Is Hunting Deer Over Bait Cheating?

Is Hunting Deer Over Bait Cheating?

Published: October 27, 2022

It has been the million dollar question between hunters for decades! This article from shares the answer.. in their opinion.

Is hunting deer over bait cheating? It’s the million dollar question.

The short answer is, yes.

Yes, if hunting deer over bait is illegal where you live. It’s cheating. It’s breaking the law. It’s the stuff outlaw stories are made of. But of course, if it is legal where you live, then it’s not cheating. It’s simply using the advantageous options the state allows its hunters to use to help manage the state’s deer herd.

So why is hunting over bait such a hot topic? And why are the critics so adamantly opposed to the tactic of placing groceries on the ground for deer? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of baiting, as well as some of the issues with baiting and what tends to fuel the fire among critics.

The Benefit of Baiting

Before we get in to why some hunters are against the use of bait, it’s important to take a look at why some are in favor of baiting. Andy Cardwell, of Feradyne Outdoors, is a Kentucky bowhunter that has his fair share of opinions on the use of bait. He shares his thoughts below.

I myself hunt over bait and believe it is a very useful tool for management. I feel as if I know most all of the bucks on my properties and their ages because of being able to bait. With the use of bait and cameras, I know what bucks are growing and showing real potential and what bucks are remaining close to the same year to year.

I also believe with the number of hunters decreasing every year, baiting is a great way to keep young hunters’ attention. I can almost guarantee we will see a few deer most every sit because of bait. And with this fast pace world these kids are raised in now, we need to do all we can to slow the world down for them. And lastly, shot placement is a big plus to bait. I can make an animal stand where I want it for a proper ethical shot.

The Concern of Spreading Disease

Despite the benefits of baiting, there are some legitimate concerns against it. One in particular is the potential for the spread of CWD. State biologists are doing their best to minimize the opportunity for deer to congregate at food or mineral sources. The first thing that tends to go when CWD shows up in a state are the hunter’s right to place bait for deer.

If this is an effective means of control, then so be it. All hunters should be on board with what’s best for the health of our local deer herds.

Unfortunately, the facts are few and far between when it comes to the effectiveness of many of the measures some states take to prevent the spread of CWD. Does preventing the use of bait truly work, or is it just a knee-jerk reaction to the public’s cry to do something? We may never know.”

To read the full article, click here. 

Photo credit: Original Author

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