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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are several threads currently active pertaining to baiting and foodplots, etc. Each is being argued differently; some subjectively, some objectively, most emotionally, a few irrationally, a couple hysterically.

Perhaps the following thoughts are the fodder for an entirely new poll however, to me, I would like to know “what's really behind the curtain" for those arguing "pro or con" on these matters. Specifically, I believe that other, deeper criteria mold many opinions beyond simply arguing the subject of baiting and foodplots on its merit.

Obvious questions that emerge in my mind are:
  • Of those who bait, how many hunt on private land versus public?
  • Of those who oppose baiting, how many hunt on private land versus public?
More subjectively, if there was a total ban of baiting on public and private lands, would hunting on public land become more/less desirable for you because you could not bait?

Finally, (subjectively) if there was a total ban on baiting on both public and private lands, would you hold any opinion, pro or con, towards those who grow food plots on private lands as having an unfair advantage over other that hunt on public lands?
 

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Most of the time those who grow food plots have a greater advantage over those who don't. Of coures that variable depends on the area you're hunting. If your in a heavily wooded area the chances are a lot better and if your in the agricultrial areas your are better. I think we all have understand by now that by providing year round food sources we can hold deer in an area better then without it.
 

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Kaiser Sose said:
if there was a total ban on baiting on both public and private lands, would you hold any opinion, pro or con, towards those who grow food plots on private lands as having an unfair advantage over other that hunt on public lands?
Since when did hunting become a competition between hunters? We don't want to go down that road. Fact is, no two parcels of ground are identical, and some hunter will always have some sort of "advantage" when it comes to the probability of harvesting deer.

Policy ought to address what is best for the resource, completely irrespective of whether it is "unfair" to a certain class of hunter or not.
 

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farmlegend said:
Policy ought to address what is best for the resource, completely irrespective of whether it is "unfair" to a certain class of hunter or not.
I agree. Do what's right and the results will always be good and fair. Do what's wrong to please the public and politics, everyone will eventually lose.
 

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What about planting oak or apple trees? Is that bad too? What about pines for cover? Is habitat improvement bad? :rolleyes:
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
farmlegend said:
Policy ought to address what is best for the resource, completely irrespective of whether it is "unfair" to a certain class of hunter or not.
I happen to agree with your position here but, human nature being what it is, tells me that there will be those that cry foul from what amounts to not playing on a level playing field--at least from those that (wrongly) eqaute food plots to baiting. As ludicrous at it may seem, there will be the envious few would rather have food plots prohibited rather than allowing a sub-section of the hunting universe to have a (percieved) advantage over those on the outside looking in.

That said, your quote above is right on the mark! Incidentally, that mentality trancends many hotly-contested and volitile issues that I have read on this forum. But those, farmlegend, are other people's battles!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What about planting oak or apple trees? Is that bad too? What about pines for cover? Is habitat improvement bad? :rolleyes:
You are 100% right, but that is not the issue. What I am saying is that IF there is an effort ban on baiting accross the board, I believe that one the loudest arguement agaist such a change will come from those who hunt on public land AND bait. As we all know, baiting has a PROFOUND impact on the way deer are hunted and harvested; so much so that I believe there is a certain portion of the hunting universe (Both private and public lands) that simply will not know how to hunt deer by any other method! Now take away the bait and they will look toward those that still do (ie: foodplots) and cry foul.

Personally, I would love to see a total ban on baiting (and believe that it will indeed happen sooner than we think.) But for those who share my feelings, understand that the loudest voice against such a change will come from the aformentioned camp.

my .02
 

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So no one need guess my motivation: I am firmly against baiting for wild deer.

So, with that said: Some years ago...10, 12,maybe?....I wrote the head guy at the Wildlife Division --I now forget his name--concerning my conviction that baiting was very wrong and hurting the deer herd.

I got a terrific letter in response. I don't have it at my fingertips right now but I'm confident I can accurately paraphrase it.

He wrote: Their staff biologists at that time held the opinion that baiting neither helped nor hurt the resource. And, the Departments' surveys seemed to indicate that about 50% of Michigan's hunters were against it and 50% were for it.

So, in the absence of a political mandate one way or the other and in light of the neutral impact on the resource the Department had taken the position to continue monitoring the situation but not changing it.....meaning, no new regs to restrict it.

I thought the letter was well reasoned and their positon well stated. It didn't change my beliefs that the practice is unethical, dumbs-down our sport and changes wild deer into livestock, but I could no longer argue that it was harmful to the deer herd.

Now, of course, within the last 10 years disease has entered our herd in the form of TB; and more worrisome CWD has emerged in herds near us. Somehow, someway, concentrating this animal in the close quarters of confinement...or baiting...seems to make them vulnerable.

Baiting needs always be revisited. Our herd is to valuable, by several measures, to not watch this practice very closely.
 

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Banning baiting only helps the public land hunter. Deer will return to more natural movements and travel more for more natural food sources. Presently, deer are baited on private land and bed on private land. The only hope many public land hunters have is to hug a private fence line and try to bait them off the private land.
Food plots have nowhere near the drawing power of bait. Not even 1/10th. So, deer will move much more onto public land if baiting were banned.
Public land hunters need to be careful what they ask for. Continued baiting only keeps them with second class deer hunting. It's akin to welfare. The very people that demand we keep welfare are those enslaved by it and that are kept at the poverty level.
Baiting is the 800lb gorilla in the room. Without baiting, many of our other problem issues go away. It's a huge factor in the number of button bucks and yearling bucks killed. It's a huge factor in neighbor fenceline disputes. It's a huge factor in public land disputes. Etc, etc.
 

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farmlegend said:
Since when did hunting become a competition between hunters?
Well....I have certainly seen it manifested in the younger generation.

I don't compete per se with the deer. But, my tactics have to compete with the tactics of other hunters who are competing for the same deer in the same general area.

How many guys say, I shot that buck because if I didn't shoot it somebody else would?

Remember the days when folks would say "Did you get your buck"? Now days, you hear folks bragging about how many bucks (or whatever) they killed so, somewhere along the line...the competition came into play with numbers and the changing values of society.
 

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Baiting is: "....a huge factor in public land disputes."

He is right, of course. A couple years ago in one of the leases/clubs I participate in there was a movement amongst several members to put out bait piles. Fortunately, it was overwhelmingly voted down. But revealingly, the driving reason it was voted down was not 'ethics', or 'disease'.....it was the fear of "territoriality" amongst our members. In other words, there was the fear that if a member hauled in his beets or corn or carrots he would begin to feel he had a 'right' to exclude others from that area or from that trail. In short, his 'sweat equity' would lead him to think he was an 'owner' of a hunting spot. We other members didn't want to even consider the whole series of disputes that that kind of thinking would create.

So it is...I believe...on certain public lands. A fellow busts his nut hauling in carrots and resents anybody sitting near them......even though the land is held in public trust where everybody is the owner. It is a situation that is overcharged with the potential for conflict. And it leads to the posts on this forum and the accounts on the 'hunter-grapevine' of the startling behavior of hunters-acting-badly.

Baiting, in my opinion, has negative social impacts that reach farther than just simply being a shortcut to killing a deer.
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It all boils down to:

Food Plot Envy

It's cheaper than buying a vette. :lol:
 
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