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Why is baiting illegal here?

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I have been wondering why baiting is illegal here in MN. read the outdoor news, and people are getting hammered with fines and losing their weapons and more. Why? If you think about it, MN is one of the only states to open firearms season during the peak of the rut. What does about 80 percent of MNs hunting population do then? They hang a gallon of doe pee from scent wicks all around their stand, including dragging it out behind them on their way to the stand.

Don't get me wrong, i am in that 80 percent, which by the way is a made up number. But why does the MN DNR let us lure bucks in with sexual attractants during the peak of the rut, and not let us shoot a thing over a pile of corn? Seems to me like doe scents, rattling, grunting, bleat cans, baiting, you name it, are all more or less the same concept.

by hanging out a saturated wick with golden estrous, you are luring a buck to you. Isn't that the same as a pile of grain and apples, illegal, or a food plot, which is legal?

I guess I myself am for baiting. when a deer in the wild can range over thousands of acres, what harm would a bushel of corn in front of my stand do when i am hunting on the edge of a 100 acre bean field?

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The only good reason I can see for not allowing baiting is the spread of disease. In some areas of the state I think there would be guys who have feeders (like Texas) spraying corn at a given time of day everyday of the year, thus bringing deer into close quarters to feed. I know it would make some deer dependent on this food source and possibly make them winter in areas which are not natural, if it is far away from normal wintering areas. I have a much bigger issue with having our hunting season during the rut, which is a key factor to our lack of monster bucks. Look at what Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Ohio are producing, HUGE 250" non typicals and typicals grossing 200", I guess I've only seen a couple of MN deer over 200 this year. I think we have the potential, just need some age on the deer. Sorry I got off topic. How'd your party do this year, sounded pretty slow around Bertha?

Mike

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CWD can spread from to many deer eating at one location like a bait pile.

Then why do we allow recreational feeding of deer?

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Originally Posted By: harvey lee
CWD can spread from to many deer eating at one location like a bait pile.

Then why do we allow recreational feeding of deer?

Some cities have already banned deer feeding. I believe the reason is to help prevent car/deer crashes.

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I believe the recreational deer feeding is going to be talked about some in next year's legislature.

Here's a snippet from a story on baiting from the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Magazine:

Quote:
In a Wisconsin DNR study, some deer stopped migrating to traditional wintering areas because they had so much feed -- from baiting and from feeding by wildlife watchers. Deer researchers in Minnesota near Remer now are seeing the same deer behavior because of widespread recreational feeding. In 2005 when bovine tuberculosis broke out among cattle in northwestern Minnesota, both illegal baiting and legal feeding had increased in the region (see sidebar).

At an MDHA meeting in February 2008, chapter representatives voted to support a seasonal statewide ban on deer feeding. In addition to keeping disease in check, prohibiting all deer feeding from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 would end any question of why food was being placed in the woods. Johnson said a statewide seasonal feeding ban would put all hunters on an even playing field to see deer based on their natural movement.

Schad said DNR officials have discussed a statewide feeding ban, but such a proposal won't be made lightly.

It likely would face fierce opposition from some groups, especially businesses that sell feed. Many Minnesota COs report that some small stores and even taverns stock up on feed before deer season specifically to sell to hunters. And lawmakers will get an earful from people who like to watch deer feeding near their home or cabin.

The DNR has been working with legislators in recent years to plug loopholes that impaired the effectiveness of existing baiting and feeding laws.

"We'll continue working and monitoring to see if those changes are having an effect," Schad said. "In addition we'll continue very vigorous feeding and baiting enforcement efforts in the TB area of northwest Minnesota."

I know I was really surprised to see fifty pound bags of seed corn on a pallet outside of the local hardware store in the small town I hunt in up north. Never saw that corn when I came up fishing in the summer. You see the same thing at Fleet Farm...it's not illegal to sell the stuff, but you know they will find willing buyer that will later illegally use the stuff. Just the sheer number of tickets written in the last two years will tell you that.

And speaking of those loopholes, that bird feeder 6 feet off the ground thing has to go....

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i thought birdfeeders only had to be 5 feet off the ground grin just kidding.

big bucks are smart bucks, other than when chasing a doe. that is why most bucks don't get old in MN. they are horny and chase a doe out into the open on rifle opener.

but as far as the action around bertha this rifle season, yeah it was slow by us. saw some deer, but not the numbers we had expected. the mature boys and girls were held up in the thick and nasty, and hard to get to move with the cold wind. lots of twin fawns and small bucks running around though.

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I've seen deer walk past scent wicks and ignore every call I could throw at it, but I've never seen a deer pass up a pile of corn, beets or apples in the middle of the woods.

The biggest instances of baiting are not in the ag regions where ag crops are prevelant, its in the big woods where its harder to pattern and attract deer, so guys throw out 100lbs of corn the night before and hope and pray.

If I could spend my money wisely (and legally) I would use 100lbs of corn carried on my shoulders a mile into the woods before I bet on deer pee, tarsal lure, bleat cans, grunt tubes AND rattling horns combined.

I'm against baiting so I wouldn't do that, but if you're comparing the two they aren't even close. The idea is the same, you're trying to lure deer, but which one works EVERY time?

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I feel that if you feed a animal it is now a pet and I for one will not shoot my pets. I have deer that come into my yard and eat the apples that I knock off the trees and it is legal for me to shoot them but there is no chance that I would even consider taking one out. If I were to shoot one it would be with a camera. If there was NO fair chase I might as well quit hunting cause it would not be a sport.

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maybe i just don't get it, maybe im stubborn. but fish walleyes in february through the ice with a bare hook. you catch nothing. granted they may be in the area, or just below ya. put a juicy shiner on there and wammo! fish on. maybe the deer that walk by don't want to eat your corn. maybe they are just walking by. if you shoot it, you are considered to be shooting over a bait pile, when granted it may have been 200 yards away.

sure by having it illegal they are helping to stop the spread of disease. but what about 30 deer licking off of one salt block all summer long. i think that would be worse than eating off of the ground in the same area.

oh well, i see both sides of the argument, at least by having it illegal, the dnr has their little "fund raiser" this time of the year to keep other fees like licenses down.

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It is disease-prevention driven and I agree, why allow salt blocks then? Especially when salt blocks are not giving you any advantage during hunting season, zero.

And again, for those on the high horse making the fair chase arguement, then we'd better make deer drives illegal because there is nothing fair chase about those. They're shooting sessions, cornering the deer and opening fire. With drives, the deer has much less of a "choice" than a hunter trying to lure them in with a bait pile because they have nowhere else to go except into the path of the hunters' gunfire, if the drives are done right. And we'd better outlaw anything else that gives us an advantage, especially rifles and bows. The only true natural way to do it is to be on the ground and engage the deer in hand to hoove combat.

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Quote:
It is disease-prevention driven and I agree, why allow salt blocks then?

My guess would be that the salt will inhibit the growth of any bacteria and would not cause anymore spread of CWD or any other disease's .

Quote:

And again, for those on the high horse making the fair chase arguement, then we'd better make deer drives illegal because there is nothing fair chase about those.

I can't argue whether it is right or wrong but there is still some sport in shooting a running animal but it is nothing that I care to do but I will never look down or condemn someone who hunts this way.

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I predict baiting will be outlawed in wisconsin in the next 4 or 5 years. Spreads disease and looks bad to the non hunting public. Takes away fair chase in my opinion. I mean just think of all the technology there is for deer hunting already. Having them come into one spot 50 yards from a stand is a little over the line for me. I have hunted in Wisconsin and have never used bait. Does it hurt my chances? Maybe so. Do I feel better about actually learning deer habits and hunting naturally moving deer? You bet.

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Quote:
It is disease-prevention driven and I agree, why allow salt blocks then?

My guess would be that the salt will inhibit the growth of any bacteria and would not cause anymore spread of CWD or any other disease's .

Quote:

And again, for those on the high horse making the fair chase arguement, then we'd better make deer drives illegal because there is nothing fair chase about those.

I can't argue whether it is right or wrong but there is still some sport in shooting a running animal but it is nothing that I care to do but I will never look down or condemn someone who hunts this way.

I'm not condemning anyone, especially since its legal. I'm just saying, it's closing the deer in, short of fencing them in for sure, but still containing them so they're easier to shoot. In my eyes, that's not fair chase and therefore the whole arguement of baiting isn't fair should be opened up to many other methods of hunting such as driving.

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I had already started up a thread on this, but i figured i would throw in the results i have gotten.

First: Drop the whole disease spreading thing. It is legal to throw out a pile of corn 300 days of the year, but when hunters hit the woods it becomes illegal because this is the only time of year diseases can be spread? I think not. Just an excuse the DNR gave us. This also answers the excuse of changing deer movement. If a pile of corn is put in place the entire year, it will move the deer the same way a pile would in November.

Second: Fair Chase. Although I would never hunt over a pile, wouldn't scopes, scents, calls, raised stands, camo (for bow hunters), binoculars, trail cams, and deer drives, immediatly eliminate the whole idea of "fair chase"?

I would like to throw in my solution. What if we allowed baiting, and eliminated the bonus tag system in intensive harvest areas. 500,000 hunters hit the woods anually producing some 200,000 deer harvested. If we allow baiting, it would only seem natural that the ammount of deer registered would go up. This would bring the ratio from 500,000:200,000 up to 500,000:300,000 or so. The reason why I believe the DNR doesn't allow baiting is because they want to make their $15 per bonus tag. It seems like a scam to me, then again, I hope to be working for the DNR some day. Great organization, I just have to wonder if they always have the best things in mind.

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Since Recreational feeding got brought up I'll put my 2 cents in.

I feed deer starting after rifle season. I know of two other recreational feeders within a half mile. Those deer will not starve in a killing winter, they'll come though winter healthy and in good condition. Instead of a starvation diet of winter browse its supplemented with corn. Could that spread disease, maybe. I know one thing, malnourished and stressed deer that are yarded up in one area are more susceptible to disease.

Those fed deer don't limit their travel and they'll keep browsing new areas instead of yarding up.

Rec feeding during deer season. First of all I wouldn't hunt anywhere near an area where feeding is going on. There is a misconception that deer eat their fill at a feeder and will stay close by. Nothing could be further from the truth. Deer will eat a small amount of corn from a feeder then move on and browse like they normally would.

Deer dieing in our Northern MN winters is a natural thing.

Its in those severe winters with deep snows for an unusual amount of time that deer really have a tough time. Many of you don't know this but in the past the DNR would start Emergency deer feeding. I volunteered for two of these emergency feedings. By the time these programs are started the deer are too malnourished for the feeding to do them any good. The DNR also feels that its not worth doing because its a drop in the bucket as to how many deer will get feed. Still to do something is better then doing nothing. When the next Winter Kill Index, wait whats that? Its a table that calculates how many deer will die according to snow depth, duration and temps. Yep it'll be in your Sunday papers. Anyway that next killing winter you'll be thankful that there was recreational feeding going since Fall in your hunting area.

If there isn't enough enforcement to where the DNR can't control baiting, why are they considering banning Rec feeding?

Why make more work with new laws and make more criminals to boot? Cries from organizations that claim feeding alters deer movements for their deer season and its not fair. Well good golly is that really a problem or something your mind is exaggerating. Really, lets make new laws because it might make my deer season better.

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I don't see baiting as being very sportsman-like. Why not just hunt cattle if you are going to bait them in. Do you wanna just get your deer the first couple hours and go home? I don't think that is what hunting is about for most of us.

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I agree 100% with JiMalm, why would you want to bait? What fun is it shooting something that comes into bait, to me that's not hunting. Thats as easy as shooting your dog when he comes to eat out of his dish. If you want to bait, go to a game farm and pick out what deer you want to shoot. It's called hunting for a reason, it should not be easy that's what makes it fun IMO. If baiting was legal, I still would not do it, to me that is cheating. Sorry for my strong opinion, just my thoughts.

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After reading about the record calls the DNR has received this year about baiters, I was asking myself the same question.

What I think is whether legal or not it comes down to each individuals feelings about hunting.

What’s better, a large group of orange pushing a small patch of woods, while making a bunch of racket, maybe even shooting off a few rounds to “move the deer” or sitting alone in a secluded stand over a pile of corn?

I guess I can’t answer that.

This is why we have rules and regs. Whether you agree with them or not, they need to be followed. But IMO, the DNR needs to take a hard look at the baiting law and find a way to word it so that they don’t have to spend 90% of their time and resources looking for random bait piles.

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1. If Baiting is illegal because it may spread disease then all recreational feeding should be illegal also.

2. There is no such thing as "fair chase" when it comes to deer hunting. If you want fair chase then you need to tell the chasee that he is being chased. Or give the deer guns so they can fire back. Now that would be "fair chase".

3. If baiting is illegal because it causes unnatural deer movement, Thus making it unfair for those who do not bait, then food plots should also be illegal. Deer food plots have no other purpose than to "bait" deer for hunting. They are not harvested and used for any other purpose. The only people who can use food plots are those with their own hunting land. Those who hunt public land are left out in the cold.

4. The whole idea of a state wide deer hunt is to keep the herd thin. As long as we shoot enough deer annually to accomplish this, then who cares how they are shot.

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I have been wondering why baiting is illegal here in MN. read the outdoor news, and people are getting hammered with fines and losing their weapons and more. Why? If you think about it, MN is one of the only states to open firearms season during the peak of the rut. What does about 80 percent of MNs hunting population do then? They hang a gallon of doe pee from scent wicks all around their stand, including dragging it out behind them on their way to the stand.

Don't get me wrong, i am in that 80 percent, which by the way is a made up number. But why does the MN DNR let us lure bucks in with sexual attractants during the peak of the rut, and not let us shoot a thing over a pile of corn? Seems to me like doe scents, rattling, grunting, bleat cans, baiting, you name it, are all more or less the same concept.

by hanging out a saturated wick with golden estrous, you are luring a buck to you. Isn't that the same as a pile of grain and apples, illegal, or a food plot, which is legal?

I guess I myself am for baiting. when a deer in the wild can range over thousands of acres, what harm would a bushel of corn in front of my stand do when i am hunting on the edge of a 100 acre bean field?

Article from the WI Outdoor News....

In asking for hunters to make this personal decision, Frank said in a press release, "While currently legal in areas outside of the CWD zone, we are asking all hunters and citizens this year to refrain from the baiting and feeding of deer throughout the state. TB has been identified in the Minnesota deer herd, and CWD was recently discovered in Michigan deer. Eliminating the baiting and feeding of deer is a cost-effective way to substantially reduce the risks of spreading disease in Wisconsin's deer herd.

"Baiting and feeding of deer threatens not only the health of our deer population, but our dairy industry and forest industry as well, increasing the risk of TB being transferred from deer to dairy cows. And an artificially high deer population threatens regeneration of our forests with the potential for negative impacts on our forest and wood products economy," Frank said.

Warnke said Frank's remarks about "artificially high" deer numbers stem from the belief that baiting and feeding provide more "fuel" for deer, resulting in higher fawn birth rates and better fawn survival.

"Baiting and feeding are likely supporting a higher winter survival rate and a greater recruitment of fawns in the spring. Unnaturally higher deer numbers result in negative impacts such as more deer/vehicle collisions, more crop damage for farmers, stunted forest regeneration, and more deer browsing, which hurts Wisconsin forests," Warnke said.

Wisconsin's deer herd was estimated to be between 1.5 and 1.7 million animals heading into the early archery season.

DNR veterinarian and land program manager Dr. Sarah Hurley said studies have concluded that CWD can be spread between deer through saliva and at contaminated sites such as baiting and feeding locations. Research conducted at Sandhill Wildlife Area concluded that even with limiting the quantity of bait placed, the potential for disease transmission continues.

DNR wildlife health officials say CWD and tuberculosis are transmitted through deer-to-deer contact like that found at bait and feeding stations. CWD also is transmitted through exposure to a contaminated environment, and tuberculosis is transmissible from contaminated food and feed sites.

"Baiting and feeding cause unnatural concentrations of deer and their activity increasing the risk of disease infection and spread," Hurley said. "Repeated use of feeding and baiting areas poses a long-term risk of disease transmission."

Warnke said 25 states have a complete ban on baiting for deer hunting, 12 states have partial baiting restrictions (including Wisconsin), and 13 states have no restrictions.

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Deer food plots have no other purpose than to "bait" deer for hunting.

Big Dave, you're totally wrong there. Most people, myself included plant corn food plots to help animals, mainly pheasants and deer, get thru the winter. My focus has been on pheasants, without a good winter food source I'd have 1/2 the pheasants that I currently do, because cropland is scarce where I live. If I was only feeding pheasants, I could get by with 1/2 acre of corn. With the deer flocking in, I need 3-4 acres of corn just to get them thru to March/April. But I enjoy the deer too. My Sunday morning routine in Jan and Feb is to sit with a cup of coffee by the spotting scope and watch the deer in the mornings, up to 25 at a time.

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If a true hunter wants a deer most every season, go out into the woods and find the trails and bedding areas and set up on those traveled routes. Thats just as good as baiting with corn. Where we hunt, if one sets up on good travel corridors, you will see deer move.

Yes, this takes some time to scout an area out but it does work. I realize that some areas have a larger herd but, for those areas with a smaller herd, deer movement can still be patterned without a bait pile.

It is not the easiest way but it is a good way to harvest a deer without a bait pile.

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