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I recently posted a little diddy on my opening morning hunt. The article elicited a comment that’s quite common among my friends, especially those of the non-hunting variety. “I’m by no means ‘anti-hunting,'” the TTAG commentator opined, “but killing something as it sits down to eat the breakfast you set out for it is not ‘hunting.'” Before discussing the ethics and morals of using corn for bait, it might be worthwhile to set the stage for why I hunt.

Mostly, it’s for meat. I eat what I kill and long ago stopped killing animals for sport. In the case of feral hogs caught in traps where mass killing is the order of the day, I do my best to ensure that the meat finds a home with those less fortunate. Hunters for the Hungry is a fantastic cause if you find yourself in a similar situation.

I eat what I kill because I don’t like getting my protein from the agricultural industrial complex. One day, I’d really like to get away from it. But the truth of the matter is that I buy my meat in cellophane-wrapped packages. My backyard (and my dog) are not conducive to raising livestock. So if I want meat that I’ve looked in the eyes, hunting is the only way to get it done.

Bracketing that situation: I live two-and-a-half hours from the place I hunt. Weekday “after work” hunting is not an option. There are eleven weekends this hunting season counting our special late season for culls and does. Even with the long season here in Texas, I’m lucky if I can pull off three hunting weekends.

Bottom line: I’ve got six hunting days a year. So, like any rational human with a working brain and opposable thumbs, I look to increase my odds of seeing deer at the place I’ll be during the times I’ll be there.

Deer are really hard to kill in the wild. It’s their world after all. First, they can smell you. Second, they can see you. Third, they can hear you. And fourth, they’re on the move.

If you have the time to stalk game trails and figure out where they’ll be naturally and when, I have all the respect in the world for you, tinted with a shade of green. I wish I had that kind of time. Should I desire to go seek them out, on foot, rifle in hand with my L.L. Bean Red Flannel Hunting Cap on, I can guarantee that they’ll smell, see, and hear me long before I spot them.

That’s not to say that I haven’t done it. Over the years, I’ve managed to break away from work and home duties to hunt on foot. Once the first two deer are in the freezer like they’ve been this year, I stop hunting corn feeders and go wild. Because I then have the luxury of not succeeding.

Most importantly, ethical hunting is important to me. I don’t like my animals to suffer one single bit. I’ve passed up hundreds of shots over the years precisely because I didn’t have 100 percent confidence in my ability to humanely end the animal’s life.

On foot, the number of variables open up greatly. Things like distance, wind, positioning of human and rifle and the movement of the animal complicate things. Seated at the base of a tree, seventy-five yards downwind of a corn feeder, I’ve eliminated several of those variables and have much more control of the shot. That means I’ve greatly increased my chances of a one-shot humane kill.

Meat in the freezer. Minimal suffering. All these things are good.

You can either like shooting deer as they feed on bait or hate it. I don’t begrudge the latter view if you do. Hunting over bait (where legal) is a thoroughly valid and useful strategy for hunters like me who want to offset their grocery intake with free range, ethically harvested venison. Give it some thought.

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  1. This is the first year I’ve been blessed with a great job and being told I must burn some accruals so I took opening weekend +2 days and I’m taking the next 9 days off to hunt family property and the Alabama Creek WMA.

  2. Well, even if you regard it as more “harvesting” rather than “hunting”, up until the day it dies that deer has had a pretty good life in the wild compared to a cow or other animal raised in a commercial stockyard.

    • +1 bro.

      I don’t begrudge baiting where legal but please don’t call it hunting. Hunting is a combination of skill, preparation and knowledge of your quarry and its environment. Baited harvest is not unlike shooting fish in a barrel.

      • +1. It’s not hunting in the traditional sense of the word. Sitting on your butt in a blind waiting for a deer to come to a feeder requires absolutely no skill.

        • Exactly the opposite is true. Hunting over bait is the traditional way to hunt. Spot and stalk has always been more of a sport than actual hunting.

        • jwtaylor – I love to fly fish, but that is also a luxury. Notthing wrong with floating bait off the bottom on 8 lb test.

      • Baiting deer and shooting them when they come in to eat accurately describes all of the skill sets you just wrote. If you want to pretend like spot and stalk hunting is the traditional way, go ahead, but it totally pretend. Hunters have been hunting over bait for tens of thousands of years.
        I love spot and stalk hunting. But it is a sport. Don’t glorify it as anything else.

        • Not by a mile old chap, not by a mile. You’re just harvesting livestock if you’re baiting them during season. Which is fine if you have a substantive population that needs to be controlled. But calling it hunting? Please, that’s a pathetic rationalization. It’s as “sporting” as putting a bang-stick in the head of a cow as it comes down the line.

          But very typically Texan, no doubt.

      • Have you ever “stalked” near a deer path to or directly over a water hole or oak grove? That’s hunting using “bait”.
        Have you ever “stalked” between Agricultural fields? That’s hunting using bait.

        Just because the “bait” isn’t in front of a stand doesn’t mean you’re not taking advantage of a deer’s hunger to kill it.

        Have you ever used a “call” of some sort? Doe estrus/urine scent? That just makes you the bait.

        Just saying, dawg.


        • Its amazing how the nice bucks you get pics of all year on your game cams have mysteriously disappeared come the week before hunting season. Here in Texas, the herds have got to be controlled for numerous reasons. Putting healthy meat in the freezer is my primary reason.

    • To Anon in CT and those who joined his chorus: Your ignorance of modern production agriculture is as breathtaking as Dianne Feinstein’s ignorance of firearms. Let’s not forget that the PETA folks’ hatred for hunters comes from the same ignorance as their hatred for livestock farmers. Be careful what you choose to believe.

      There isn’t enough space here to teach you what you need to learn about how livestock is raised, and it’s impossible to really compare the “quality of life” of a domesticated farm animal to a wild animal anyway. But consider this: Most domestic livestock couldn’t survive in the wild. The conditions are harsh, the food supply is unpredictable, veterinary care is nonexistent, and predators are an ever-present threat.

      Where I live, hunting is an important tool for managing wildlife populations. Do it safely, humanely and lawfully, and you have my blessing. But don’t pretend to stand on some moral high ground above those who choose to enjoy farm-raised meat.

      • Sorry. Ranching is a major industry in my home state. I understand and respect the industry. But, those animals have a pathetic life. Even if they are “free range,” they gave everything given to them. Consequently, they have no “natural” survival skills and would likely become extinct without human intervention.

  3. We keep coming back to the question of what an “ethical hunter” is. Kinda like the LONG thread we had a few months ago when a certain bear got skewered by a much more skilled hunter than I.
    I hunt with corn or other bait. Because I can. I also fish with worms and shrimp. Because I can. And don’t think for one moment that our cro-magnon ancestors didn’t do the same whenever they could too.

    • Exactly, everything outside of chasing a deer on foot and strangling it with our bare hands is an advantage created by our superior brain. Humans are piss poor predators without the tools that we invented.

  4. Makes sense. I’d love to go and try hunting, but here it is so complicated, expensive and time consuming (because of the bureaucracy that I still only “hunt” paper.
    Even plinking is almost impossible.

  5. As a non-hunter who wants to learn more about it, I appreciate this article, Tyler. It’s nice to get your perspective on the matter and thanks for taking the time to write it down.

  6. I see little difference between baiting and setting stand along a deer path leading to a corn field. Baiting isn’t legal in my state, and there are only 3 weekends of modern gun season in the area I hunt…in a busy time of year both business and personal, so we have to hunt smart if we are going to have venison this year.

    Non hunters can’t understand you don’t just sit there and call “here deer, deer, deerie”. Deer are prey to several species besides homo sapiens. You have to work an advantage to bag a creature that has a sight, smell, and hearing advantage over you, or learn to like soy burgers!

  7. When we start to run out of deer, I will worry about people baiting them for harvest. Even over bait the outcome is not certain. Deer are a renewable resource, you can’t go around athnropomorphizing every darn thing.

  8. Meat hunting this weekend myself. My goal is 10 deer and at least 2 good sized pigs. Suppressed 6.8SPC for the deer, hunting food plots. For the pigs suppressed 6.8SPC with night vision. Will call for the song dogs during the afternoons, hunting the gut piles from the deer and pigs I killed.
    The goal is efficiency.

  9. I figure if the deer is dumb enough to eat at a spot that has a mechanical feeder they deserve to be shot. I am all for the harvesting and eating of deer whatever the means. I live in Wisconsin and dumb deer piss me off since they are always running in the road at the last minute even when they see you. More power to you! I think the people that have a problem with it secretly belong to PETA.

    Now if you were just plugging them and wasting the venison then i would take issue with it. Sadly, i don’t like the taste of venison…….elk on the other hand!!!!

  10. You’re eating it and you aren’t causing it unnecessary suffering.
    That’s better than most supermarket carnivores can say what with the consumers wasting food and the agri-industrial complex pumping out as many head as cheaply as possible.

  11. I suppose you also shoot roosting birds, after all it is all about efficiency.

    Hunting over bait is not ethical, period.

    • So putting a deer stand next to my grandfathers apple trees is unethical? I sure didnt drop those apples on the ground. What about next to the cornfield? Does that mean the neighbor baited them? Baiting is illegal where I hunt, but animals tend to hang out near their food. They dont quite have a handle on the whole supermarket thing.

    • Eh, I’ll say bait for pest extermination (hogs) is plenty ethical.

      Fishing with live bait could be considered unethical, I suppose…

    • “I suppose you also shoot roosting birds ”
      This is, in fact, exactly how people hunted turkey and other fowl for thousands of years. When the founders of our nation went out with flintlocks, they hunted turkey’s in trees by torch at night.
      When they went hunting for ducks, it was with massive fowlers that shot as many as a dozen birds at once, and they shot them off the water.
      As for me, no, I have no problem at all shooting a roosting bird. They taste the same as the ones flying.

      • If you give a man a fish, he eats for today. If you teach a man to fish, he (possibly) eats every day.
        If you teach him to fish with dynamite, you may have to give him a chicken. – Chik-fil-A

        Don’t hunt deer with dynamite, folks. Mmmkay?

  12. In Washington baiting is illegal, however I know several harvesters that plant fields just for the wildlife and get several nice deer every year. I don’t see the difference between baiting and planting a field, but Washington, like many other places has some strange regulations on the books. Before I get flamed, I think baiting and planting fields are okay considering that in Eastern Washington you have either hit a deer with your car or you will soon. I am also a member of PETA. (People Eating Tasty Animals)

      • accordance with WAC 232-12-245, it is unlawful to hunt for deer and elk using any type of bait placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, scattered, or otherwise used for the purpose of attracting deer or elk with the intent to hunt them, if the volume of bait accessible to wildlife exceeds 10 gallons. Bait sites of an individual license holder cannot be placed within 200 yards from another known bait site or another bait site of the same license holder.

        There are some exceptions to this rule. They include:

        – Hunting on or over locally common agricultural and ranching practices, including salt or mineral distribution and feeding.

        – Hunting on or over food that is available from undisturbed wild, volunteer, or planted vegetation, including fruit trees, orchards, vineyards, and food plots.

        – Hunting on or over scents used for cover and attractant that are not consumed by animals.

        – Hunting on or over naturally occurring mineral deposits.

        – Using bait as authorized by a department permit issued to address a management objective.

        The exceptions do not include accidental or intentional spills, dumping, or storage of agricultural produce, feed, or bait.

  13. Nothing is LESS humane than “protected” (even 1 animal per tag per season) deer. They get inbred, and nothing is worse than the freakshow animals that are derived from that. Find the people that want to be humane and take them to Heckscher State Park, NY.

    Somebody please hunt over bait, from the air, with a Q-beam at night, with suppressors, with a helicopter gatling-gun

    PLUS, nothing is LESS humane than partially taking a “protected” deer with the bumper of your car on William Floyd Parkway at night, and you have to follow the wounded animal 40 yards off the highway and sit on its back to break its neck with your bare hands because you can’t even keep a hunting knife in your car and firearms are only for the ones who can pay the NY GRAFT FEES, and the local 50 won’t put it down with their firearms due to the “paperwork”,

    F the deer “protectors” and NOT “humanely”.

  14. I would also add that there is no guarantee that you will have a successful hunt with bait fed animals. I’ve been on a lot of bait fed hunts, my success rate is far below 100%.

  15. Ignoring any and all “ethical” reasons, my issue with bait feeding deer using feeders is that it increases the spread of disease, namely chronic wasting disease (mad cow, prions, etc). This is a big issue in some parts of the country and it is definitely spreading. Given how little we know about it, how long can take t manifest itself in people (decades), and whether or not it can be transmitted from deer to humans, I personally will not hunt in areas where it’s found….and this sucks.

    I have no issues with food plots as they don’t bring the deer so close in contact.

    • So I’m guessing the only game you take is killed after you’ve stripped naked and barefoot, chased it down, and strangled it with your own hands? Because using any peices of advanced human technology (shoes, pointy sticks, precision optics, arrows, knives, firearms, clothing, etc) is pretty goddamned unsporting and unfair, certainly can’t be called HUNTING! I’m glad to see there’s another purist out there like myself.

  16. I’m with you, Tyler, for all the same reasons (and probably not that far from you)–with the addition that at least one of my tags and one of my daughter’s goes to a deer donated to feeding the poor in our community (

    I was raised in TX when the idea of a feeder was blasphemy, and I’ll admit it took me a while to come to the idea that I could hunt a feeder. I still don’t prefer it, but it’s feeding not just my family, but others, too. And that’s the point.

  17. “Deer are really hard to kill in the wild.”

    That is an understatement.

    Deer have ginormous advantages over human hunters. Let’s begin with their sense of smell which is something like 100,000 times better than humans. If they are downwind from you, they will smell you and know that you are there. If you walk through their territory, they will know that you were there. Even days later. And adjust their activities to avoid you.

    And now for vision. If there is any ambient light from a moon or light-pollution from a nearby city, deer see as well in the dark as we see in daylight. You simply cannot sneak up on them or walk through their territory without them seeing you in the dark. And in daylight, they will see your movement from over 200 yards away. And may even see you if you do not move. One time I was sitting inside the edge of a cornfield with camouflage that matched the corn and a “hunter orange” hat. A doe and her fawn stepped out of some woods over 200 yards away. She looked toward me across the field between us, studied me for about 20 seconds, and then promptly took her fawn back into the woods and slipped away.

    And finally, hearing. Deer have incredibly good hearing, probably at least 10 times better than humans. On another hunt, two deer (does) walked behind and past me about 50 yards away and happened to stop. So I lowered my rifle, took aim, and disengaged the safety. Disengaging the safety requires another one or two seconds to make sure that you are still on target before you can squeeze an accurate shot. Both deer heard the tiny “click” of the safety and whipped their heads toward me. Within that one or two seconds it takes to make sure that I was still on target and squeeze the trigger, they recognized me and started to bolt. Note that I was perfectly still, sitting on the ground, almost entirely behind a tree, making no other noise.

    That is why it is next to impossible to stalk up to deer and put an accurate shot on them. Does it happen? Sure. Is the least likely way to successfully put a deer in the freezer? I think so.

    Next, we have not even talked about fractured land and hunting pressure. If you have unimpeded access to several square miles of habitat (where there is no human activity) to track and stalk deer, there is some chance (however low) that you might be able to put meat in the freezer. However, that is rarely the case. I just finished a hunt on private property. The owner had 65 acres which sounds like a lot. It isn’t. Especially when three other people are hunting it and other people are hunting all of the adjacent properties. In that situation about all you can hope for is that the other hunters disturb the deer and send them your way for a shot … if you can get the deer to stop. Needless to say, 20 acres is not enough land to stalk and bag a deer, especially when a lot of that 20 acres is open field … or mature trees which have littered the forest floor with LOUD dry leaves that making stalking impossible.

    Finally, we have not talked about the impact of non-hunting human activity on deer hunting. Also on my last hunt, after a complete fail in the morning (which has never happened to the owner before), the owner was generous enough to put me where I was “guaranteed” to see deer that come to that location “like clockwork every day around 3:15 p.m.” That guarantee failed to account for a neighbor who decided that it would be nice the let their grandchildren run and scream for over an hour and go for a walk along the trails where the deer normally move. Of course they had to take their dogs with them which were barking the entire time. As if that wasn’t enough, they were even “kind” enough to lose track of their dog which decided to run around 150 yards in front of me (well on the property that I was hunting) for over 15 minutes before, you guessed it, screaming for the dog from over 200 yards away. On the positive side, it only took about 8 minutes of screaming for the dog before it finally returned to their property. As you might imagine, I did not see any deer the entire hunt and went home empty handed.

    There are countless factors that ruin deer hunts and guarantee failure. So many in fact, that are so frustrating in fact, that I made a soft decision this year to give up deer hunting entirely. Taking bait out of the equation would absolutely cement that decision for me and many other hunters. Do you know what else it would cement? About a 10-fold increase in car-deer collisions and crop damage.

    • You must have a line of incredibly smart deer. I’ve had deer literally 6 feet from me. While a big old buck might be crafty, most 2-3 year old deer don’t stand a chance to a gun hunter.

      • Just depends on how used to seeing humans the deer are. How many times I’ve heard the “you need to come over to my house and shoot one, they’re in my yard every evening” line i couldn’t tell you. Comparing suburban deer to wild deer in deep woods is like supermarket and homegrown tomatoes.
        The deer on my property sometimes stand and look for a couple seconds when i pass by on my four-wheeler in the off-season. As soon as i turn it off, though, they split. They don’t mind the four-wheeler (or tractor), as long as they hear it go away.

    • “In that situation about all you can hope for is that the other hunters disturb the deer and send them your way for a shot … if you can get the deer to stop.”

      You just described opening day of rifle season in Pennsylvania. There’s no hunting over bait allowed, but it doesn’t really matter. With all those orange pumpkins standing around the deer aren’t going to follow any predictable pattern, natural or artificial anyway.

  18. Same here, meat for the freezer sandwiched in between work and family time. Once the first 2 doe (the best eating, IMO) are bagged, I let the feeder run and just enjoy the scenery.

    Excellent article.

  19. Every hunted animal is based on “bait”. hunters position themselves between food water and sleep. All animals follow those three rules of life. Ducks, Dove, Deer, all the same.
    If you choose to hunt in an area that does not relate to those three items then you’ll have a nice dinner at the drive thru.
    To anyone who says “hunting over bait is unethical” I say your argument is invalid.
    I hunt in 2 areas. 1 where bait is ok, one were it is not.
    My success is based on being in between the animals food, water an shelter.
    I don’t have the time or geographic ability to bait where it is legal, I hunt based on the the F,W,S (food, water, shelter) triad and usually put meat in the freezer.
    Ethics is what you do when no one is looking, not what you do where and when it is legal.

  20. I went “real” hunting five times this season (basically every available weekend) and saw a grand total of zero deer.

    I’m ready to try something with a better success rate.

  21. Someone alluded to this above, but why would you give up an evolutionary (or any other) advantage?

    I guarantee you that there are predators of the non-human variety on the Serengeti doing pretty much the exact same thing: lying in wait at the local watering hole waiting for lunch to show up.

    • Evolutionary, hell! I betcha 5,000 years ago our ancestors had figured ways to increase their chances, including feeding, since failure meant not disappointment, but death. So if you are around to complain about “non sporting” hunters, remember that your own forefathers were exactly that, or you would not have been born.

  22. ” …agricultural industrial complex?”

    Come on sir. You can’t be unaware of the pejorative connotation the label “industrial complex” has taken on in the modern lexicon.

    You want eat only what you hunt? That’s great! I have no beef (wink) with that. But don’t insult people who work hard to put meat on the tables of families who can’t afford, or don’t have the opportunity, to hunt. I don’t know where you hunt but chances are, if you have a lease in Texas, that the person you are leasing from is also a cattle rancher whose operational costs are supplemented by hunting lease fees that help keep product prices down. If so, that would make you part of that same “industrial complex.” We don’t need to go driving a wedge between ranchers and hunters. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship as it is now which also benefits millions of families who otherwise wouldn’t have any meat on the table.

  23. First off – I hate deer.

    In my neck of the woods the damned things are as thick as ticks on a hound dog. So as far as I’m concerned, the more folks that harvest them the better. If my better half would approve, and the game warden wouldn’t arrest me, I could shoot a deer from my front porch every week all year long and not make a dent in the population.

    Speaking of dents, I have killed three of the nasty buggers with my two-ton Mercury Grand Marquis in the middle of a paved road in broad daylight at 45 MPH with the lights on, the radio blasting and the horn honking in a futile attempt to shoo them out of my way.

    God only knows what would happen if I sprinked corn all over my car!

    Deer are not cunning and stealthy if they cannot avoid a huge solid steel land barge like my Merc’.

    Killing deer while they are eating a free lunch is not hunting, but it’s OK by me.

    • Just like running into deer instead of driving forward isn’t really driving? and hitting standing deer at 45 mph is considered smart?

    • “Speaking of dents, I have killed three of the nasty buggers with my two-ton Mercury Grand Marquis in the middle of a paved road in broad daylight at 45 MPH with the lights on, the radio blasting and the horn honking in a futile attempt to shoo them out of my way.”

      Have you tried braking instead of honking?

      I mean it’s your insurance premium…

      • Apparently Hannibal and several other city slickers have never lived in deer country. When half a dozen deer got you in their sights, there ain’t nothing to do but hang on and honk.

  24. Early ’80s, I knew a guy who had it made. His home was on 4 1/2 acres, backed up to federal lands 2 1/2 miles to the next road. So he sets up a corn feeder in his back yard, gets a nice group of food, uh, deer goin’ on. The plan is to fill his tickets without leaving the back deck, or his cup of morning coffee. Boy, was he smart! So, come opening weekend, he starts to set up. “What do you think you’re doing?”, shouts the wife, “you are *NOT* shooting OUR deer!”

    So he’s off to hunt as usual, but of course also has to maintain the feeder from then on, as well. Even he saw the humor.

  25. I don’t have a problem waiting over bait. I just dont do it. Its’ boring to me.

    I like to hunt. Mainly squirrels with a single shot shotgun or a 22 revolver. I eat em, but i do it because it’s enjoyable.

    I also enjoy quail shooting. (hunting quail released before a hunt). It’s not as hard as shooting wild birds but they are hard to come by.

    I also don’t have a problem eating meat from the “ag industrial complex”. If we didn’t have big ag then most people would be starving. Big ag doesn;t just farm animals, it farms everything else you eat as well.

  26. Where I grew up baiting was the norm. A very healthy chunk of the people up there went hungry if they didn’t fill their tags so they went out of their way to maximize their chances. When they failed the poached. They didn’t have another choice. Generally the DNR looked the other way when the people doing this were basically destitute.

    As such, I have no real problem with baiting deer provided that you’re eating what you kill.

  27. It really just comes down to what your intentions are and what arbitrary line you choose ti draw along the tactics and tools timeline.

    If we’re just talking meat for healthy food, then most efficient method wins. If that’s baiting deer, then so be it. I seriously doubt that’s the most economical method, as a hundred million households shopping at grocery stores, not hunting, bears out. If you have something against store bought meat on health or philosophical grounds, that’s another issue.

    If we’re talking meat as a reward for a successful “hunt”, then everyone employing slightly more modern tools or slightly more clever tactics (read: easier) is cheating, relative to the hunter using whatever means are one degree back.

    Ultimately, the fact us that we’ve long since overcome food scarcity in this country, to the point that obesity is the major health concern. Get your meat however you want, but whatever that method is, let’s not go around claiming your method is more pure than someone else’, NOR go around claiming you’re a superman who’s single-handedly conquered the food chain.

  28. I don’t have time to date girls , which is why I drug their drinks .

    Lots and lots of hunters are pressed for time , 6 days I’ll fill a coupe freezers in Westen NY. Send me your address I’ll send you a couple corn feed deer.

    I have a video of my nephew and his son” hunting ” feeders in Texas , kids playing games on his phone In a cabin up in the air . ” Guide” says you can shoot that one , kid puts down phone picks up gun …

    Btw , do you pay to ” hunt ” ?

    • I’m glad there was 1 person who disagrees. One-sided comment boards are depressing, and I don’t like groupthink.
      But did you have to be an ass about it?

      • “But did you have to be an ass about it?”

        How else is one to call out a punk on his bullshit behavior? Let alone miscategorizing this as “hunting”. Killing deer at a bait station is the laziest, most pathetic type of kill known to man. It’s shooting fish in a barrel, or killing a lion on a leash – one would be embarrassed about doing it, were it anywhere but Texas. I guess the cattle ranchers there are “hunting” too, eh?

  29. “So if I want meat that I’ve looked in the eyes, hunting is the only way to get it done.”

    Say no more. And if the herds are overpopulated, I see no ethical argument to baiting. Unless you are vegan, you eat animals that were treated less humanely than those deer.

  30. Lesson of the day: don’t let a bunch of idiots who don’t hunt try to tell you about hunting. Would you listen to an anti gunner tell you about your gun? Or listen to someone who’s never served tell you about firefights in Iraq? Or listen to a 600 pound lard ass tell you about jogging? You should feel very good, and secure in what you do, don’t let no one tell you different.

    • As someone who has taken many dozens of deer over the decades without being so lazy and sad as to bait them come to me, I think I can critique him. Thanks. But you know, I’m an actual hunter.

  31. What is this crazy idea people have of deer just skipping around happy in the woods all the time until the mean nasty hunters come along and RUIN EVERYTHING FOREVER.

    Life is nasty and short in the wild. A hunter or harvester if you prefer is no different from any other “natural” cause of death, except that he actually cares about doing quick humane work, and using the harvest well.

  32. Save your ammo for the bears. The stinking no good scumbag bears. Because the only good bear is a dead bear and what the world needs now is more good bears.

  33. Seems completely justifiable and definitely hunting to me. By definition hunting is simply seeking out something and killing it. The way you did it ensured the deer died relatively painlessly and likely enjoyed a good meal for the day leading up to its death. Sure stalking is more “sporting” but when taking an animal’s life is the goal, it certainly makes sense to do your absolute best to honor that animal’s life by ending it swiftly. Our forefathers and subsistence hunters around the world certainly understood/understand that we owe the animals that much. We take their lives to support our own.

    On top of this, baiting is certainly no less sporting than using high powered rifles and other advancements that give hunters incredible advantages over their quarry. If you want to be truly sporting go back to hunting with handmade primitive weapons without any modern gear. Good luck and I doubt you can make a swift ethical kill.

  34. I hunted in Georgia this year on a private lease with stands that were in front of feeders distributing corn. There were also freshly planted food plots that didn’t amount to much because of the lack of rain. I hunted 7 days. During that particular week, my brother and I killed a doe and a buck each. We each killed a doe on the first evening to take care of our freezer needs. Having the pressure off, we then spent the rest of the time being selective over what came into view. Surprisingly, at most of the feeders the deer were not interested in the corn at all. The buck I killed was in pursuit of a doe, and the one my brother killed was just cruising along the edge of a thick patch well beyond the feeder. Hunting over a feeder is no guarantee you are going to see a deer on any particular morning or evening.

  35. People like to confuse ethical with sporting. And even when they don’t, they think it’s a black and white issue and not a sliding scale. All you can do is stay safe and legal, then follow your own code.

  36. Many people fail to understand that there are different realities facing huntings throughout the nation. Hunting is about (and always has been) about adapting to the area you are hunting in.

    Where I live now, the shots are short and shotguns are required on much of the property in the state. Bow hunting is very popular. Frankly, hunting over bait is not necessary nor likely to improve odds much. Shots over 100 yards are rare.

    In contrast, I used to hunt in S. Texas in areas where the terrain/vegetation made shooting from trees impossible (Mesquite trees won’t support humans). The common strategy was to set up a tower blind with feeders set up to lure deer out of the brush/trees that are inaccessible to humans. Basically, you had to be capable of making a long shot because your only shot would come if the deer walked across the Senderos cut through the brush/trees.

    Attempting to “hunt” like New Englanders hunt would be futile.

  37. If humans got there meals in a sporting manner we would have gone extinct millions of years ago.

    Without using a feeder hunting a food or water source is only slightly less efficient. But who here who works for a living chooses the slightly less efficient way of getting things done?

    I guarantee the deer shot under a feeder at my family’s place had a less stressful death then the cows, who get corraled, trailered, auctioned, feed lotted, and then finally slaughter housed.

    I can only wish that I go out the same way.


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