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swisheroutdoors's picture
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Hunting Over Bait

My county in Georgia has a one day bear hunt this year and I can't wait.  I used to live in Maine and enjoyed hunting bear each year fair chase in a state that has a huge economy for hunting bear over bait.  No baiting in Georgia for bears! 

Hmmmmmm I agree with the no baiting and applaud Georgia for taking that stance.

Yet they go and approve baiting of Deer.  WHAT THE HECK!  Yeah all that stuff they promote on TV and in stores people are now buying gallon pals of it.  They'll be dumping it on the ground like giant ant hills waiting for deer to come in to feed.  One main reason I switched clubs this year was because of baiting practices on the club I used to belong too when it was illegal.

 

Anyone can shoot an animal over a bait site but can you really call it hunting?

 

Once you made that call then you can move to food plots.  Agriculture for the sole purpose of attracting, feeding and hunting wildlife, is it the same as baiting?  Sounds the same to me and more expensive.  Last year I hand broad cast rye grass in the road where one of my stands was set up.  It took very nicely for late deer season.  I didn't think anything of it.  Yet later I pondered the question was I a hypercritic.

 

Now with those two controversial issues you might as well look at trapping too.  Do you salt water fish?  You do! Do you chum the waters to bring in the fish?  Works great and its ok right!  It’s baiting game fish.  Back in the day I used that argument with another outdoorsman that hated baiting of bears but thought chumming waters for game fish is ok.  It certainly got heated.  Apples compared to oranges kind of stuff.

 

Here's the problem.  There are too many activists out there that would like to take away all rights to hunt.  Sometimes we hunters can be our own worst enemies for advocating or voting yes to this and no to that.  If it’s legal then support you fellow hunter.

 

I don’t like hunting over bait.  But where do we draw the line?  When do we become activists to preserve our right to enjoy the outdoors via hunting?  Do we do nothing until it’s gone of course not!  But should we be activists against our fellow hunter that enjoys hunting over bait?  We should all take an active role to ensure the preservation of wildlife and the traditions of hunting.  What have you done to take on an active role?  This question was for me too.  Can I honestly say I have done enough?  Have I left it all in the ring, field or court?  Not hardly but I plan to do better not hope to do better.  Hope is not a plan.

 

WesternHunter's picture
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bait

I hunt fair chase.  Food plots, feeders, and hunting stands are a method of hunting, so I won't knock them.  I just hope they are not methods of hunting that ever get widely adopted here out west. I'll say it again - I encourage and I hunt fair chase. 

A lot of these anti-hunting activists monitor these forums as guests.  That being said, as long as a hunter is hunting ethically and legally I discourage anyone here from knocking anyones method of hunting.  Not sure why this thread is on the Politics section of this forum though? Confused

swisheroutdoors's picture
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Sorry about the category of

Sorry about the category of Politics.  The article all started with Bear and then Deer.  The categories were limited in choice and I couldn't select more then one.    Thank you for the input.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Well, personally, I do not

Well, personally, I do not like the idea of hunting over bait, but if someone wants to do it, and it's legal, I have no problem with it.  I just cringe though when I turn on the TV, and someone like Hank Parker is on there dumping C'mere Deer all over a field. 

I saw one the other day where a guy was trying to justify baiting by saying everyone hunts over bait.  He saids if you sit in an apple orchard, oak grove, or a food plot, it's the same.  I very much disagree with that, in the sense that the apples, or oaks, they are NATURAL baits.  They were not put there for the prupose of hunting.  I think it shows skill to seek out, and learn to hunt these areas.

However, to just pour a pile of bait in the middle of a trail, and set up a blind or stand near there, I don't like it.  You are altering those deer's patterns to come to your bait.  The other way is their natural pattern.

WesternHunter's picture
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tv shows

Seems like a good 90% of those hunting shows are all about food plot, feeders, and treestands.  I sure wish they'd depict more spot and stalk or still hunts.  And they are just like anything else out there - a huge advertisment for their sponsors.  Boy they drop brand names like nobodys business.  Yes

swisheroutdoors's picture
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Exactly, agree!  One person

Exactly, agree!  One person today told me his buddy buries the corn so the deer and hogs have to work at it and linger longer.  Drives me insane.  Giant ant hills of product on the ground from the Parker family just makes me shake my head.

SGM
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Bait

I agree with baiting for spring bear hunts as it give a hunter more time to size up a bear and give the hunter more of a chance to see if a bear is a sow with cubs. Plus it give hunters another season to be out in the woods.  I would also support it for wolf hunting if it is legal in that particular state. I agree in fair chase and still think bears over bait is just that. We as hunters and conservationists need to stick together and not allow any more of our hunting heritage to be taken away by the anti-hunters or courts.

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Like some of the others have

Like some of the others have said, I have no problem with the bait situation if it's legal in the area you are hunting. I have lived out west for most of my life now and as such baiting is not something I've had to be concerned about for a very long time. I hunted over bait when I was a kid in Wisconsin as that was what everybody did and and I didn't know there was any other way.

There is a much higher satisfaction level in my opinion though when spot and stalk is the method employed rather than just waiting. But the terrain of the area you live plays into that as well.

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You are right about supporting all hunting rights

 

You are right about supporting all hunting rights.  We all need to present a united front to keep all ethical hunting in all its forms legal.  Most of the opposition to baiting seems to come from the fallacy that it is a sure thing.  I can tell you from experience that it is NOT.  I have hunted bear over bait multiple times without success.  Bear baiting is not legal in my home state of New York, but I have travelled to Maine to hunt bear over bait.  

Sometimes you do not see a bear at all.  Sometimes you are lucky enough to see a bear that you don't get a shot at.  Sometimes you see a bear that has cubs, or is under sized, or is not legal.  I have never shot at let alone killed a bear.  

IF you are lucky enough to see a bear - (and that is definitely not a sure thing) baiting can provide a hunter with an up-closelook at the bear. By bringing a bear in closeand holding it there while it investigates the bait, the hunter has an opportunity to ensure that it is not a sow with cubs and to otherwise evaluate the bear.  And should you be blessed with a bear that you decide to shoot - the attention to the bait may provide you with an opportunity for perfect shot placement as the bear takes the time to investigate and eat the bait.  

So contrary to what some would have us believe,getting a bear over bait is far from easy! 

If you would like more details on my experience with hunting bears - I posted a story and some photographs here:

http://www.biggamehunt.net/stories/learning-hunt-bear-0

Here are a few memories from those experiences:

' Steve told me that the bait I had drawn was frequented by a huge bear. His tracks put him in the 400 pound class. If I took him he would doubtlessly be the largest bear taken in that camp to date. But because he was likely to be an old bear, he would be the hardest one to get a shot at.'

 

I went back to the same stand the next morning and sat until lunch time without seeing anything more exciting than the red squirrels who would be my companions on the baits for the remainder of the week'

' Tuesday evening it began to rain. Hurricane Fran had flooded the east coast from the Carolina's north and the tail end was now crossing Maine. '

  ' The only thing that passed through was a single grouse hen.  I spent that evening and the next day there as well, without seeing (or hearing) any game.

  It just was not meant to be.'

 

 

 

WesternHunter's picture
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some game

With some game species you almost need to hunt them over bait.  I think black bear qualify as one species where it is appropriate to hunt over bait.  For species like deer I can do without the food plots, feeders, and treestands, but that's just me.

swisheroutdoors's picture
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My good friend in Maine took

My good friend in Maine took her 1st bear over bait on the 5th.  Pastries are the choice of most Registered Maine Guides that set up hunts for bear over bait.  As you can see this bear is small but I suppose if its your 1st you can get a little pumped up.  I shared the original forum post with her and she had the following to say:

I think supporting bear trapping harmed hunter's image in Maine a few years ago.

The majority of Americans are not hunters.  However, the majority does not oppose hunting.  We should strive to keep the majority on our side (or at least neutral), not alienate them.

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