Sunday, October 21, 2007

Baiting for deer

I think that baiting, while not legal in Tennessee (where I currently reside) should be legal. I feel that using the bait will give a person who does their homework (scent bath, odor free laundry, deer sign present, etc.) a slightly better chance of seeing a deer within shooting range. As long as the number of deer we are permitted to shoot is a real number and the DNR has assumed that the herd can sustain the losses, what is the problem?

I am interested in what others think of this practice.

Sean

5 comments:

Rob said...

Yes you are blogging. Way cool! I subscribed to your feed. Interesting reads.

Beck said...

Hi! I'm here from Karla's - my dad and brothers are hunters, too.
Farmers around here feed the deer all winter, which isn't the same as baiting but might have the same long term effects, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean from Maryland. I read Karla's blog every day and of course keep up with your family through Peg and Carl at church. I will be glad to check out your blog now; my one son-in-law does hunt from time to time and I have a good friend who goes home to Michigan each Fall to hunt with his family. I keep all of you in my prayers.

Mrs. W.

Sean said...

Feeding deer during the winter has it's pros and cons. But is very similar to baiting.

Some obvious pros are that deer get an opportunity to have food during otherwise lean times. Most of the deer losses during the year come from starvation. So for growing large healthy super deer this can be very nice.

However, an ongoing effort to feed deer can increase numbers to levels that the local ecosystem can't handle by artificially providing nutrition that wouldn't normally be there. Increased deer hunting would be necessary to thin the herd if that food source became unavailable.

Food plots would be an example of how feed deer even during the winter can be a perpetual effort to design a super deer herd. Many are currently successfully doing this. It is a win win situation for those who hunt and for the deer.

These wildlife managers then hunt only a certain mature deer to insure that new genes are added to the gene pool. This prevents "bottlenecking".

Some cons are that the deer grow to depend on the food source and in areas where there are healthy numbers of predators the wolves (etc.) seem to wait in the areas where regular baiting/feeding takes place.

Deer learn to avoid these areas when predators are around. They will scent check the area by traveling a complete circle around it before entering it. Good for the deer, bad for most hunters.

These bad effects are less apparent when we look at the food plot. Usually, they are big enough to make it hard for predators to pin point a given area where the deer will be and then ambush them.

Sean

Rob KY said...

I hunt over several small plots of wheat and alfalfa that I plant each year. I also have feeders up with game cameras by them, but don't hunt over those. Some deer come into the food plots almost every evening about the same time. So I don't see much difference in baiting or planting. Both serve the same purpose: attract deer so you can have more shooting opportunities.