Whitetail Hunting photo

Sorry folks, I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a bit, but in the meantime I see you’ve had plenty of time to respond to the last two polls. And I find the results fascinating.

To recap, here they are after almost 2,000 total responses:
Is hunting deer over bait fair chase?_
Yes: 48%
No: 51%

Is hunting deer over a small food plot (“hunting” or “kill plot”) fair chase?
Yes: 71%
No: 28%

I’m not exactly surprised by the results. Confounding as it is, there seems to be a growing number of hunters who will happily kill a deer over a 1/8-acre food plot while looking down their noses at hunters who bait. So there’s that.

But I do find the results baffling. We are talking specifically about fair chase here, and from a fair-chase standpoint–and I’ll say this so there’s no confusion: BAITING AND KILL PLOTS ARE ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY, EXACTLY THE SAME. Don’t tell me about nutrition and the health of the herd when you know as well as I do that that is not what 1/8-acre kill plots are about. And don’t tell me how much harder it is to put in a plot. That’s a red herring.

It’s important to note that there are indeed many practical differences between food plotting and baiting (click here to learn what they are) and I agree with Bestul that food plotting is in many ways better for deer hunting than is baiting. But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the fair chase implications only; we are talking about small kill plots specifically; and from that perspective, they are the same.

So I can’t see any reason to answer the two poll questions differently–and I didn’t. I answered “Yes” to both. I’ll explain why in my next post.