The ponderings of baiting and food plots

I have a lot of things in common with my local friends here in North Carolina. My dialect is not one of them! In fact, navigating through a southern dialect takes a while to learn when you grew up a skipped rock away from the Canadian border. That’s partly why I didn’t understand a hunting buddy when he told me years ago that he was hunting deer “over a corn pile.”

The other reason I didn’t quite follow him was due to my ignorance about feeding deer – and hunting over it. Where I learned to hunt, baiting deer didn’t happen. In fact, it was strictly forbidden.

This, is a heckuva corn pile!

I read an interesting article this week from outdoors writer Oak Duke (who happens to reside in the same town your faithful blogger is from). Duke considers the seemingly hypocratic actions of many states that do not allow baiting, but will allow food plots. It’s not that Duke is advocating baiting, but he points out that the reason cited by most states for not allowing baiting seems to present a clear reason why those same states should be against food plots.

It’s an interesting point.

The article points out that in NY state, the following verbiage is posted in stores where deer feed is sold: “It is illegal to feed wild white-tailed deer in New York State. The Department of Environmental Conservation has imposed a prohibition on the feeding of wild white-tailed deer in order to prevent the introduction or spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. Any feed for domestic livestock or wildlife sold on this premises is not intended for use in feeding or attracting white-tailed deer.”

Basically, the reason you can’t bait is attributed to keeping them from concentrating in one area for extended periods of time. Um, isn’t that the primary reason for food plots?

I’ve yet to see clear evidence that a food plot, or feeding deer, can lead to CWD in free-ranging deer. There seems to be nothing that is conclusive, in my opinion.

I’m not against baiting. Does it provide a bit of an edge in the hunter’s chase? Yes, it does. But many states rely on the success of hunters to properly manage the deer herd. I don’t see how that can hurt. I do, though, think that states are being a bit hypocritical in their actions around the subject. Make a decision – then live by it.

For the record, there are currently 28 states that prohibit baiting, 14 that allow it and 8 which have some conditions that allow baiting under certain conditions.

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