Thoughts on Baiting Deer

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Marauder, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Marauder

    Marauder Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Hey Guys,

    First off I would like to say that I don't want this to be a debate. I have baited deer for many years and have also shot deer without baiting. So with that being said I was wondering what is everyone elses thoughts on this.

    Lately I've been researching and reading about the affects that baiting deer can have. For many years I was led to believe that baiting deer was part of hunting. I grew up sitting behind bait piles and it was accepted as "this is how we do it". I'm really beginning to believe this isn't how to do it. I've been thinking that baiting deer conditions them to become nocturnal and move at night. If I put 50 pounds out (hypothetically and is illegal), that 50 pounds would be devoured in a night. I wouldn't see a single deer in the daylight and that's the truth by me. Does anyone else seem to have this problem? Does anyone else believe that baiting conditions the deer to move at night? I'm hoping for some decent insight and really curious as to what it's like for the guys who hunt where baiting is illegal.

    Thanks in advance!
    Tim :tu:
     
  2. Country Lover

    Country Lover Weekend Warrior

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    I never baited deer, u cant in illinois. We have enough corn and bean fields in southern ill you dont have two bait.
     
  3. DonMatzeder

    DonMatzeder Newb

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    The feeders that I have seen have timers and you set what time you feed. If you feed after daylight, they will move after that. Feeding corn is no more a lure than all the scents etc that are on every retail shelf. Chase the corn or chase the doe smell, both are not natural so be careful of your judgement on this issue. I don't shoot over feed but I do use feed to patern the movement and set up away from the food on the path. This all started with the wife wanting to watch the deer in the field each morning.
     
  4. Monster Raxx

    Monster Raxx Grizzled Veteran

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    Marauder I think this is a very good topic...but this is a topic where a number of people feel very strongly about on both sides, which almost always leads to arguments. I do bait during the off season (legal in Minnesota) for trail camera purposes to see what bucks made it through the season and during the summer to see what bucks we will be going after. In states that I hunt where bait is legal I do put out some corn with my attractant but only about 2 pounds. I hope you get the information you are looking for.
     
  5. Beehunter

    Beehunter Weekend Warrior

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    Exactly.
     
  6. ISiman/OH

    ISiman/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

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    We have just recently started to do a little more baiting in our area, but this was planned to just keep the does in the area. We have had success hunting off of it but not any deferent then our other stands with no bait. It's mainly to keep the deer in the area.
     
  7. montec

    montec Weekend Warrior

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    I dabbled in baiting but found out you feed more coons and squirrels than deer.The "bait" that has worked best for me over the years is to cut trails.I've shot many deer on trails that I have cut.
     
  8. cmonsta

    cmonsta Grizzled Veteran

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    I use bait in front of my cams in the off season. I don't think it shows more nocturnal activity then normal but I could be wrong.
     
  9. GregH

    GregH Grizzled Veteran

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    I believe that you are right. I bought a chunk of land in the middle of a large ridge system (45 acres). It is legal to bait deer there. I hunted for over 40 years without baiting so I didn't bait the first year. Well, I noticed that after about Nov. 1st that my deer sightings dropped off to zero. I had no idea why until I did some scouting in Feb. I climbed to the top of one of my hills and looked down the other side (neighbors land) and saw a large disturbance in the snow. Deer trails were cut deep leading to this disturbed area. At first I thought that the deer were digging for acorns. I have the same kind of trees on my land but had no deer activity like that. So I went down to take a look. As I got closer I got my binos out and realized that I was looking at the remains of a large bait pile.

    After talking to several locals I found out that "oh yeah, everyone around here does that". The next season I figured if you can't beat them, join them and I put out a nice food pile. I call it a feed station because I had no stands anywhere close enough to shoot deer from there. Well it definitely worked and held deer on my land, BUT, as you said it turned the deer nocturnal.

    This season I made another food plot for a total of 5 small plots and moved the corn station to right behind my trailer. I've had it there for over a year now and this season things were much better for seeing deer. The deer don't like to come to the corn much before dark although some does will. But now they will mill around my woods checking out my food plots and such during daylight.

    In effect, I made my land into a smorgasbord for deer. It's like the deer have it on their list of places go during their travels. Unfortunately, if I don't put out corn the neighbors will and the deer are suckers for an easy meal.

    Interesting note. Except for winter when snow is deep, it is rare for me to get a mature buck on cam over corn.
     
  10. crxwolski

    crxwolski Weekend Warrior

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    As of hunting in both states of Wis and IL, in wis thats what I thought every body did. My parents still bait for them and I understand that where they live, there isn't that many deer around and you have to do all most everything to have them around and to stay. Plus there is alot more woods by them. There are hour and half away from Tomahawk.
     
  11. TEmbry

    TEmbry Grizzled Veteran

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    I've seen it be both beneficial and detrimental to your hunting efforts... Looking to kill any ole deer? Slam dunk with a corn pile involved? Looking for the big mature buck? Not so fast in my experience... It happens for sure, but not as often as the nay Sayers try to point out.

    I've used it before, still will sit over it if hunting with a friend, just don't care for the expense of it really. I can afford my annual Alaska trip with what some guys locally spend on corn to bait all their spots year round.
     
  12. G-Street

    G-Street Weekend Warrior

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    I shot my 9 point over a corn pile this year. I mostly just use it where I have trail cams, but if I get buck activity at that cam I set a stand somewhere near that pile. That's what I did this year and that's how I killed my buck. The doe I shot wasn't over corn, however.
     
  13. finnshady

    finnshady Weekend Warrior

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    It's illegal to hunt over a pile of corn here in MO, but you can bait and feed, it just all has to be removed 10 days prior to you sitting at that spot. Salt block and mineral blocks you can hunt over that is not considered baiting as long as there is no food product in it such as corn, or grain, and acorns. Now with that being said there are a lot of can feeders in this area, some guys put out 3 or 4 and have the bait removed at the sight they will hunt. The other 3 are still feeding which keeps the deer moving through that area, is it wrong, IMO no. The deer are being feed good with a variety of good nutrition it keeps them healthy and happy, and after all hunting has kept the human race alive and well for a very long time. I personally hunt food plots and once in a while put my stand up behind my dads house between a can feeder and bedding area after all we are supposed to be intelligent and on top of the food chain; so I will use what I know works to put meat on the table, but be ethical at the same time. I have just recently put out a mineral sack and some Deer Cain to keep the deer coming around on my side of the ridge, may throw out some grain in the off season, we will see.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  14. deerct1011

    deerct1011 Weekend Warrior

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    Illegal in Connecticut.
     
  15. John Galt

    John Galt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I think time is better spent improving the over all habitat that you hunt. Food plots that provide year around nutrition will mean a healthier herd , more fawns and better hunting.
    There are some great products available if you have the desire to make a difference throughout out the year.
     
  16. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    Like my brother said, we have started to keep a bait pile this year for the first time. It was dynamite early season, giving us a number of shot attempts and kills on some does. It also is nice for buck inventory. As the season has progressed, the deer have stopped visiting the bail pile during shooting hours though. Below is a sample of the different bucks we got on camera...

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    Like Greg mentioned, all the neighbors bait. In order to compete with there land, we must play the same game.

    For what its worth, my regular, non-baited stands have produced like they always do.

    Also, my immature buck sightings are WAY down. I used to see 1 or 2 a night from stand, and this year ive only seen a few all season.
     
  17. Marauder

    Marauder Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thanks for all the thoughts guys! I'm still debating whether or not I'm going to bait. There is two areas I hunt and I think on one I am gonna bait and see what happens and then not bait on the other. I hunt a very big woods so it's really hard to target deer travel. And especially in the past when I have baited it's like the deer are on spook alert. They come in very slow and are really sensitive. I think they've evolved from getting shot at by other hunters over bait piles and have become conditioned to be on alert whenever near one. Just my opinion though.
     
  18. bowmanaj

    bowmanaj Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Not my thing at all.. Plus it's illegal in Indiana. It's legal in Ohio though. Where I hunt the most in SE Indiana, our property is surrounded by huge stands of timber and huge valleys of corn and soybeans, so they have plenty of food. I'd rather hunt their travel routes in between food and bedding than throw a pile of something out and sit over it, but that's just me. It's legal in a lot of states so I know a lot of people just consider it a part of their hunting, which is a "to each his own" kinda thing. I have no problems with a hunter who baits at all. I just prefer not to. But I can see how people are describing not a lot of daylight sightings, if a bait pile is constantly out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  19. Sticknstringarchery

    Sticknstringarchery Grizzled Veteran

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    I really haven't put the two together but, now that you mention it, it adds up. Last season I baited religiously all season to run cams. Now this season I didn't. Last season I had deer on cam like crazy but, only at night about 4 weeks after I started baiting and didn't see any deer at all furring daylight hours. This season I have seen deer every time I have hunted. That is until the corn pile pouring orange army came out. Now everyone is getting pics at night and the only activity is right at shooting time and you can hear it everywhere around here.

    I would have to say you (or the research you read) I probably spot on here. It may be the pressure from the hunters putting out the corn though.
     
  20. Marauder

    Marauder Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Well my guessing and theories have only came from my experience and thinking whether or not the corn piles were why they moved more at night. Then I recently read Bowhunting Forests & Deep Woods by Greg Miller (suggested by Fitz). In this book Greg Miller swears up and down how feeding with corn and similar disrupts regular deer patterns. After considering more on the theory I found an article on Bowhuntingmag.com where was a South Carolina study done in 2 different counties. The studies had obvious results wherer there were more deer sightings and more deer harvested in the area where baiting was permitted. After reading that I was wondering if anyone else on here has picked up on this. And here we are.
     

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