Thread: We were cheated
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:45 PM   #33
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Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 3,479
As for baiting and food plots to attract the deer, I would say there's a very fine line between the two.
No "fine line" where the law is concerned. In this particular case, food plots are within the law. Baiting is not.
As I said in my first post, like Bob, I see little difference between planting a food plot and dumpin' a bag of grain on the ground. Both are used as an attractant(as in bait) to lure deer to a specific spot and to hopefully keep them close. The state of Wisconsin(where I and Warbirdlover hunt) agrees. It's the reason they legalized baiting a few years back. Why let a person plant specific foods in a spot for no reason other than to attract deer to it, when you won't allow another to dump the same crop on top the ground? The reason that baiting is illegal in the area Warbirdlover hunts has nuttin' to do with local ethics or hunting practices. It's the same reason you can't feed deer in that area even if you don't hunt over the feed. The reason is CWD. The Wisconsin DNR believes that CWD is transmitted thru contact with saliva and other body fluids. They believe by dumping food in a small area and congregating the deer in this small area ups the likelihood of exposure by healthy deer to the Prion that causes CWD. Baiting is legal in most areas of the state.......only in counties where CWD has been identified as a problem and those counties adjoining has baiting been halted. Every year the ban in these areas is reconsidered because of little evidence that it has slowed down the progress of the disease. Also because the planting of food plots congregates the same deer the DNR is attempting to keep apart. Again, very little difference, and that difference being a bait pile is easily identified. A food plot on agricultural ground is not, especially if it imitates or is a extension of a normal crop field, or is just a few rows left next to the woods.

I also said in my first post that I believe the pressure put on the small acreage by bowhunters immediately prior to the opening of gun season probably had more effect on travel patterns of the mature bucks than the piles of corn across the fence. I still feel this way. Mature bucks don't get mature by being continuously harassed. Deer less mature may tolerate some human presence in their core area before changing that core area, but big bucks don't. Bowhunters going to stand twice a day and walking thru an area do not a sanctuary make, regardless of how stealthy they are. 6 people walking into their stands in the dark on 120 acres does not leave many deer laying in their beds. It takes something to drive them back, as in more pressure from somewhere else. If they get shot before they get there, they never do make it back. From my experience hunting similar small parcels in Wisconsin, is that deer hunting is either feast or famine. Either you load up or you see only a few. If you have no adjoining parcels to drive/push later in the season, you will see very few deer after opening morning unless someone else is pushing them to you. By the second morning deer in these types of areas are totally nocturnal, because of hunting pressure. These deer have been educated for two months by bowhunters and the youth and disabled hunts. 1 or 2 good hunters on 240 acres and you may see some normal deer movement after opening day, if that 240 acres also includes a sanctuary. As others have said, finding corn in a deers stomach is not a sure sign that it's been eatin' at a bait pile. There's a reason many Wisconsin farmers put cattle out on picked corn fields in the winter. The same reason geese land in those same picked corn fields.........corn.

Warbirdlover, if the neighbors are bringin' in deer to corn, and the same deer are ignoring your food plots, I suggest you re-evaluate what you plant. If you have solid evidence that the neighbors are violating, than you must do what you believe is the right thing to do. Just make sure the owner of the lease is not telling you stories to justify his poor choice in food plots and to justify his lease price for next year.
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