Is it 'hunting' or 'baiting? Hunting over a feeder:
By: Justin Wegner

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13736025_1736937639889696_490137538_nSo today, I was asked by a friend of mine, “Is it really hunting if you’re just baiting deer to corn – then shoot them?”. Let’s be perfectly clear, this is a question that isn’t easily answered in about 800 words but I am going to do my best to give our point of view, on this ever-so controversial topic.

A couple ground rules for my friend or at least some background information. I have worked with him for about 2 ½ years and we get along great. I just recently showed him this site and he LOVED it! He has absolutely not taken the stance of “No killing animals”, whatsoever. But today when he presented this question to me, he did it not only reluctantly but prefaced it with “now I don’t want to offend you, but I just want to ask…”

“When someone says they are a hunter are they actually hunting or baiting? Many people see baiting as trapping and not hunting. They see hunting as getting down in the animal’s environment, stalking, and taking them on at their level. Hiding in a blind seems like an unfair advantage and is looked at as just that… hiding… not hunting.”

As any outdoorsman or hunter, we need to remember to come at this point of view very analytical and diligent. When my friend asked me this, I knew he had been given a nonchalant answer like “Well, you go hunting and see how hard it is” or something of the variance a few times before. I only felt that because of how he prefaced the question. It’s so crucial to come at this inquiry like an adult, sit and talk it through bit by bit. Most, who ask this question, more than likely haven’t been hunting a day in their life. As was the case for my friend. If we want to protect the right to hunt, we need to explain our stance and respect theirs.

That being said, I informed him that in Texas the deer population is at an all time high. Through years of conservation and money being put back to habitats and entities – the numbers have increased immensely and not only in Texas, but nationwide. Protecting and managing herds is absolutely necessary for the circle of life to continue. If numbers get to out of hand, it’s very possible to say that animals would run “out of room” for their habitat. With the humanity population growing, we inadvertently take over the animal’s territory thus crowding them. They would run out of vegetation and things of that nature. You could tell this thought hadn’t ever been explained in a very eloquent way.

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Now the next thing that I explained was, “Deer are very much similar to any other animal, In that they need food, water, and shelter”. The thought of NOT having a hunting blind and deer feeder is a thought that most hunters have never had cross their minds. We tend to just think, that this is normal. Every year, you go to the lease and get it ready. Whether it be setting up blinds, scouting new hunting locations or setting up feeders. But to my friend, he saw this as an advantage to us and not the deer. Thinking of hunters as “snipers”. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to high-fenced game ranches where, the animals have been both very difficult to hunt and some that weren’t. This can often times seem like a “canned hunt” or one where “They just raise deer to be killed.”

I offer up this, Do you eat beef, chicken, or pork? In an effort to know where your meat is coming from, this is why I often choose to hunt wild game for my family to eat. Year-in and year-out, I choose this lifestyle. Setting up a blind and feeder, on a tank dam, or even a man made pond; can seem like baiting. To be honest, it most certainly is but not in the sense that non-hunters can take it. Or play it out in their heads. If you do eat protein, do you know where your meat has been? The process it goes through from barn to plate? Setting up to hunt with these tactics, is just the hunters way of trying to outsmart the animal. Often times, it does work. However, I have been on MANY pieces of property, low and high fenced where not even luck will work. Deer are still a wild animal that we purposely choose not to tame, in the effort for a fair chase.

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As hunters and non-hunters we play a crucial part in the circle of life, whether we know it or not. Building on a piece of land, takes that land away for the wildlife and allows us to live. We need to respect that. Kevin and I, both chase these elusive animals. We also do all the game processing ourselves. So, we know the magnitude and sacrifice the animals make. We don’t take pulling the triggers lightly and are very thankful to God for the animals that we have on earth. I hope this point of view is able to help any doubt(s) that some may have.

Justin

Wegner

A natural outdoorsman with over 20 years of hunting under his belt. More From Justin