bait debate

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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Ol Nimrod » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:55 pm

Russ Mason has made it no secret he doesn't want baiting. The last interview I heard from him made more sense to me than what I have heard others say.

Summarized: baiting was banned in response to the CWD positive deer in Kent County. Further checking found no other instances of the disease. So it is only right to review baiting as the means it was banned are no longer valid.

Bait or not I don't really care. I will adjust to the deers reaction either way. Hunters getting at the throat of other hunters does nothing for either side. If you don't want to bait (if legal) don't.... if you don't feel other hunters around you are skillful enough to hunt without... teach them. Maybe they were only taught how to hunt over bait, and with your guidance may become a new friend to help drag your beast from the swamp! :?

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Re: bait debate

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:02 pm

Great point Nimrod!
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:19 am

Ol Nimrod wrote:if you don't feel other hunters around you are skillful enough to hunt without... teach them. Maybe they were only taught how to hunt over bait,


Excellent advice, Nimrod. There are some roadblocks present with this ideology, but its certainly worth a try. It goes without saying that first of all they have to want to learn how to hunt without bait. There are so many hunters here in Michigan that only know how to hunt over bait, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a few that want some help. 8-)
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby CatfishJack » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:20 pm

I live in a non-baiting state and have hunted in Michigan where my wife is from where baiting is allowed. I have shot deer over bait there and do not enjoy the experience I have decided. I quit hunting over bait there at least 10 years ago. One thing I have concluded is that people that depend on bait are more shooters than hunters-There is no need to scout when the feed pile brings the deer to you. But, that being said, my in-laws really enjoy(ed) it although I am pretty sure it is banned now in NE Michigan where they hunt.
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby dan » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:57 am

There is no need to scout when the feed pile brings the deer to you.

I agree with most of the points made about baiting... But dissagree that its a way you can hunt successfully without scouting. Just like normal hunting, you have to be where the deer move during daylight. Bait has to be placed near bedding or visitors will come at night.
I do agree it takes a lot less skill than figureing them out and outsmarting them.
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby PLB » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:52 pm

dan wrote:
There is no need to scout when the feed pile brings the deer to you.

I agree with most of the points made about baiting... But dissagree that its a way you can hunt successfully without scouting. Just like normal hunting, you have to be where the deer move during daylight. Bait has to be placed near bedding or visitors will come at night.
I do agree it takes a lot less skill than figureing them out and outsmarting them.

You need to place the bait near a bedding area for a chance at a decent buck, YES! You do not however have to learn how to read deer sign because all the deer sign will be created near the pile! Very few mature animals are going to come into a pile that reeks with human odor, has been over hunted, has a permanent stand 15 yards away, etc....
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Dewey » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:32 pm

In areas of northern WI before the 2 gallon limit people were putting so much corn down that it really didn't matter where it was the deer would find it and bed within 50 yards.

Had plenty of times I came across a bait pile and a deer would jump out of a bed nearby and take off in the open hardwoods.

It's probably not quite as bad now with the 2 gallon limit but is amazing how one baitpile can change deer movement.
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:45 am

Before the 2 gallon limit it was a 10 gallon limit. 10 gallons will be eaten by 6 deer in 3 or 4 days and would need to constantly be refreshed. If they were useing more than that they were poaching not baiting.
I don't dissagree that young deer may bed close, and mature bucks may bed closer. However, killing mature bucks over bait legally requires having the bait in a area where he is willing to move in daylight.
Most people whom bait don't understand that and flop down baits where ever there is deer sign.
Its just like baiting bears. Put the bait where bears don't visit during daylight and you will only see young deer at your baits in daylight.
Im not defending baiting, just stating the facts the way I see them.
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:51 am

dan wrote:Before the 2 gallon limit it was a 10 gallon limit. 10 gallons will be eaten by 6 deer in 3 or 4 days and would need to constantly be refreshed. If they were useing more than that they were poaching not baiting.
I don't dissagree that young deer may bed close, and mature bucks may bed closer. However, killing mature bucks over bait legally requires having the bait in a area where he is willing to move in daylight.
Most people whom bait don't understand that and flop down baits where ever there is deer sign.
Its just like baiting bears. Put the bait where bears don't visit during daylight and you will only see young deer at your baits in daylight.
Im not defending baiting, just stating the facts the way I see them.


Good post Dan. Not that I'm a huge "pro" bait supporter, but there is a skill level required to bait and constantly see daylight deer activity. Will the deer activity be mature bucks?, depends on pressure. Look at most outfitted hunts in Canada....... some are baited hunts and do achieve success. Here in WI, your odds of baiting and seeing a mature buck in daylight are pretty low, but no one says you can't hunt off the bait on a travel route to it.

There is quite a few similarities between bear and deer baiting. Think about that minute........ No truly mature animal, I don't care what it is, will put itself in danger during daylight hours at a risky bait station, food plot, ag crop, acorn ridge, or tender browse in a clear cut, just to feed.
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:51 pm

As previously stated, I have nothing against baiting where its legal. With the change in its legality in the lower peninsula of Michigan (at the moment, and for the last couple of years it has been illegal) some interesting herd dynamics have taken place on the public lands I hunt in a number of counties that are quite a distance apart.

When baiting was legal, most of the time hunters would shoot the first legal buck that came in... and that was almost always a yearling. I had friends that could bait "nearly" anywhere in the woods, you certainly did not need to be near a bedding area, and at least one yearling buck would show on the bait very quickly. My friends took yearling bucks this way every year, spikes and forkers for the most part, and ended up with great eating venison. Baiting allowed them to fit hunting into their busy schedules with minimal investment in time and scouting. When they returned to work, they were able to state they had "got their buck", which socially is a big deal here. I laugh at the studies that show hunters that bait barely have more success than those that don't... I can only base this on my own personal interactions. Nearly every hunter I knew that hunted this way, friends / family / co-workers / simple acquaintences took their yearling buck almost EVERY YEAR without fail. That's a lot of success, more power to 'em if that's their thing. The downside was that the yearling buck population- which over the years impacted ALL age classes of bucks- became routinely decimated. The does outnumbered the bucks at a huge ratio- as in most hunting practices there are negatives as well as positives... and we are obviously not talking about mature buck hunting here.

When baiting became illegal in the lower peninsula, many hunters gave up deer hunting rather than not be able to bait on public land. Many hunters that stuck with it were very unskilled at hunting with other methods beside bait, and their success plummeted. Revenues dropped severely for the mom and pop stores that relied on the income of selling bait. Hotels / restaurants and even the state began to suffer because of the sharp drop in hunter numbers. A lot of negatives resulted from the outlawing of bait. We still have a tremendous amount of illegal baiting going on, especially on private land. On the positive side, all of a sudden 90 plus percent of the yearling bucks were no longer getting blazed on bait piles. Over the last couple of years the population of three year old and older bucks on the public lands I hunt in multiple counties has gone up significantly... in many areas, if you can't locate a three year old fairly quickly, you may be in need of a scouting refresher.

The preceding is based on my experience only, I would never presume to speak for other hunters or claim to have any knowledge of what's best in counties / regions I do not hunt in other areas of the State. A lot of positives and negatives with the baiting situation here... my own opinion is that now that they have made baiting illegal in the LP they should stick with the decision and not keep changing it. If they make it legal again, it will certainly assist me with knowing exactly where the other hunters are... negatives and positives!
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:36 pm

I have been in MI for 21 yrs now and when I moved here didnt know what baiting was and therefore didnt do it.

But as time went on I began to see how ingrained it was in the state, and even saw different ways of doing it, ie: a quart bag of corn to stop a deer for a shot vs a truck load. Either way I couldnt care less how someone wants to bait or hunt assuming it is legal.

Now that it isnt legal, yeh there is a lot of illegal baiting, I would kinda like to see people have a choice again. I am not big into dictating to others how they should hunt, what they should shoot, and other ways some want to tell others how to hunt.

Get outside and enjoy, dont care if you have a bag of corn, a truck of corn, no corn, or a corn field.
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Fri May 13, 2011 1:45 pm

Michigan's Natural Resources Commission- which establishes hunting laws for the state- has given the preliminary nod to allow baiting statewide in Michigan again with a two (2) gallon limit. The final vote will be next month, here's a link to my post and the article from the Detroit Free Press:

viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6734
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby kenn1320 » Fri May 13, 2011 3:20 pm

I had friends that could bait "nearly" anywhere in the woods, you certainly did not need to be near a bedding area, and at least one yearling buck would show on the bait very quickly. My friends took yearling bucks this way every year, spikes and forkers for the most part, and ended up with great eating venison. Baiting allowed them to fit hunting into their busy schedules with minimal investment in time and scouting.


This mentality is exactly what pushed the xbow into Michigans archery season. Guys said they didnt have time to practice. Between baiting and xbows, this state will never have great hunting. Unfortunately Michigan is all about the money. They think they are loosing hunters, but my guess is they are loosing license purchasers. Its well known our DNR officers are spread way to thin. In the thumb area, there are 2 officers covering 3 counties. Bottom line, they cant enforce a no baiting law, and if baiting can put a few more $$$ in their pockets, we will have baiting again. Why not make it legal to bait turkeys/waterfowl/etc?
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Fri May 13, 2011 4:08 pm

Uncle Lou wrote:...I am not big into dictating to others how they should hunt, what they should shoot, and other ways some want to tell others how to hunt...

Neither am I Lou, but I'm also into listening to our biologists and following good management practices. With the common statement of "not telling others how to hunt or what to shoot" then you have to ask why not get rid of the 3" antler restriction we have and why not let everyone shoot does, etc?
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Re: bait debate

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:05 am

kenn1320 wrote:They think they are loosing hunters, but my guess is they are loosing license purchasers.


That is the point that doesn't get discussed much- a lot of these hunters didn't "die-off", but rather made the decision that if they couldn't use bait they weren't going to buy a license / weren't going to deer hunt. With baiting likely being legal again in Lower Michigan these numbers should start to climb.

God help the yearling bucks in Michigan.


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