Mathews Inc.
Impact of Outfitter
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Twanger 30-Sep-15
Sage Buffalo 30-Sep-15
R. Hale 30-Sep-15
Ollie 30-Sep-15
Charlie Rehor 30-Sep-15
GotBowAz 30-Sep-15
Twanger 30-Sep-15
Twanger 30-Sep-15
R. Hale 30-Sep-15
Thornton 30-Sep-15
WV Mountaineer 30-Sep-15
GotBowAz 01-Oct-15
Twanger 01-Oct-15
WV Mountaineer 01-Oct-15
Kevin Dill 02-Oct-15
Twanger 02-Oct-15
KSArcher 02-Oct-15
Thornton 02-Oct-15
Aftermerl 02-Oct-15
TREESTANDWOLF 02-Oct-15
eric7553 03-Oct-15
trapperwilliams 03-Oct-15
Twanger 05-Oct-15
Charlie Rehor 05-Oct-15
Twanger 06-Oct-15
Zbone 06-Oct-15
Busta'Ribs 06-Oct-15
Twanger 06-Oct-15
kellyharris 06-Oct-15
Twanger 07-Oct-15
Zbone 07-Oct-15
Twanger 08-Oct-15
Jim Leahy 08-Oct-15
Charlie Rehor 08-Oct-15
Kevin Dill 08-Oct-15
Twanger 08-Oct-15
gjs4 05-Aug-23
Missouribreaks 06-Aug-23
Stressless 06-Aug-23
Bou'bound 06-Aug-23
Thornton 06-Aug-23
Orion 06-Aug-23
fuzzy 06-Aug-23
RK 06-Aug-23
Bou'bound 07-Aug-23
gjs4 10-Aug-23
goyt 10-Aug-23
Catscratch 10-Aug-23
gjs4 10-Aug-23
LBshooter 10-Aug-23
goyt 10-Aug-23
Justified 11-Aug-23
From: Twanger
30-Sep-15
Just want to get some opinions on whether this will be a good thing or bad thing in the long run. We own some land in Ohio. For years we usually had the best food and deer hunting in the area but we had hunters on every boundary. Now an outfitter has taken over 700-1000 acres around us. I was not seeing any deer this weekend so I texted him. He said that he had installed 31 foodplots, 40 mineral stations and had been using supplemental feeding since last September. He told me he had a lot of deer and sent me pictures of 6 big bucks. He went on to say that he had picture of at least 50 good bucks. We do have some crop fields and some food plots and a few deer but he sure has us beat. I could not even find a rub from this year and gave up for the weekend. It is hard to shoot what is not there.

The outfitter will have his hunters over bait stations. I know that he took some bucks that way last season. Because he drops the hunter off and picks them up I do not see vehicles parks so I do not know how hard he is hunting the area. They filmed at least two shows there last year.

I am hopeful that come the rut some of the mature bucks will come on our property looking for the few does that we have left. Do you think that we are better of with the outfitter or all of the hunting pressure that was there before he moved in? Anyone have any first hand experience?

From: Sage Buffalo
30-Sep-15
Haha. Reread your post and you will have your answer.

Not good in my opinion if he knows what he is doing which it sure sounds like.

Once his season gets going his pressure may move some deer.

During the rut it's a totally different story and that's where it will help you because he will grow some giants that will cruise to your side once in a while.

I would hunt near his border. :)

It's not the end of the world but deer tend to stay where they have cover, food and safety.

From: R. Hale
30-Sep-15
Far too much experience with what you state. Outfitter will pound it to death, kill off every buck he can sell. Then he will sell hunts until buyers quit coming for deer that do not exist.

You do not state the size of your property. That will be a huge factor. Also you do not state the number of hunters you have and that will also play into it. How much do they hunt? You do not state the nature of your cover. Is it better than the adjacent outfitter land? Will the outfitter or his hunters trespass? Huge factor as well. If you have an equal amount of land with excellent cover and hunt alone with no trespassing you might be better off.

Good news is that when shot out he will move on and do it somewhere else. Best thing to do is become second in line and when he runs out on his lease, pick it up. Many but not all of these guys will stiff the landowners and run out early so that they will not lease to a commercial operator again. Might lease to a good neighbor.

His comment about "at least 50 good bucks" on 700-1000 acres tells you what his standards and goals are. I average one good buck per 1000 acres every 2-3 years in excellent habitat.

I suspect that you can find the outfitter's history and how he operates by doing a little digging. These guys often move around a lot.

Good luck. In the long term you will be fine.

From: Ollie
30-Sep-15
50 good bucks on 700 acres is a lot! Just what is he calling a "good buck"? Anything that scores over 100"? Having an outfitter next door does not automatically translate into disaster for your hunting. Think about it. Why would an outfitter want to hammer all the deer on the property that he controls? There is a lot of work involved in identifying property to lease, working out a deal with the landowner, scouting, setting up stands, etc. Seems most outfitters would want to enhance the quality of the hunting so they can make it work longterm rather than shoot everything and then have to start all over again. Based on reports from the outfitter, if accurate, you have work to do on improving your own property to make it more attractive to the deer.

30-Sep-15
I think you are in good shape. With hunters coming and going on the Outfitters ground the wise deer will gravitate to less pressured areas (your place) during daytime hours and visit the food plots and bait stations at night. The Ideal situation would be to out food plot all neighbors and hunt lightly and carefully but based on what you describe it sounds like you're better off with the Outfitter than the random hunters! Hang in there! C

From: GotBowAz
30-Sep-15
Most bucks will live on one plot of land but be literally run off by the more dominant buck come rut time.Like Pat said if you keep the pressure off I think, between the Outfitters pressure and the rut you will have some if not most of those bucks on your property.

Good luck.

From: Twanger
30-Sep-15
Thanks for the responses. My estimate of 700-1000 acres may be low. Regardless the land is spread out although they do border us quite a bit. I think that he draws deer from thousands of acres. Still the 50 good bucks does seems to be high and he may not be talking about mature bucks only. Either way the situation remains the same. Based on what I saw last year there are mature bucks in the area and right now he seems to have them feeding on land he controls. He is a local and went to school with my partner's grandson and the son of the largest landowner in the area by a lot. The landowners son is his partner in the outfitter venture on that land but I think that he does the work and runs the operation. Based on this it looks like he is in it for the long haul.

It does seem like he is spending a lot of money and I do not know if it is sustainable. We communicate and look out for each other land. I like the guy. I just do not know what to expect. Last year he was not as geared up as he is now but my deer sightings were down.

From: Twanger
30-Sep-15
We have 11 foodplots but not all of them are in great shape. As some of you know it is hard to keep everything good every year. We also have standing corn and acres of turnips, radishes and oats. It blows my mind that we have so few deer. His corn piles, supplemental feeding and minerals are really working. He shared is mineral source with me and he says that it draws deer like crazy. I may have to get some.

Thanks for the encouragement. I am hopeful that come November the hunting will be good.

From: R. Hale
30-Sep-15
True trophy deer cannot be produced on a commercial basis at a profit in a free range environment. So, much will depend on his harvest plans. Supplemental feeding is very expensive as you note.

How much land do you own? That is the key.

Not sure I would go head to head with him. If he is a bait guy, you might want to have the bedding areas. Find a need he is not filling. Evaluate your strong and weak points.

From: Thornton
30-Sep-15
He sounds like a moron outfitter that knows how to attract deer. I once had an outfitter neighbor and he told me nothing voluntarily. I had to dig info on deer out of him and he gave me a minimum of what I was asking. In fact, when he sold the property, I finally found pictures of bucks that I had hunted for years that were on the real estate website. He rarely would tell me if they had shot the buck I was after or not. I finally got the one big buck that showed up one year on our two properties. I told him about it and he got ticked off and didn't talk to me for another whole year. IF he did text me a photo of a huge buck he shot, it self-deleted off my phone after a week.

30-Sep-15
If you have decent habitat, there are deer on your place you aren't seeing as of now. Good habitat and deer sighting usually don't correlate in hardwood timber ground. Understand that carrying capacity in hardwood timber land is about habitat and woods browse. Not food plots. Regardless of agriculture, if the browse and the security cover doesn't exist, it won't be long until the deer numbers are down.

I'd go about analyzing my personal strengths and weakness involving the deer herd. But, from what you are saying, I'd manage my timber for young succession among older growth, (Uneven aged management), keep my plots in as good as shape as possible and turn/create some native plots as well. I'd create quite a few mineral licks and/or stations, and I'd make sure they had water if I had to dig them a pond.

You never have answered the question about your land size. I assume with 11 plots, you have a bit of land. So, I'd cut some timber as it provides security and year round browse, I'd turn 5 of my plots into native season browse species to offer year round browse. You can get with your local wildlife agency to see what that is. Many have cost sharing programs they offer to landowners to do just that. I'd create mineral licks because deer really hit the mineral and salt hard in summer and stressful spring months, and I'd not put the first pile of food on the ground on my property. I could be wrong but, I'm willing to bet that the big deer treat your neighbors bait piles like the plague before it is over with. Good luck and God Bless

From: GotBowAz
01-Oct-15
After my brother logged some of his hardwoods he left the tops on the ground. This became the best bedding area and hiding place when humans hit the woods. He has no need to bait.

He keeps trail cameras out year around has little to no activity in the summer months.He does get a bit of activity as the does show up in the spring to have their young in the tops.Then they disappear for a while. It all changes and the big bucks show up during his hunts specifically when the rut is in full swing.

If you can make some good protected bedding areas on your property come fall the bucks will show up.

From: Twanger
01-Oct-15
Thanks guys. We have two pieces of property. One is about 460 acres, has 9 food plots that total about 6-7 acres and about 40 acres of cash crops. The other piece is about 80 acres, is about 3/4 mile from the first piece, has 2 food plots and an 11 acres farm field. The whole area had old strip mine activity before the land was required to be reclaimed. Therefore there are areas in our and the outfitters land that are rough and seldom visited which act as good bedding areas. We could do something to improve our bedding area and probably should.

We divided our land up into different hunting areas so that we would not get into each other way. Most of our property sees very light pressure during bow season. I have pretty much exclusive bow hunting on over 300 acres of it on the large piece. There s a little farming and fishing activity but except for trespassers I should be the only one going into the woods. I hunt from the outside in and starting the last week of October will hunt all day light hours for 17 to 22 days before Thanksgivng. I probably will not set foot on the land between now and then. I hunt travel routes, near bedding areas and at times field edges. I do not bait.

On the other hand the outfitter has a lot of great bedding areas and no one goes in his woods much at all as far as I know. He run 40 cameras and I think that all of the hunting is over bait or food plots. He has to access the stand sites often enough to bait them and change cards in the cameras. He has not told me how many hunters he has booked.

We both have cover and water without a lot of pressure on our land. I think that he who has the best food will have the most deer.

There are some good thoughts in your responses. We should do some logging and maybe some hinge cutting to hold more deer. The wood are getting too open. There may ways to improve the food plots with more fertilizer and more care. There may be some mature bucks bedding on us and feeding on him. They sure are not doing any rubbing around our fields so I doubt that they are feeding there right now.

Any additional thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

01-Oct-15
360 acres of good habitat with plentiful fall food in the woods means you aren't going to see a lot of deer. Period. Let the rut start to get close and watch that change. God Bless

From: Kevin Dill
02-Oct-15
I personally think the best thing you have going is the understanding that his property and hunting setups exist to make him money. Unless he's a very restrictive person his property is likely to see a lot of pressure as the season progresses. At the same time, it sounds like you're laying back and staying off your best stands waiting for things to get good. I think that's a key strategy for good rut hunting. In my experience, stands/properties which have been hunted throughout October will not produce as many opportunities (large bucks particularly) as unhunted places.

I do zero deer management, but don't have a need. I basically have excess deer out my side door. The less pressure they experience, the more they head here to feed and interact. I don't have much interest in competitive deer management where guys are trying to draw deer to THEIR land and constantly making adjustments. Too much hard work and science for me.

Finally: I wouldn't place much importance on an outfitter's statements about seeing "x number of big deer"...so many trail cameras...outstanding food plots and ad nauseum. How much of that talk is driven by a need to extend an ego, while simultaneously sending a message intended to push back against nearby hunters who could be a threat to 'his' big deer? Gamesmanship?

From: Twanger
02-Oct-15
I agree with the last to posts. The outfitter sent me a picture of a nice ~130" whitetail they took this weekend. They went 1 for 2 with the second hunter deflecting a shot off of the blind window. He has two hunters for 3 days starting tomorrow and about 17 for the season based on todays text message exchanges.

From: KSArcher
02-Oct-15
WOW.....17 hunters is way to many and expect to keep the quality up at the same time.

I have way too much experience with this situation as well. I had a farm in SE Kansas. When I first bought the place in 2002, the quality & quantity of deer was amazing. Over a 10 year period we had "outfitters" invade in full force, leasing every parcel of ground they could get their hands on. And they did a damn fine job of that.

The steady deterioration of antler quality in our area was been nothing short of shocking. These guys are booking way too many hunters for the acreage they hunt. They do very little, if anything to truly uphold any trigger discipline with their clients. When guys from out east, down south, or many other places that have large numbers of hunters and small (young)bucks, see their first 120 to 130 inch deer, they lose their minds. Many of our bucks now do not make it past 3 years old. Nothing is more depressing than going past the lodge of the Colorado outfitter, on his Kansas lease, watching the guys from Alabama patting themselves on the back for having 4 bucks on the pole that will not break 125 inches.

These "outfitters" are good at baiting. They are good at establishing mineral sites. Some are really good at putting in food plots. They are good at making a dollar off of over-booked, unsuspecting people who come to Kansas on their hard earned dime to pursue the dream. They are good at decimating a herd by sending sex ratios out of whack because it takes too much effort to actually harvest does when the property (area) warrants it. And I have yet to see a single one work with a landowner on habitat management.

I was a partner in an outfitting business when KS first open their doors to non-residents. We set standards for harvest AND enforced them. We set realistic expectations for every hunter before they sent a deposit check. We rewarded them for helping us manage our herd and expected them to do so. We would book no more than 20 total hunters per season on 4,800 acres. Only 5 of those were firearms guys. Over a 12 year period our average bow kill was 163. NEVER, did we use a bait pile. We had a 150 inch minimum and went to great lengths to educate our hunters what that meant before they went afield.

There are certainly outfits that truly do it right, and I applaud their efforts. But for every one that does it right I can show you four more that do not, and therein lies the problem. The other part of the problem is a pervasive mentality that if "I pay for a hunt, I'm going to come home with something". Folks......if you are happy shooting 125 OR 130 then by gosh knock your self out. I would be the first to congratulate you. But stay home and do that. Don't waste your hard earned money traveling to the "promise land" to wind up saying: "At least I got one".

From: Thornton
02-Oct-15
When I outfitted, I never booked more than 6 deer hunters total on 3,000 acres in SC KS. A good rule of thumb for this country is 1 B&C buck per 1,000 acres.

From: Aftermerl
02-Oct-15
I understand your woes but maybe a little perspective is in order. He has 1000 acres (maybe), you have 540 acres(stated). Unless there is a high fence involved that's 1540 (maybe less) acres of prime deer habitat, of which 1/3 is yours. Do all you can within reason to make yours as attractive as possible, deer don't know whose name is on the deed. Work hard, hunt smart.I a perfect world things stay the same , but sometimes we need to adapt whether we want to or not. My money is on you, when you see the whole picture.

02-Oct-15
A untouched sanctuary on your property would be ideal if you can.

From: eric7553
03-Oct-15
I'm surprised Ohio still allows bait piles. His "go to" tactic may get taken away if the Division of Wildlife steps in and eliminates that option.

03-Oct-15
Twanger I live in ohio also. My personal experience with so called outfitters in my area without a doubt impacted our deer population and quality in my area. For example the guy that owns 13 acres beside of me brings in a new group about every week. The hunters will kill anything and everything a buck of any size doesn't get passed up. And there are other outfitters like him in our area. My situation is a little different than yours due to the size of property your mentioning. But I would think you should be able to hold deer on your own property due to its size. Hunt it smart and don't blow the deer out.

From: Twanger
05-Oct-15
I did get a little more information from the outfitter. He is hunting about 700 acres right around and adjacent to our property. He is hunting 6000 acres all together probably spread out over 100-200 square miles which is only a 10X10 mile square or so. The 17 hunters is for the 6000 acres or about 355 acres per hunter. As they are spread over a couple of months that is probably not a huge amount of pressure. Of course he may expand and may need to to cover his costs.

Any additional thoughts on where having the outfitter is better or worst than having the land having hunting pressure similar to public land would be welcome. Last year we seemed to have poorer hunting than we did with a lot of hunters on their land. The outfitters feeding, baiting, foodplot and minerals have reduce our deer sightings.

05-Oct-15
If his numbers are correct you have absolutely nothing to worry about. 17 hunters on 6,000 acres is an incredibly light hunted area. Based on your facts I can't understand why you have so few deer on your property?

From: Twanger
06-Oct-15
Charlie, I agree with you and I am surprized that we do not have more deer on us. In 2 hours of checking all of our food plots and crop fields I found 1 pile of deer droppings and 2 of coyote. In the past they would be covered with deer droppings. I saw no deer and even mid day I would usually see several. That caused me to contact the outfitter who is seeing a lot of deer just next door. He may be doing a better job of attracting them. We do have a few on us and the rut may be okay. Thanks for the responses.

From: Zbone
06-Oct-15
Commercialization will be the demise of hunting as I've known it... Once contracts are signed (such as leases) it's no longer a pleasure but a business and anytime its a business, money is involved with greed and the root of all evil...

Good luck, the profiteers have ruined and destroyed my favorite pastime and one time heritage...

God never intended whitetail hunting to be commercialize, just ask Fred Bear...

From: Busta'Ribs
06-Oct-15
You're hunting 300 acres "all day light hours for 17 to 22 days"?

Am I the only one that thinks that's way too much pressure?

I wouldn't worry as much about the outfitter next door, I'd focus on limiting my own intrusion on a small parcel.

Wait till the time is right, then slip in for a surgical strike and kill the buck you are after.

Your scent blowing through your small woodlot every waking hour for 22 days in a row would be my greatest concern.

Just sayin...

From: Twanger
06-Oct-15
Busta'Rib,

I will not hunt until the rut. Then I go in as surgically as I can. I hunt until I get a big buck taking some breaks to stay employed. If I fill my tag I stop. I have access from a lot of the sides. I have permission to access our property across the outfitters property. I can do a lot of hunting w/o blowing my scent over very much of our land if I approach it appropriately. In the past I have had good action starting in late October right through Thanksgiving if necessary. When conditions are not right or the deer are just not moving I am able to just go to work rather than hurt future chances. In 2011 I did not take a buck and my records show that I hunted hunt 17 days dawn to dusk and some other partial days. I saw big bucks right to the end and shot a B&C buck the next year that I patterned that year. It has been working for me. Anyway that is not why I am not seeing deer now.

Good luck this season.

From: kellyharris
06-Oct-15
Twanger - For what its worth I live and hunt Ohio as well. SE Ohio to be exact.

I have no idea whats going on either we have lost about 50% of deer sightings in the last 2 years.

3 years ago the herd was doing fantastic the last 2 very, very slim pickings.

I think the deer herd is down a lot. I have hunted same property since 1978.

Perhaps this is why we have now become a 2 deer county?

From: Twanger
07-Oct-15
Kelly, It looks like we are experiencing somewhat the same thing. My sightings were way down last year, say only 25% of what they had been 5 years ago. It is too early to say this year as I have been for the most part been staying out of the woods but my farmer partner has only seen one buck this year while coming and going and that was crossing a public road one morning. I expected the outfitter to say that he was seeing less deer but he said that he was seeing more. There is probably more to it than just the outfitter attracting most of the deer. Thanks for the response.

From: Zbone
07-Oct-15
Ohio's deer population has been in steady decline for over the past decade, kills stats confirm...

It isn't catch and release and they don't magically reappear after they have been whacked and stacked previous years and now Ohio hunters are feeling the consequences... That is just fact...

From: Twanger
08-Oct-15
Zbone, I would agree that the decline in the herd size is a factor. We are way down from 10 years ago.

From: Jim Leahy
08-Oct-15
Sounds to me like the outfitter is trying to intimidate you with his 1000 acres- that's a little over 1.5 square miles of deer range-50 big bucks-no way unless he is counting nubbings. I would hunt smart- keep some crops on your property and not reach out to the outfitter for any info since he probably wont tell the truth anyway.:) Let your property be the refuge for his overhunted property!

08-Oct-15
I will add that the "good ole days" of plenty of deer will be remembered as 1985 to 2010. I hunt whitetails in the East and Midwest and EVERY state is down from these highs. Reasons vary state to state but the population in general is in a downturn or leveling off.

Not a bad thing for overall health of the population but can be frustrating to those wanting to see more deer.

From: Kevin Dill
08-Oct-15

Kevin Dill's embedded Photo
Kevin Dill's embedded Photo
Twanger,

Deer are going to be especially targeting food plots, field edges and low browse this fall/winter. With a few exceptions I'm seeing and hearing about very little tree mast available for deer this year. I can find only scattered acorns, no wild cherries etc. Last year at this time I was seeing deer pounding the whiteoaks on my farm, but not so at all today. The more mature timber areas are mostly devoid of deer sign. I've heard several local guys say they aren't seeing deer in their usual hot zones.

I saw hardly any bucks around here all summer. I caught the buck in the picture working the edge of my field after dark, and now I am seeing other nice bucks beginning to show up.

From: Twanger
08-Oct-15
Kevin,

I am sure that you are right.

Although there seems to have been some bad experiences with the number of mature bucks dropping over time if the outfitter kills everything that his hunters can, it does not seem like he will be able to stop the mature bucks from wondering.

I appreciate everyones input.

From: gjs4
05-Aug-23
I just found out we have this same situation in SE Ohio on our new property, on smaller acreages with PA based outfitter that is killing 1s,2s and the occasional 3yo and bragging about the truckloads of corn he puts down...... Closed in December and found 3 dead (?from EHD) on the first thorough walk.

(sorry to revive this one from the dead)

06-Aug-23
I would not be concerned at all.

From: Stressless
06-Aug-23
GIS4 - FWIW my $.02

One piece of info this thread is missing is all the Outfitters land was Semi- Public; in that any adjoining land owner to any of the 6,000 acres could write in and get permission to hunt the ENTIRE 6,000 acres.

Van loads of hunters and Amish would get dropped off and drive all that land and push the biggest bucks to the adjoining lands that were either not hunted or hunted the way Twanger does, effectively and efficiently. That all changed in 2013/2014 when the outfitter got the lease and took back all the hunting rights across the 6,000 acres.

There's another 400 acres that adjoins both of us and it got the same Hammer and Anvil deer drives that the Outfitters 1500 semi-public adjoining acres did. In that ~2,000 acres the hunting pressure, drives, still hunting etc dropped to almost zero in 2013 and has remained that way for about 10 years. In that mix of changing variables NO DOES have been hunted in that 2,000 acres for 10 years.

As just about everyone states on here, your hunting pressure on your land is the biggest factor in holding and having opportunities at mature bucks regardless of Food, Cover and Water or a neighboring Outfitter. The better you manage your habitat- Food Water Cover the more opportunities you'll have ... BUT only if you're disciplined in Where When and How you hunt it.

From: Bou'bound
06-Aug-23
“God never intended whitetail hunting to be commercialized”

Newsflash. God does not care about deer hunting.

From: Thornton
06-Aug-23
Get a high power with a silencer and tell him you just added 80 acres of range to your deer stand on the fenceline. I had an outfitter neighbor once about 12 years ago. Pissed him off after I shot a couple bucks in the first few years that scored between 140" and 150". He threw a couple tantrums. After he shot the neighbor's golden retriever that followed him to his blasted corn feeder, he got nervous, sold out, and bought land near his home in Missouri.

From: Orion
06-Aug-23
why is an 8 year old thread being drudged up?

From: fuzzy
06-Aug-23
Forget 50 "good bucks" 50 DEER on 700 acres is a lot.

From: RK
06-Aug-23
BS thread overall.

Thornton once again proves he is a liar and a fool

From: Bou'bound
07-Aug-23
“God never intended whitetail hunting to be commercialized”

Newsflash. God does not care about deer hunting.

From: gjs4
10-Aug-23
"why is an 8 year old thread being drudged up?"

My fault. Bought some ground and found myself in almost the same situation as the OP

From: goyt
10-Aug-23
I started this thread as Twanger and when I retired, I abandon that moniker. Stressless is an adjacent landowner so whatever he posts relates directly to our situation. The outfitter impacted the hunting. I had to improve my habitat to counter him. I now have much healthier food plots. The crop fields have been changed from row crops which were being harvested before prime hunting time to high quality hay fields. The deer now feed in the hay fields for at least 9 months out of the year. We have a lot more resident deer. I plant a lot of grains each fall to hold deer once they switch from protein to carbohydrates. I now can compete better with the outfitter.

A bigger issue now seems to be a growing number of hunters owning small acreage on my borders and baiting. They are killing a lot of 1 and 2 year old bucks. One piece is 13 acres with bait piles about 30-40 yards off of my property. The way it is setup every deer they kill comes off of my property and dies on my property. They average killing 3 bucks a year and a few does on just one small property. Over time this has an impact on how many mature bucks there are in the area.

In summary, IMO more and more pressure is being put on our whitetails herds with hunters seeking out every hunting parcel of land. Leasing and outfitting are certainly part of it. It is getting harder to maintain the quality of our hunting experiences but it is the best that we can get so we have to make the best of it.

From: Catscratch
10-Aug-23
I'm curious, do you think outlawing baiting would help your situation?

From: gjs4
10-Aug-23
IMO, and specifically for Ohio; I feel baiting would bet on it being in the top 3 for quality of bucks state wo baiting.

It seems everyone runs a corn pile in ohio....even folks that dont hunt.

Wondering what goyt and stressless (and others) have to say

From: LBshooter
10-Aug-23
Find out what he's planting. And plant something different. Sugar beets, peanuts ,or plant corn and Bean and leave it up. Get lots of thick cover growing. 50 trophy bucks on 700 acres? I don't believ that. Go to Home Depot and buy yourself some fruit trees, Apple, and plant them for the future, when all else fails hire some teens, give them some beer and some spray cans with a killer spray lol. Just joking about the last part.

From: goyt
10-Aug-23
I think that outlawing baiting would help a lot if the goal is to shoot mature bucks. Young bucks are very vulnerable to being shot over bait so more bucks would live to maturity. Not having the bait as a food source that mature bucks can feed on at night would cause them to move more during daylight hours in search of food. Also I find that surges in baiting before the opening of each season unpredictably change movement patterns making it hard to determine travel routes for mature bucks. If a couple of neighbors establish new bait sites the first week of November it will shift the does and the movements of bucks checking the does for estrus. We may never know why all of the deer suddenly disappeared.

From: Justified
11-Aug-23
You’ll get out of your hunting what you put into your hunting.

That man working hard with plots/mineral stations/etc… The results would be obvious.

You have the opportunity to do the same? You’ll see results as well.

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