Baiting Bambi Bang Bang

Senator Shafer has started getting the annual round of letters in favor of deer baiting. He wants to know what you think. I’ve already chimed in.

17 comments

  1. IndyInjun says:

    Hunting over bait will do more for the corn merchants than for the hunters.

    The deer are NOT stupid and quickly become 100% nocturnal around bait.

    Last year I went to a lodge in Kentucky, where baiting is legal, that puts out corn heavily. The deer were absolutely and totally PARANOID around it. After the first afternoon I hunted only red and white oak acorns, finding the natural hunting experience to be far less nerve racking.

    Let them bait. Its good for the feed and seed stores, not to mention Wal-mart, who seems to be selling huge quantities of feed corn anyway.

    Besides, deer have varying feeding periods which mostly fail to coincide with the times hunters are in the woods, so if they are eating the corn and no one is there to shoot, they get fat, the corn sellers get fat, and the poor hunter is out of luck.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    Adam,

    Sure the unhunted deer would get fat, IF their numbers did not explode to the point of overgrazing.

    It is not uncommon to see 12 to 15 deer at my mailbox in a subdivision, but seeing even 2 or three while hunting in most parts of the countryside is a challenge.

    The subdivision deer are fairly small. One supposes we are not planting enough azaleas to fatten them up!

    Out in the rural areas there has been a tendency to clear cut oak forests, leaving only 50 feet around streams. The dearth of acorns does not bode well for fat deer, either.

  3. UGAchris says:

    Erick,
    Just curious, but are you a hunter?

    And for everyone else, do you realize that legalizing deerbaiting will lessen the chance you will hit a deer while driving? Deer are overpopulated in Georgia as it is, so let allow hunting over bait so I don’t ruin my car.

    Plus, many hunters donate their kill to Hunters for the Hungry, to help feed homeless people.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    No deer baiting. To use bait for deer hunting seems very inhumane.

    While we’re on the subject, I’m also against the use of dogs for hunting.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    I’ve heard that corn is not good for deer anyway.

    Their digestive system has trouble processing the nutrients.

    Any body else hear this?

  6. IndyInjun says:

    MD:

    Since the corn states grow the largest deer, this is doubtful. Deer like standing corn and harvested corn fields, neither of which is considered bait.

    Shelled whole corn, removed from the field and returned after shelling, is considered bait. Nearly all corn has aflatoxin in it, which reaches harmful or lethal levels when said corn molds, especially when distributed over bare soil, in the manner that most mechanical feeders operate.

    Moldy corn is definitely not good for the deer, but one suspects that they don’t eat moldy food of any kind.

    In many parts of South Carolina baiting has been legal for years.

    Count me neutral. I really do not care either way.

  7. Mad Dog says:

    Indy,

    I think corn is a high energy food. If that were the only thing in the diet, it would be bad.

    I don’t think of Texas as a corn state. But, I hear they have some Big Bambi’s.

    Indiana never seemed to have really big deer, but bigger than here.

    Wyoming had some monsters! I don’t remember seeing any corn there. But, we’re not talking whitetails anymore.

    I searched the web for details on corn fed bambi. It depends on the time of year etc… Seems deer need a balanced diet and corn can’t supply all the things they need.

    I don’t agree with baiting. Too much like hunting domestic animals. As much as I like shooting, lots of shooting, I don’t really like slaughtering.

  8. Nimrod says:

    I remember some very important advice provided by my SOWEGA peanut-farming Uncle about listening to folks and measuring the “advice” they offer. I share with you and your readers in my own flavor in a moment. To preface, one thing is for certain – you can always get the best advice about deer hunting in one of two locations – the barber shop or the feed store. However, would you heed that advice in the same manner if were about what you should do regarding brain surgery? The problem with both is that seldom is there ever a professional, from whence we should get professional advice, around in either of those locations.

    Fall is an exciting time of year for many Georgians. On Saturdays in September, October, and November, some 80,000 people fill Sanford Stadium to watch the Georgia Bulldogs! Everyone one of these fans has an opinion on what call Mark Richt should make. Unlike the crowd, Mark Richt is a profession football coach who has studied, lived, and breathed football his entire life. This commitment and dedication has made him the professional. He was hired as a professional to make these decisions. His decisions may not always be popular with his players or the crowd, but they respect his decisions and defer to the professional. Similarly, the State of Georgia has hired professional wildlife biologist to make the management decision that stand to affect our wildlife resources. They have the knowledge and experience to make professional decisions based on the best scientific information available, not on what may seem to be most popular with the players or crowd. A few of us are players and most of us are the crowd. None of us are professional wildlife biologists or managers. As such, maybe we should defer to the professional wildlife biologist hired to make these decisions.

    Well, some folks don’t like the professionals becuase they don’t tell us what we want to hear. In that case, we can consider a few facts that are easily obtainable. What concerns me most is the claim that somehow dumping tons of corn (food) around in the woods is going to reduce the deer herd. Well, I looked around at some other states and some information provided by those states. This is what I found:

    I have found the claims that passing such legislation will result in increased deer harvest to be contrary to the facts. It simply just doesn’t add up. Do you know where Georgia ranks in deer harvest among its neighbors? Like in the SEC, Georgia and Alabama are a long-standing champions. Accordingly, neither allows hunting over bait. Our hunters average harvesting about 385,000 a year. South Carolina, Florida, and North Carolina all allow deer to be feed over corn pile with a hunter poised 14 feet up in a tree (where all predators can be found!) ready to bust one. Yet, their hunters aren’t as successful as ours! South Carolina was the champion among baiting states with a pitiful deer harvest of 273,504. Georgia doesn’t bait, South Carolina does and we harvest 41% more deer. Maybe we shouldn’t do like South Carolina. But there is more. Are you aware that several states allowing the killing of deer over bait piles have actually studied hunter success? The results are dismal. Texas, a state corn champions look up to, has one published study that indicated hunters were slightly more successful using bait. But should we compare the Great State of Georgia to the Brown Ground of Texas? Well, probably not. For one, Texas only receives about 22” of annual rainfall whereas Georgia receives 60” of annual rainfall. This is a big difference and its why our grass is greener and theirs is browner. It’s why we can naturally feed our deer and Texas can’t. Well, what about some states with trees and forests like Georgia. Michigan and Wisconsin have repeatedly studied hunter success with and without bait. In fact, these states have published a combined total of 5 reports. Of these, 4 revealed that baiting has a negative impact on hunter success. Then we move even closer to home to a state much more similar to Georgia than any of the previous – South Carolina. A 2004 South Carolina study, the first and only published study to actually compare baiting vs. not baiting in separate hunting areas, concluded that deer baiting has a negative affect on overall deer harvest rates. In areas where baiting was NOT allowed overall harvest rates were 33% higher, doe harvest rates were 41% higher. Well, it doesn’t take a barber shop professional or arm-chair biologist to figure out that hunter success will not be aided by such legislation. But what we can expect in applying the facts to this issue is that passing this legislation and allowing our hunters to dump corn in the woods in dire hopes of killing a monster buck will result in less deer killed. Ultimately, with less deer killed there will be more deer left to breed and make more deer. More deer will result in more crop damage, more landscape damage, and more deer-vehicle collisions. Do we really need more deer and deer problems? I don’t think so.

  9. IndyInjun says:

    Nimrod…

    You are correct. A hunter does not have a PRAYER of getting a shot sitting 14 feet over corn…….one must climb to 28 feet. LOL.

    If they want to waste their money buying corn for the ‘monster bucks’ to eat in the dead of night, let ’em.

    Thanks for the insight and the numbers. Like I said, it makes little difference either way.

  10. Nimrod says:

    IndyInjun,

    LOL! Apparently, many of them forget their physics lessons too! Gravity is a constant and from the forces from 28 feet generally exceed our body’s ability to sustain w/o injury!

    I guess maybe the corn pile helps to soften the fall, which wouldn’t occurr if: 1) satyed on the ground; or 2) wear a safety harness.

    I prefer the ground as strapping myself to a tree and shooting deer from tree tops seems as natural as bustin Bucky with his head in a corn trough.

  11. gatormathis says:

    The deer here in south Georgia will rival other states easily.

    Look in the agricultural stats from the Ag. Dept on acres of different crops planted, and you won’t see as much corn in the past few years as in several years previous.

    It’s the economics of growing it which reduces the acreage. This will probably change in the coming year.

    What all will be allowed to be used as bait will be a good question.

    IMHO though, peanuts are are one of deer’s most favorite foods. Especially in the month immediately preceding peanut harvest, during what we consider “good peanut boiling” age.

    They will take their hooves and rake back the vines, pulling the peanuts up out of the ground and devour them.

    One small farm I rented was purchased by a doctor a few years back.

    He hired one of them “professional” biologists mentioned above for advise. He advised pushing the scrubby bushes from the edges of the woods out into the middles of the fields and burning them in piles.

    Then he advised planting food plots in the fields and allowing the remainder to grow up in natural weeds for cover. This was also advice for quail population.

    So, he paid for “professional” advice, hired a bulldozer and operator for the clearing work, has two guys that work for him always planting food plots and other menial labor, and spent money here and yonder on other stuff.

    When I farmed it there were deer and deer tracks galore(which I more suspect was the reason for purchase), income from the rent, and little to do on the landowner’s part.

    I don’t hunt hardly any of the places I rent, which makes me and my landlords have no problems from that.

    I still farm land adjacent which is well populated by wildlife, probably due to crops such as peanuts, milo, and cotton we plant.

    I’ve saw some pretty impressive deer down here due to an abundance of great food. Peanut fields will fatten deer and give them beautiful hide and antlers that simple acorns can’t touch.

    Moral: results desired may not be in proportion to money spent trying to achieve intended results, as in anything.

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