Justification of Deer Hunting Over Bait
Kevin Felts 11.29.16
Is it ethical to use bait while deer hunting? The answer is not as simple as it seems.
Wildlife feeders that throw corn out to attract wildlife have done a lot to promote hunting. This has made hunting easier, safer, and more humane.
Hunting Made Easy
Let’s just go ahead and say baiting is the lazy way to hunt. There is very little tracking involved, deer stands can be semi-permanent, hunters can establish trails going to the stands, it is hunting made easy.
Just go setup a feeder and stand, climb in the stand on opening weekend, and bag a deer. Some hunters say that is about as lazy as it gets.
However, in today’s busy world of balancing work and family, there is not a lot of free time to track deer and scout land. As urban areas expand, places that used to be wilderness have been developed for neighborhoods.
A half century ago, hunting land was just an hour’s drive from a lot of urban areas. Now, hunters are having to drive several hours to find land to hunt on.
Wildlife feeders have made hunting safer for everyone, including the deer. Every year dozens of people are accidentally killed by overzealous hunters not being sure of their target.
Rather than wandering around the woods, hunters are in a stand overlooking a feeder. Hunters are less likely to see “something” moving through the bushes. Everyone on the hunting lease has a designated area where they hunt.
Since the hunter knows the general direction of the shot, he (or she) can scout past the feeder and know what lies beyond it.
If there is one thing wildlife feeders have done, it has made hunting more humane. Rather than shooting at a deer that is walking through the woods and having tree limbs in the way, deer are standing under a deer feeder.
While the deer is at the feeder, the hunter has time to consider the age and health.
A lot of states have enacted minimum antler size and age for harvested bucks. Having a clear view and a few seconds allows a hunter to estimate the antler size and age of the deer.
Feeders that throw corn out to attract wildlife have gotten a bad rap from the hunting community. I see youtube comments all the time that say something along the lines, “You are using a feeder, lol that is not hunting.”
Whether someone likes the idea of baiting deer with a wildlife feeder, the practice is here to stay.