, time to dedicate to hunting and so on and so on. To each his own. May you always have a successful hunt.
My bad, Dave, "fishing" was WKGriffen. Yours was a variant on same. Turkey hunting and waterfowl.
I've never bothered with calls as a way of attracting game. Using a call in New England on deer was a way to get some deer to respond so that you could try to move in on it. Hunting in a forest, with limited visibility, it was supposed to give you an edge. I never saw it work. All the deer I've shot were taken when I still hunted up on them in a sneaky, quiet way.
I can't really address your analogy between turkeys, ducks and deer. At the least, I suspect, but do not know, that if a person is not skillful with a call, they risk driving an animal away. I have the sense that a muffed call is received as "I am a hunter trying to lure you Danger Danger Danger" or something like that. But I could be wrong.
Where's the skill in a bottle of deer piss? Do you collect the deer piss yourself or do you just buy a bottle of deer piss? I don't see the skill or he hunt. I just see the "use of a lure." To me it seems exactly like using bait or food plots.
Congrats on your public hunt deer by the way!
This thread is a reflection of just one of the many challenges facing our great sport of deer hunting...division. Our numbers are dropping and it seems that rather than supporting our fellow sportsman we want to condem and fuss about what's the "right" way to do it without stopping and giving a second thought about location, opportunities, and individual state game laws. Where I hunt my state boasts the longest archery season lasting until the end of February (I do not hunt after Dec. 31 in respect to does being pregnant), it also allows for baiting (which I do)as well as the use of dogs (of which I do not) in certain zones. The bottom-line is to each his own, I choose how I hunt w/o looking down on others of which whom do not share my opinions. We're deer hunters quit the child like mentality...we share a common bond we enjoy the outdoors we connect personally for different reasons with the challenge and the soul food of just being out there.
"Just curious, after reading all of these comments, how exactly am I suppose to hunt my family's 100acre Missouri property, if I can't use a treestand, foodplot, scentlures or calls without being verbally persecuted by someone who has the avalibility of 100s or 1000s of acre to chase deer down on.Just curious, since you have all the answers."
Are you saying that you'd never have a deer on your property unless you used food plots and scent lures?
In re declining numbers. I don't think that's about "division" per se. It seems to me that if there were less of this food plot, bait, and "that's MY deer" sensitivity, and less posting of land and less leasing of hunt access, there'd be more hunters in general.
Anyone who posts their land to forbid hunting by others is in a poor position to complain about the declining number of hunters.
"In re declining numbers. I don't think that's about "division" per se. It seems to me that if there were less of this food plot, bait, and "that's MY deer" sensitivity, and less posting of land and less leasing of hunt access, there'd be more hunters in general."
"Anyone who posts their land to forbid hunting by others is in a poor position to complain about the declining number of hunters."
Mike, your aforementioned comments leave me with the realization that if I argue with a fool, who's the real fool scenario....to you my friend happy hunting as you (choose) how you hunt...your way doesn't interest me and is a bit unrealistic in my area. FYI I DO purchase deer scents much like how you purchase your guns and ammo lets no be hypocritical here it's 2011 for Pete's sake.
HogWild, your comments leave me with the realization that "stupid is as stupid does." Fair chase doesn't interest you? Um. OK I guess.
Not very many. With foodplots it has adjusted their habits enough to cause them to use the majority of property more often as travel route instead of just the fringes. Never like hunting close to property lines.
At last, an answer that I can get my head around, rather than "well, consider turkeys."
So, you have 100 or so acres that's a small property. And the food plots get them to cross your land, rather than skirt the edge. Is this desirable because they basically would otherwise go "somewhere else" where you wouldn't have legal access? Other private property, presumably posted, or a state park or something?
If the desire to have food plots is motivated by the general lack of access to deer in your area, a whole bunch of this makes more intuitive sense to me.
Yes. Hardly hunt over plot, just my 9 yr old boy. I like elsewhere.
Well that makes alot more sense to me then. If access is so restricted (or, for that matter *crowded*) that the only reliable place to hunt is your own back 40, and if there's a kind of escalation of food plots (or lots of farm fields that you can't access) that attract the deer away from your land, I can completely understand the food plot route. It's really the only kind of game in town so to speak.
That's why I mentioned there must be something about hunting in the Midco I don't get. In n-central Maine and southern AZ, there was/is vast public acreage available. It gets crowded, but not so much if you hike a mile or so off the beaten path, and much less so if you hike 3 miles off.
I see nothing wrong with using doe in heat scent, I've never had good luck with it and now I tend to look at it like the difference between a freshly opened can of beer and one that has been opened for a couple months. What one would you want to drink? I'm pretty sure bucks, with their keen sense of smell, think about it the same way. So if you kill a buck using doe in heat you probably just killed the skankiest deer in the woods. Enjoy!
Thanks, Mike. It was a fun hunt.
Mike, you're acting like one pompous dude.
Hunting trails leading to or right over food plots, apple trees, oak stands dropping acorns, ag fields and other foraging areas is just common sense. Deer need to eat. Baiting, I won't open that can of worms. But scents? It could be argued that using scents actually lowers your chances of having a deer move through naturally and unaware of your presence. A scent that is not normally there puts a deer on alert, whether it's human, animal or whatever. Many have found that bucks in rut are often oblivious to supposed "doe in heat" scents, buck urine, tarsal glands, etc. Remember, there are millions of dollars at stake here and a lot of unsubstantiated claims when it comes to pushing product. I don't blame writers whose editors rely on advertising income to occasionally promote product, just as I wouldn't tell them they're wrong if scent has worked for them in the past. It's certainly far, far from any guarantee. I'd bet for every 10 bottles of "doe in heat" scent purchased, you'd be lucky to find two hunters who said "it works" and they "got a buck" while using it. Coincidentally, only about one in five hunters bag a buck in many states.
Mike, as Walt and Dances with deer have said, the use of scent is just a tactic that may work, but alot of times, bites you in the butt.I believe its best to try to remain invisable and wait, which I think is still hunting.I know you said you dont watch any hunting shows, but I am sure in the past you have seen enough to believe all you have to do is plant it and they will come like clockwork, but that is far from the truth. The easier you make it for the deer, the more likely they will only come to feed at night. As I have said before, we put every inch of our property into some kind of food or cover for wildlife, with different fields to provide good feed 12 months out of the year, on top of the harvested crops. And yes that is to "bait" them to the farm and keep them safe.
So Mike tell me, last sunday my 9 year old son and I carefully worked our way up a deep ditch to a groundblind,
without spooking any of the 20 deer feeding in the picked cornfield, but there was a strip of clover planted around the corn for the deer. Before we got in the blind, he could have shot anyone of them with his mloader, but instead we got in the blind and waited. After "hunting" for him since sept 17th the buck we were after came out across the field. My son made a perfect shot and got the 6 year old buck we have been "hunting" for 3 seasons. In your opinion was that "hunting"? I am guessing you will say if we stalked the creek and shot one of the deer that was in the field, thats hunting, but as soon as we got in the blind to wait for a specific animal with some clover next to the corn, that was planted just for the deer, it became something else?
Just wondering what to tell my son.
I understand its hard for you to wrap your head around hunting small properties in farm country because its night and day from what you have experianced in your life, but I will tell you this. It would be pretty darn easy here to stalk thru the woods and shoot a "deer" with any kind of gun, but that does not interest most of us. We prefer to hold out for the oldest smartest deer in the woods, and most times we fail, but that is the goals we set and have a blast trying. When it comes to filling antlerless tags, yeah your way works just fine.
What part about my earlier post wasn't clear, Hank? I have never watched any hunting shows, I don't watch 'em, and I never will. You "guessed" wrong. Since you asked, sitting in a blind next to a patch of clover planted for the deer isn't hunting in my view of it. You can tell your son whatever you want. Not my problem.
"And yes that is to "bait" them to the farm and keep them safe."
"Mike, you're acting like one pompous dude."
And you forfeited any chance that I'd read the rest of your post with your hook line, moron.
My Dad could beat up Mike Diehl's Dad.
Mike, maybe you should stick to posting on things you have a clue about.
@Hank - Take yer own advice.
@Oryx - My dad doesn't fight women.
So Mike in your view had he shot a deer in the ag field before we got in the blind would that be hunting, sneaking within range of deer feeding in a ag cornfield? And why would it change once we got in the blind and the buck came out,and walked through the clover to feed in the picked corn? Just trying to understand where the line is drawn in your mind.
Mike Diehl is a big fat hen.
@Oryx - Comprendo. Enjoy yourself.
@Hank - In general, my opinion is that hunting does not involve the hunter doing things that attempt to train the deer to go where the hunter wants it. Yes, IMO, sneaking up on that buck near or in some farmer's field strikes me as more like hunting; deer *will* notice movement so there is some skill to sneaking, even for guys like Smeagol.
I think I said before that people who shoot game from stands near their apple orchards aren't hunting either. I'd do it myself, if I had an apple orchard, but I don't think of that as hunting.
When you say you've got your entire acreage done up in food plots and other things to "make deer safe" that seems like a strange comment. After all, the goal is to shoot the deer, not give it a bubble bath, so I don't see how "safety" has anything to do with it. It sure sounds to me like a rationalization for a way to technically skirt the suggestion that one is "baiting."
Watchindeer has explained that where he hunts there is very little general access. If other private landowners in his area are bai.. excuse me.. "food plotting" the deer then I can see why one would get their deer that way. It seems like it might be the only game in town.
Apparently where you hunt, there are so many deer that it is very easy to fill a tag. Am I wrong about that? You may even hunt where multiple deer are allowed, so you go the extra mile to make all kinds of fancy enhancements to get the biggest bucks to move to places where it is quite convenient to shoot them.
I have never hunted in an area where getting your venison was easy, or where you were allowed to shoot more than one. It must be nice. Where I now hunt, there are no doe tags. Of a given 1-week hunting season, I can still hunt up on plenty of does. Bucks are rare indeed.
In summary: I don't think food plots should be illegal. I won't say they're unethical. I won't even say that about baiting. I can understand why people do it. But I don't think it's "hunting." If I had an apple orchard, I'd protect the orchard, and I'd certainly make sure I got at least one deer (or more to the extent that the law allows).
It's good for our children to grow up connected with the shooting and game getting arts. Congrats to you and your son on a fine buck.
affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important : a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything.
Oh, you read it. You just don't get it, or maybe you're just a professional pot stirrer.
I think I'll give this a try this fall.
This will work I've done it but the trick is not having touched the scent at all or getting it on anything whatsoever, otherwise they'll find you just as interested and you'll no longer have a golden opportunity with em' staring at what they believe to be a giant pile of moving do urine.
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