Deer Baiting: Is it Legal, What Are the Potential Ramifications?


When I talk about baiting all of you hunters know what I’m referring to. For those of you who don’t, baiting would mean using the distribution of some sort of food attractant (corn, apples, carrots, etc.) to bring deer to a certain location in order to be able to have a clean shot and ultimately kill the animal.

I know baiting is a controversial subject and also a subject that gets plenty of time on numerous hunting forums and other hunting-related websites.

I just basically wanted to touch on the already widely debated issues of baiting and also get into another area that maybe hasn’t been hit upon yet.

First, I have to say that I don’t have a problem with baiting at all. I can’t honestly look at anyone and tell them that I’ve never hunted over some sort of bait pile before. I have and I will admit to it.

In recent years though I haven’t used baiting as a means for bringing animals into my setup. It is just a personal choice for me.

I would rather outsmart a deer by figuring out its route to and from food sources and bedding areas, sitting up on that area, and outsmarting them at their own game.

Now I have hunted a couple of setups this year that did have bait at them, but not bait that I put there.

My brother is a baiting fool and the bait was already there before my arrival. I have to be honest though and say that it didn’t keep me from hunting there, but I would not have put in the effort to bait that location. Again, my personal choice.

There were a few reasons while talking to a friend, that baiting was brought up as a topic. One was that it was a hot topic on a local outdoor forum that we frequent. This, in turn, got his mind wandering to a different area of the baiting controversy that hadn’t been really touched upon yet.

How Does the Non-hunter View Deer Baiting?

I’m not talking about an anti-hunter.  I am speaking of the person who supports hunting but does not participate in the sport.

With the amount of discrepancy between hunters about the ramifications of baiting, how does one that doesn’t hunt perceive baiting? I would think not positively.

Most would deem it as an unfair advantage and point to the fact that it is taking “the fairness” out of the chase. They would point to the simple fact of using a necessity that all animals have to fill their bellies, to legally kill game.

Do I agree with that viewpoint?

To a degree I do. Do I think that baiting should be banned? Heck no. I think baiting increases your chances for scoring, but by no means is a guarantee for a kill. Trust me on this one. I can say that from first-hand experience. I have never shot a deer over a bait pile before. It hasn’t happened yet.

I know what is coming next. “I haven’t shot a deer over a bait pile before?” you say. What about a cornfield or a bean field? This brings up the next baiting argument. To that argument, I say this.

Agricultural fields such as corn fields and bean fields can be acres in size and are not in such a concentrated area like a bait pile is. The two can’t be compared as the same thing. They are much different, with a lot more odds against you, if you’re hunting an open bean field then if you’re sitting in a woodlot over a bucket full of sugar beets.

See what I mean?

So I think baiting definitely has a place in the hunting world, but not one that I normally choose to participate in. So my question to all of you is this. What do you think of baiting and do you think it is ammunition for the anti’s, and more specifically, do you think the general population that supports hunting views it in a negative light? Let the comments and the discussion begin. I can’t wait to see all the different

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