Published by Frank Biggs on 01 Aug 2014
Baiting Big Game – Ethical or Logical
First Question of the Day!
Having a scent felt, doused in Doe in Heat hanging in a tree to bring a buck is it a form of Baiting?
We have been into the 21st Century for some time now and the issue of baiting hunt-able animals or game birds has become a major subject! Must be the Anti-Hunters and Anti-Gun advocates finding a new avenue to target to draw a crowd for their cause! Well as usual I have a few words to say! There is a great deal of writing and talk going on right now about the subject and I have my own thoughts about the subject. As we look at the circle of the food change including mankind, we find in one way or another we all bait for survival or our enjoyment. We have the livestock ranches around the world, the livestock eat on ranches and open ranges without much disturbance, then comes the day they first go to the feed lots, then to the butcher, then receive a head shot and end up on our tables to eat by humans and canines.
Even the birds of prey figure out the how to eat the sheep that seem to come up dead in a field, in the State of Oregon in the valley near the towns of Lebanon and on the way to Marcola, I have seen as many 12 Bald Eagles on sheep. Ah! Is that nature’s way to feed the birds of prey, or are they opportunist to feed on fenced Sheep? Easy Prey! So in the hunting world with any kind hunting weapon to take down big game, birds, small game or other wildlife, there is some form of baiting involved. Let’s take waterfowl hunting, majority of the time planted fields are flooded in many parts of the country. Ah! Say! Ok! Your hunting spot does not flooded any fields, yet the birds come into the field to feed en route to the water for protection. We lay ambush from cover or blinds with decoys in wait for the waterfowl to fly by or land within our decoys. So are the decoys a group style of baiting? Upland game bird hunters in many cases with hunt corn fields, wheat crop fields or other fields that have produce an edible to market crop. Yes! The birds hide in the adjacent cover, but they still feed on the remnants of the crop. We have bear hunters in many states that get to bait bears with meat or fruit and lay in wait from treestand or cover blinds. In the northern sector of CONUS and into Canada many bears are ambushed while working the fresh growth of grasses in the spring. What an excellent way to keep the bears in check. I know that a well-known hunter and advocate of hunting big game native to the U.S. and exotics from around the world baits the game and lays in wait from a treestand or ground blind. He is very successful, yet he does not eat all his harvests. Most do not know that he raises the game animals and the meat goes to needy families. For him, his family and friends, it is about the hunt, the harvest and the excitement of the whole experience. This is done on this own land and in one way this is his crop! In some states you can bait big game, but you can’t bait predators, such as Bear and Cougars. That is a great way to manage a state, so it is said (wildlife managers). So bears and cougars run rampaged with no predators other than mankind taking out a few during hunting seasons. Plus over populations of bears have taken out large sections of timber that is not quite ready for harvest. Did you know that they themselves find a great source of sap from these age trees? The strip the bark off, secure the sap and the tree dies. So we won’t have to worry about baiting big game such as deer and elk to hunt with the way it is in Oregon. Did you know that a Cougar only wants fresh meat and takes on the average about one (1) a week on deer and if working take elk, then maybe one every 14 days. Recently I got a short 15 second video from an old hunting buddy. It was taken from a camera on his property just outside of the city limits of a rural town, close to Portland, Oregon. Just think about the fact it is summer in the Willamette Valley and he has never seen a Cougar this time of year. In the past years he has seen a Cougar in the snow following deer to their winter staging area. So you ask what does this have to do with baiting, well if we could bait for Bears and Cougars in Oregon, maybe we could save our deer and elk herds. Press Here To See We have in the western half of the United States the privilege to hunt for Pronghorn (Antelope), though they will roam the great sage brush plains, they do love to work agricultural areas, especially alfalfa. Is it a form of baiting to wait for the Antelope to leave an alfalfa circle and be shot going under the barbwire fence? If we think back to the existence of man, he has in many cases waited for the game he was going to eat to come to water, food or leave from one of them. Recently I posted a video of a great video archery shot of a Blacktail Deer, there were apples on the ground from the apple tree near the treestand. The comment wasn’t very good telling me he wasn’t a hunter working over bait. It didn’t help that the opening picture was of the same buck standing over a pile of apples early in the season. I explain to help the commenter understand that the opening picture was of a different spot to take census or take count of the bucks in the area and that the kill shot was near an apple tree. Press Here To See
My feelings are if it is legal by the state in-which you hunt, then there should be not issue. Many years ago when I was having a conversation with Randall Byers of the Pope & Young Club, he made comment to me that in Idaho it was legal to hunt deer over bait and that he and his buddies like to use corn. At the time I thought it was terrible, as I had never done it with big game. Guess I was clueless to the fact it was legal! I have laid in wait for a buck Pronghorn coming to water and ambushed them at a crossing to water. So is water bait? I would believe in some sense of the idea that it to be bait! Another instance years ago while hunting for Pronghorn over at Earl Smith’s Ranch outside of Antelope, Oregon, Mike the ranch foreman would say come with me and see what happens in a few minutes. As we watched from about 200 yards away I watched countless Elk jump over the fence and into the wheat field. They did it at the same point every night. That to be a strategic location during the archery season to hunt for the elk. So would that be considered baiting to wait close by for the elk to come and go or just being an opportunist like the Eagle? I used to hunt for Mule Deer bucks on the Mayo Ranch outside of Riley, Oregon. We would wait in the tall grasses for the Mulie to enter the cut and bailed Alfalfa fields to eat the second cut. So we did not intently bait the deer ourselves, but we made opportunity work for us! At that time I would have never thought that to be a process of baiting, yet I did not plant the crop, but was an opportunist to be in the right spot! So everyone has their own thoughts what is baiting. It is about hunting and harvesting game to eat, though myself I give the meat away for the most part, as I have many friends that beg for deer and elk meat every year. So for me it is about the adventurer and the harvest, so in later life I have found that using every opportunity to get the hunt done legally is Right. Anti-Hunters have created the problem with hunting in every sort or form of the sport or natural order of mankind’s desire to kill animals and baiting is just another subject to change the course of history.