Politicians making wildlife management decisions will be the quickest way for us to lose hunting opportunities. Over the long run it will result in many more losses than wins.
If you are not comfortable baiting.... do not bait.
It has absolutely nothing to do with hunters wanting to bait. Or listening to some cute sound bite from your friendly legislature about how they are just trying to look out for some down state hunter that hunts Up North but due to his hectic schedule can only hunt one Saturday a month from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and if he doesn't have a big "ol pile of carrots and sugar beets he will never ever see a deer.
This is all about the farmers bitching, pissing, and moaning to the Michigan Farm Bureau about lost sales on carrots and sugar beets to the party stores and sporting goods shops and the party stores and sporting goods shops bitching, pissing and moaning to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce about lost sales on carrots and sugar beets to the hunter that lives down state.
As far as JL comments on the extension of the DNR being MUCC and QDMA. I agree that the DNR/NRC gets a lot of input from the MUCC and QDMA, but from my perspective, the MUCC does have a huge influence along with insurance companies. If QDMA had as much influence as the MUCC I would be in a 4 on a side unit this year living in the thumb.
The thing with MUCC and QDMA is they do not represent alot of folks and unfortunately they have the DNR's ear....often.
They make laws based on good old boy networks.... and ignore the recommendations of the DNR deer biologist.
Someone please explain to me how baiting is illegal in the Lower Peninsula......
Yet it is legal in the Upper Peninsula. There is CWD present in both peninsulas. If baiting is bad for deer in the lower,,,, Then it’s bad for deer in the upper.
If the NRC thinks it’s OK to have baiting legal in the Upper.... then why not in the Lower.... at least be consistent for Pete’s sake.
I talked on the phone to a DNR deer biologist up there. She said they recommended to continue to allow does during bow season.
I’ve never seen anyone study a topo map and spend several days scouring an area for deer sign in order to figure out where to dump a bait pile.
And I’ve never seen a tree bear a second crop when the first one was gone.
Nor have I ever seen a deer stop, sniff and bolt the other way because carrots and sugar beets aren’t in season for 2 more weeks.
I always thought that Hunting was supposed to be About cultivating the skills necessary to be able to spend enough time in the right places doing the right things to be able to make a clean kill with one’s weapon of choice while the animal is doing what it would ordinarily be doing if there were no humans anywhere in the vicinity.
Most “hunting” these days seems to be about manipulating the environment as much as possible in order to assure that the animals will be where we want them to be when we want them to be there so as to make killing them as easy as possible.
May as well go to the city park with a loaf of bread and a shotgun and call it Duck Hunting.
OK, it’s not THAT bad, but to a lot of non-hunters, it doesn’t look a whole lot better, and we really do need to be a bit more concerned with the Optics of the whole thing. And the Science. And the Wildlife Management.
In some places (like private land around here) people just want the deer GONE. They don’t give a rat’s ass how you do it. Most non-hunters, though, seem to have a lot more respect for making it as Fair Chase as possible...
Seems like most people here can hear a POV that differs from their own without being so threatened as to have to try and turn it around and make it about The Other Guy’s insecurities.
The point is, there is a whole, wide spectrum of hunting methods; what’s Legal is Legal, but it’s a load of crap to insist that what any one hunter does has zero impact on anyone else. You can’t put out bait to draw animals in from the surrounding area without drawing animals OFF OF adjacent properties, can you?
Out here, that’s kind of necessary because the people who are open to having someone hunt their property aren’t always the people with a parcel that lends itself to being hunted. And we do have a herd density issue here; if you can get access to a big enough parcel to find travel corridors, you’d be pretty crazy to waste your time and money baiting a place where the deer will turn up anyway, wouldn’t you?
But if you’re on a small property, you might well need to persuade them to change their route to where you have a reasonable chance at dropping them on the same parcel that you’re permitted to hunt.
Not the ideal situation, but no formal definition of hunting contemplates the Hunter being limited to suburban-scale properties.
And yeah, just in case you hadn’t picked up on it yet, I DO have a sense of humor, and not above prickling people with it.
Where I’m “hunting” right now in northern B.C. , I have my own issues. Not great deer numbers and the population is very much at peril if winter conditions are bad. Add slow recovery rates, coyote predation and last winter a cougar plague. I put in quite a bit of time, effort and money to feed “my” little herd. Hauling hay by hand to bedding areas for thermal protection. Dragging feed through deep snow.
And yup, sometimes somebody kills a good buck at night on the road, that I might have got a crack at. But I don’t let that spoil my time in the woods.
I’m sorry you don’t see me as a hunter. But I can’t change that, so I’ll just sit here and enjoy my time , my way and be happy that I can.
Does hunting bear over a failure pile make you look weak ??? God forbid I mention hound hunting bears....
I see you have an antelope picture..... Can you give us your views of hunting antelope over a water hole ?????
But there are unique situations and there is Policy. In a state with concerns about CWD, it’s asinine to permit baiting, unless it’s being done specifically to drive down the deer density and no deer walks away from the pile.
That’s where the whole thing gets screwy. If you’re after a deer of a particular size, then presumably you’re after the “challenge” of taking a mature deer.... but if it’s “challenge” you’re after, why would you be hunting a spot where you’ve manipulated the environment for the express purpose of making it easier to kill a deer??? Why would you choose a compound over a stickbow or a crossbow over a compound or a firearm over a crossbow?
What’s great about hunting is that (within reason) you can make it about as easy or as difficult as appeals to you, but the laws really do need to be set up for the Common Good...
It’s legal in the U.P., and there is CWD in both peninsulas.....
So apparently the Michigan DNR can’t decide if they agree with you......
FWIW, I don’t like food plots any more than I like baiting, and for that exact reason.
But food plots don’t concentrate the animals in the same, nose-to-nose fashion that a pile does. And most food plots are at least big enough that you can’t cover the whole thing with a bow.
As I said before, there’s a spectrum.... Find your place on it and enjoy it in good health, eh?
The Pope and Young Club does not consider game-proof fenced enclosures to be a condition meeting the basic tenets of Fair Chase. Fair Chase is defined as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit of free-ranging wild game animals in a manner which does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal.
Canned Shoots Position Statement The Pope and Young Club condemns the killing of big game animals in artificial situations where animals are held in captivity, or released from captivity. Inappropriately referred to as “canned hunts,” these actions are devoid of any resemblance of fair chase hunting.
Beyond the Club’s position that game-proof fenced enclosures are not fair chase because the animals are not free-ranging, these canned shoot situations present further concerns impacting the future of bowhunting, weaken the public acceptance of legitimate fair chase bowhunting, provide possibilities for transmitting diseases, and corrupt the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Animals held, or bred and raised for the purpose of trophy harvest, in these facilities are not wildlife, rather, are privately owned livestock. The killing of these animals is not managed by the authority of a wildlife management agency. And the killing, itself, is devoid of any values embodied by legitimate hunting.
The Pope and Young Club does not accept into its Records Program any animal taken under any captive scenarios.
Crossbow Policy Statement
The Pope and Young Club was founded to promote bowhunting and to record for posterity the outstanding examples of North American big game animals taken solely with the hunting bow.
For the purpose of the Pope and Young Club, a bow shall be defined as a longbow, recurve bow or compound bow that is hand-held and hand-drawn, and that has no mechanical device to enable the hunter to lock the bow at full or partial draw. Other than the energy stored by the drawn bow, no device to propel the arrow will be permitted.
Consequently, the Pope and Young Club does not consider the crossbow to be a hunting bow and will not accept any trophies collected by crossbow hunters. Further, the Pope and Young Club considers the use of crossbows during bowhunting seasons to be a serious threat to the future of bowhunting.
The Pope and Young Club therefore recommends the crossbow should not be considered for use in any bowhunting only season. Also, the Club strongly recommends that crossbow hunting be abolished from all existing bowhunting only seasons. We encourage all states and provinces which desire to allow use of crossbows for hunting big game, to require mandatory crossbow specific education, licensing, seasons and reporting requirements.
What % let-off are you shooting???
Oh and I agree with P&Y that canned high fence hunts are not really hunting.... I feel no need to defend such activities that don’t even require the purchase of a hunting license.
Maybe you fit in better on your new CF where you can post your vulgar racial jokes at will....
GOOD LORD TAKE A CHILL PILL.
NONE of this is important enough to get triggered. Lol!
I bet given the chance you would sit over bait to kill every wolf and/or coyote! Kind of the same thing don't you think
As I said. None of this is worth a trigger. Just opinions. Nothing more or less.
No worries. Carry on
An interesting note is that the Michigan DNR participates in extensive supplemental feeding of the deer in the winter near the deer yards. Literally hundreds upon hundreds of deer who are all yarded up in tight quarters in cedar swamps come running out into the road right behind the trucks that are dumping corn to help them survive the winter........
If baiting for deer is bad where CWD is present.... then winter supplemental feeding surely must be too.
Then those same guys might choose to hunt turkeys with a shotgun......... hmmm
We all make our own choices.......
I hunt primarily on private land, and some years I have been the only one with permission to be there. Even in those years, there was often a pumpkin or two or a few ears of corn not far from the fence line. Probably just someone else who wanted to "observe" some deer.
I've worn out several pairs of boots when younger and in my prime, but in today's age of smaller huntable acreages available, more posted and "don't even ask" adjacent neighbors, and more public land pressure, along with a hunter population that is increasingly feeling its age, I think that baiting should be reconsidered here as well.
Reality has changed since I was a kid on the farm and could pretty much walk all day and never get off either our small farm or one of our neighboring places where I knew I was welcome.
If some deer are lured off that posted property across the fence from the forty that i have permission on, and one or two end up in my freezer, is that so bad? Would the rest of the hunters still walking around in the public land trying to find a deer that hasn't been pressured into becoming nocturnal or a good tree for a stand that doesn't already have one in it really be better off if I was still walking around in that woods too?
The bait hunter is sitting in one spot like you've probably wished a dozen or so other hunters were also doing within the last few seasons. And he's statistically less likely to take a nice buck, which tend to be too cautious to visit feeders during daylight, than to settle for a tasty doe. The biggest deterrent to most people to keep hunting or start hunting is the lack of a place to do it that's not overcrowded already or unavailable due to landowners that don't allow it. Anything that makes hunting smaller plots more viable and reduces the need for hunters to wander around disturbing others should be welcomed.
And any unenforceable laws that are actually just hindrances on the legal participants in an activity should be re-thought, and considered to be bad legislation.
That depends - ENTIRELY and quite literally - on which side of the fence you’re on.
My house is in the western UP..... I personally do not bait, but I can hunt every day, for me to get a deer is no big deal, and I get plenty of venison out of Wisconsin, not to worry about it......
MI is not going to ban baiting in the UP,,,, its not going to happen.... I have no problem with baiting, as long as you follow the rules................. The joke is I can put out all the food plots I want, but the QDMA crowd believes the old guy down the road, should not be able to put out some apples.................... give me a break
MI currently as gone along with the QDMA gang, and in the CWD zone, are going with antler point restrictions, trying to incur, hunters not to shoot younger bucks, but to kill older does................ I have followed QDMA rules for a long time, but unlike most members I believe in killing does, and they may talk a good game, but they do not.
My opinion of CWD is you should be killing more bucks, but what do I know.................
I have lived my life from Colorado, to South Dakota to Wis to the UP,,,,,,, for those who hate to bait, it all depends on the environment..... again I do not bait, but have no issues with it................
I just returned from a trip to land I am involved in , in SW Wis, some of the most prime buck hunting areas in the country..... In the last week I saw 19 bucks, and passed on 7, since I am looking for something special.........THE WHOLE AREA OF QDMA THAT WE ARE INVLOVED IN, IS FOOD PLOTS, MANAGED LAND, AND DO NOT STEP ON OUR PROPERTY LINES................................. the same people I talked to down there hate baiting, but no nothing of what they are talking about.......
again I have land in SW Wisconsin, and in South Dakota and in the UP, so I think I know a little something
good luck to all this fall
And in the same way, a food plot is an attractant placed to kill an animal.
And actually, if you hunt crop edges or trails leading specifically to man made food sources, you're stretching pretty far.
"The DNR has chosen not to pursue the regulation of baiting deer at this time.
To provide background, the DNR prohibits the use or aid to bait deer in 312-AC 9-3-2(u). Liquids, solid, placed foods, and other bait, feeders, corn, salt/mineral licks, piles of apples and any other products is considered 'bait', as well as affected soil, MUST be removed 10 days prior to hunting the deer there ... food plots are not illegal unless activities are done to keep the plants, seed, or other food source on the ground that is not part of normal agricultural process ...
While hunting deer, if the hunter will have the ability to take deer due to the placement of 'bait' (such as apples, a salt block, liquid bait, feeder or other means to attract deer), then it is illegal to hunt deer there ....There is no distance where the bait has to be from a hunter in use in the law, but it must be evident by a conservation officer that the hunter was not hunting with the use of bait. There are many factors that determine how attractive bait placed placed in the environment will be, such as the type of bait, quality of habitat, topography, deer population in the area, and movement patterns of the animals. Providing an arbitrary distance would not adequately address fair chase in all situations.
Diseases such as Bovine TB, which has been found in wild deer in Franklin county, as well as Chronic Wasting Disease, can be spread through nose to nose contact of deer at bait sites. With Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan (Wild Deer), Illinois (Wild Deer), Ohio (Captive deer), it is IMPERATIVE that the baiting of deer continue to remain ILLEGAL to prevent any transfer of this disease. Increasing the opportunity for these diseases to spread by allowing baiting does not protect the wild deer population.
Additionally, research out of MICHIGAN that has shown that allowing baiting for the entire season, through contributing to an increase in sightings of deer, did NOT increase the harvest of deer. Successful hunter harvest is NOT contingent on baiting.
The INDNR also has concerns regarding baiting unnaturally congregating animals on individual properties, which has the ability to disrupt their natural movement patterns and may effect other hunters deer sightings.
Additionally, the placement of bait could also affect a hunter that is not aware of the placement of bait on an adjacent property or by another person using that same property.
For these reason, the INDNR does not support the allowance of baiting during the hunting season" ....
If your argument is that baiting spreads CWD, then baiting deer in areas that don't have CWD should be ok since baiting itself does not cause the disease. Correct?
And why do deer in fields that touch noses not transfer the disease just as readily? There is a virtual "chain" of deer interconnected all across every landscape and no deer is isolated from the rest. If they feed where other deer feed, they are exposed. Be it bait piles, food plots, fields or bush. I just think many people let their own biases rationalize their outlooks. If you've always thought that baiting was bad, you'll quickly jump on the "it spreads CWD" bandwagon without much intentional thought. We all champion whatever aligns with our own thoughts.
If indeed the disease lasts forever, then it doesn't matter if you wipe out every deer in a state, wait five years and then restock with clean animals. They will just become reinfected. You also don't know if there are deer developing resistance to the disease and you may be killing those deer that could pass that resistance onto their offspring.
Nature has its own way of dealing with over populations and it's own way of restoring them. The preservationists fall into the trap of wanting everything to stay the same as when they experienced it. Look at feral horses. In no way are they natural to their now homes, but don't tell that to a "wild' horse lover. We are much the same and figure it should never change in our lifetime and when nature decides otherwise, we decide to override her.
Mother nature has no heart. She has neither love nor malice for flora or fauna. And "balance" is measured over hundreds or thousands of years, not a hunters lifetime.
We humans are a vain lot. We accredit ourselves with more more power than we really swing. But we fool ourselves into thinking we're doing something by pissing on a house fire.
Well said and that applies to lots of other subjects as well
IMO that is a great way to frame one of the issues regarding bait piles, bait plots, private land and public land. That statement seems to have eluded the Michigan DNR/NRC.
Never, nor would I. Again, that's not my definition of fair chase hunting, but I fully acknowledge that others have a different definition.
My place is loaded with turkeys. They learned long ago that my horses make a mess when they feed, so there's always an ample supply of grain on the ground around my barn for the turkeys to feed on. As many as 40-50 birds will show like clock work at morning and evening feeding times. They pay no attention to me while I'm feeding the horses.
Hunting any wild game that has been conditioned to come to bait piles would be the same as hunting turkeys at my barn for me. No challenge, no sport, and no satisfaction.
Getting a little Biblical here, I do believe animals were created by God and gifted to us for our use. So, any way that is legal and reduces the suffering of a target animal to a minimum is justified, even if some do not want to call it hunting.
So here’s a philosophical point to ponder....
Let’s accept 320’s statement at face value. Seems to me that those deer would be far more likely to jump the string and be hit poorly, resulting in a much higher loss/wounding rate than would occur if they were in a more natural setting, just doing what they do. Everybody says “Never shoot at a deer that’s on high alert” and that’s damn good advice, but if just being around a bait pile PUTS them on Code Red status, then you basically have NO ethical shot opportunity over bait, right??
This reminds me of the “research” that Adrian Benke did to prove that the POD was really NECESSARY in order to make Bowhunting a responsible method of take.
The deer I have killed without bait have all been 20-30 yards.....
And how many of those bitching have, and promote, open hunting on their unposted land?
I always find this argument rather comical. Personally, I couldn't care less where they will be be feeding, I'm only concerned about where they enter and exit. Unless maybe you are hunting with a rifle, who hunts an entire food plot or an entire ag field? Of course it is unknown where a particular deer is going to feed while there, but it's not hard to figure out where deer tend to enter and exit those plots based on wind and other conditions.
Some of the easiest hunting I have ever done, by far, is hunting small woodlots between ag fields. Talk about conditioned animals. Stevie Wonder could pattern those deer.
At least Stevie would have to get out and actually scout the area, pick an ambush spot, then determine how and when to hunt it. That's a little different than being dropped off at a baited stand and waiting for the livestock to appear.
But I recognize that every hunter has different motivations.
I’ve drawn about 5 bear tags between myself and my buddy on the property.... and killed one bear over bait....... Yet another unfair and unethical advantage that bear bait has brought us....
I've always respected your views and values, tho they may differ slightly from mine. This subject is no different. There's no right or wrong answer here. Everyone has to draw their own line, somewhere, on what lengths they'll take to kill wild animals, and what satisfaction they derive from it.
The notion that if you don't agree with the bait ban you must not care about deer is akin to saying that if you don't agree with a gun ban, you must not care about children, or if you don't agree with a ban on fossil fuels, you must not care about the planet.
As is often the case factions have no problem manipulating "science" in an attempt to achieve a specific, often selfish outcome.
My answer is because it's more challenging and ultimately more rewarding than rifle hunting. Baiting goes against the grain of why I bow hunt. It has nothing to do with CWD for me.
If I’m paying the big bucks to go on a guided hunt.... It has been with a rifle every time.... Boubound can attest to that.... I shared a camp with him in Newfoundland. He was bowhunting and I was rifle hunting for caribou. Moose and elk and bear too.... I have taken with rifle.
So basically.... I bow hunt for deer in Michigan. I believe that crossbows should not be legal during bow season except for the handicap guys..... So I stick to my beliefs and continue to use my compound while my buddies have switched to crossbows........
I own several recurves...... at one time about 15 or so of them.... all Grayling Bears. I’ve hunted deer with my Fred Bear Takedown and missed a few deer.... hunted bear with it but didn’t see a bear that year. I haven’t hunted with it in a while because putting some venison in the freezer is more important to me than doing it the hard way. Maybe some day I’ll try again.
I’m just a hunter who has hanged out on the Bowsite for about 25 years. Met a lot of good folks over on the Michigan Forums and shared campfires with them at Benefit 4 Kids events,,,before all the bickering over baiting and crossbows turned that forum into a ghost town. Shame.
Of course they were Big Bear.
Ironically, some of the same folks who fancy themselves "habitat managers" have no problem utilizing various other methods such as mineral licks, mock scrapes, food plots, and other various methods that encourage nose, urine, and saliva contact between multiple deer.
Why would a guy choose to hunt with a compound bow over a traditional bow ??
Why would a guy choose to hunt with a shotgun for turkeys..... or for that matter,,, Rabbits or squirrels or grouse or any other critters.... instead of a traditional bow ??
There may come a time when I use my boom sticks, again, dunno. But I’ll never hunt over bait. I just don’t need to kill that badly.
I bow hunt only with a recurve and have for decades. That's the particular "challenge" I choose. I don't necessarily do it for the "challenge" but because it's what I find fun. I like shooting a traditional bow without sights more than I like shooting a compound with them. I hunt for enjoyment, not for any other reason. I don't need to prove my skills or my woodsmanship to anyone. Why would I care what anyone else thinks. My venison tastes the same as anyone else's.
Having said that, I had no problem using bait on my property when the natural food sources were not producing or done producing. I have stands set up to hunt my apple trees and my white oak. In the years that there are no acorns or apples, I had no problem whatsoever hanging a feeder to supplement what wasn't produced naturally or was done producing naturally.
Some would have you believe that when I hunt those sources when they are producing, that's somehow different (both in terms of the health of the deer and in regard to "challenge") than when I hunt the same areas when there is a feeder present, or apples that I placed myself. Same spots, same stands, same everything...except for how the food got there. Apparently if the deer come there to eat acorns, it's healthy and if they come to the exact same spot to eat corn, it's not. Or apparently, if the deer come to eat the apples that fall from my trees, that's healthy but if they come to the exact same spot to eat apples that I put there, it's not.
Years ago I remember reading an article from a high profile traditional bow hunter about how baiting for bears was unethical and a scourge on the hunting community, and should be banned. Soon after that, the same person wrote an article about how he found an elk carcass that had been being visited by bears, set up on that carcass and proceeded to take a bear when it came in to feed.
Interesting to say the least.
In addition to what I said in my last post, some would suggest that you just need to find a better place to hunt. What they fail to realize is that the enjoyment for many is to own, and hunt their own little slice of heaven...even if it doesn't happen to be the best habitat. My cabin and property is surrounded by thousands of acres of public federal land, much of which is infinitely better habitat than what I own. Even so, I CHOOSE to hunt my own land, because that's where I find the most enjoyment. Heck, I could shoot a deer out my back door at home but I just don't need to kill that badly.
I purchased my little slice of heaven in the U.P. and at the time it was pretty much all I could afford........ The deer hunting is terrible there,,, And the DNR made it ten times worse by outlawing the harvest of any does there. Period.
But I wouldn’t trade my memories there for anything.... Killing a bear on my own property is an especially fond memory.....
Having said that, I haven't killed a deer in 6 years. Not because of lack of opportunities. In fact, I could have killed a mature 2x3 mulie that walked under my stand about an hour ago. It's because I've set a high bar on the caliber of buck that I'll kill, and I'm OK with eating tag soup if I don't get a crack at a buck that meets those standards. I just enjoy the chess match, even if I lose more often than not.
They support habitat improvement, both monetarily and through free consultations.
Talking with MDC personnel through the years I have been informed they do this for a multitude of reasons including hunter image to the non-hunting public, attempt at disease control, positive impact on a multitude of species including non-target animals, reducing hunter conflicts on both private and public land, etc.
I like their approach, but I believe MO is the only state with an 1/8 cent sales tax that directly supports wildlife conservation. Their citizens overwhelming support it each time it has been voted on.
5 deer have been taken so far this season on my farm. Two by my good bear hunting buddy, Stan, who uses a crossbow due to shoulder injury and he is 63. His first deer this season, a mature doe, came from a ladder stand we set during turkey season over a white oak patch that produces every year, at ten yards. His second deer, a mature buck this past Saturday, came off of a ladder stand on the edge of a 7 acre, 1/2 mile long winding food plot from a distance of 7 yards. The location is a popular point of entry for rutting bucks every year. That stand was also placed during turkey season. First time I have ever placed permanent stands.
My 2 anterless, first one came on the opener on a ground blind that was by my pond and where white oaks frequently drop early each year. Second one came out of a brand new stump blind, placed two weeks earlier, with my wife sitting next to me as she witnessed for the first time as I harvested a deer with a bow. I used two feeding doe decoys which brought the deer in, and now they do not fall for that set-up, They learn.
My buck also came this past Saturday. After hanging a stand in the woods in the morning in a solid travel corridor, and not observing anything, I set a new stand (XOP and sticks) for an afternoon hunt where I had been observing deer enter the far end of my plot. I had never hunted here, they had to travel from the woods through about 60 yards of CRP to enter the plot. I figured they were using this approach, one I had never observed before, because of adjusting to pressure. I witnessed 3 bucks chasing at least two does and was blest to harvest a 7 pointer that field dressed 220 lbs.
Point being, hunting food plots or bait piles, the deer adjust to pressure and successful hunters adjust to their adjustments. Now, a guy using a timed feeder is different than a bait pile that can be approached after dark, IMHO.
The notion/belief that because a feeder goes off at a certain time, that is also the time it is visited by wildlife shows a complete lack of understanding of how they work...or don’t work.
Glad you got over not responding to me directly:-)
We had an electric timer feeder at our home property for 5-7 years, give or take. I grew tired of battery replacement, and replacing the motor one time that I went to a Boss gravity feeder. We saw more deer during the daylight with the timed feeder because it was set to go off when we usually sat out on our screened in porch in the evenings. 98 out of 100 pictures of deer on the Boss Feeder are at night. Maybe deer react differently in MI than KS? Maybe I am ridiculous for drawing a conclusion from observations without using an algorithm?
Here are recent pictures of deer using my home property at night, two nice bucks NEVER observed during the day.
OTH, I regularly have pictures during the day of deer who feel comfortable using the habitat I improved, especially since we take great care to not educate them as to our patterns. Maybe I know more about feeders than you do habitat improvements? Maybe folks with a different opinion are not being ridiculous, they just draw from a different set of experiences?
The date is wrong on the second picture, the function does not work any more. This picture is from less than 5 weeks ago when I first sat the Stump 4 blind you see in the back ground.
I happen to have a pic of this little guy on my phone, but it illustrates my point quite nicely. The feeder shown here was set to go off one time a day at 4 PM for 10 seconds (that equates to a little over one pound of corn, spread over a 20 foot circle).
Apparently this guy didn't get the "when to visit a feeder" memo because he visited the site a full 15 hours from the last time it went off.
This silly notion that deer only visit a feeder when it goes off, and you can set your watch by them is well, just silly. That may be true for domesticated birds, who have little to no other food source, but it sure as heck isn't true for wild, big woods deer.
Better to disagree passionately than that nobody cares.
But I agree with Matt that each hunter must decide for himself. I use a compound. I wounded and did not recover the only deer I shot with my Martin recurve. I love to shoot it, just not proficient enough no matter how much I practice, to be ethical IMO. And aesthetically, it is a much more beautiful bow than any compound I have ever owned. (But then I like wood rifles stocks better than synthetics.)
But, given your situation, property that is next to thousands of acres of good hunting, I would forgo the feeder and find them. My buck Saturday is a perfect example to me. Playing the chess game with them, and instead of sitting in a physically comfortable blind or pre-set stand, I hung a stand based off of recent observations. Taking a deer like that brings me a ton of satisfaction, and in fact for some reason tastes even better:-)
Each location we took a deer is the only time, and the first time, that location was hunted. So I agree with you that deer pattern us, and that is why I have always hung a stand every hunt until the last two. I still do it at least 50% of the time, but age is catching up to me, and the fact that the kill is just not as important any more...as long as I have enough venison to last until the next hunting season.
To each his own, and unless there is a compelling reason such as herd health concerns backed by proven science, the government should stay out of it IMHO.
I have seen deer literally running to a timed feeder when it went off, however. Pavlov would have been proud.
BTW, my "domesticated" birds have plenty of other food sources. They just prefer the easy pickings around my barn at feeding times. And when they get 50 yards away from my barn, they are just as alert and spooky as any other wild turkeys.
Not to mention a complete lack of comprehension skills.
"You mean like my turkeys, Kevin? You can set your watch by when they come to my barn at feeding times. They pick the ground clean, then leave, not to return until the next feeding time. Surely you've seen videos of deer literally running to timed feeders the moment they go off, haven't you?
"Point being, hunting food plots or bait piles, the deer adjust to pressure and successful hunters adjust to their adjustments. Now, a guy using a timed feeder is different than a bait pile that can be approached after dark..."
Speaking of comprehension skills...apparently the concept of wild game becoming conditioned to come to man-placed bait piles at times and in places they wouldn't normally be looking for food is hard for some to grasp. Equally hard, apparently, is the fact that baiting deer significantly improves the odds of seeing and killing deer no matter where you hunt. Do you honestly think Pat would have his impressive wall of Kansas "trophies" if his outfitter didn't bait?
Look, I've stated several times that it's an individual's choice to bait or not, assuming its legal. I'm glad Colorado doesn't allow it. I've hunted Kansas a bunch and never baited there either. That's my choice.
Like I said, this is getting silly.
Every man made food source conditions deer Einstein, and they all improve a hunter's odds of seeing and taking a deer. It doesn't matter if its a feeder, a food plot, a fruit tree or an ag field. Do you think it's merely a coincidence that in H for W has deer stands on the edge and literally in the middle of his man made food sources. Do you think they would be there if he didn't plant that field just for that purpose?
Give us a break.
When you find yourself in a hole GG, it's usually a good idea to stop digging.
Stating my observations were Robin and I saw more deer during daylight hours when we used a timed feeder over a multi-year period as compared to what we observed now using a gravity feeder is the same as claiming deer always come to the sound of a feeder some how makes either of us in possession of reading comprehension deficiencies? OK, LOL!
Matt, you are correct about a feeder not being the same as a plot or ag field IMO. The clover observed in the picture above is 4 acres of the 7 discussed. It would take a lot of blinds/stands to cover that 4 acres with the same density as Kevin's feeder that throws 20'. The distance from the Stump to the Hay Bale is well in excess of 100 yards, well beyond my archery abilities on a live animal. And notice, the deer have multiple choices, planted corn, edge habitat, acorns, clover etc. Those pictures were used intentionally.
Kevin, if there is no advantage to a timed feeder, why use it? Does it go off after dark, or a short time after you enter your stand? BTW, the clover is there 24/7, the deer have it available whether anyone is hunting or not. I am not stupid, nor lacking in reading comprehension skills. There is a big difference IMHO as to what you do versus my approach. I still believe you have every right to take your approach.
One last honest question, does your approach benefit more or less wildlife than the target animals you seek versus habitat improvements. For example, do bees or hummingbirds visit your corn pile/broadcast regularly?
It is admirable that you have been proficient for decades with traditional equipment. I tip my hat to you. Peace!
If food plots weren't designed to up the odds for seeing and killing deer, I wonder what the blinds in this picture are for?
With all the crap that's being strewn around here, maybe those are out houses,... or hummingbird blinds.
Talk about moving the goal posts! Where did I ever say I don't use blinds or stands with man made habitat manipulations? Stands are used in TSI areas, edge layered areas, blinds in CRP etc...
Yet you want to have us believe this is the same as hunting over a feeder. Sure.
Unless you can shoot your bow accurately across a one acre food plot, it certainly is different than hunting over a bait pile. But I wouldn't hunt a one acre food plot either
I've killed exactly one buck off of a 6 acre clover plot that was planted specifically for the deer. Nothing about that kill felt right to me, so I've never done it since. Even trail cameras seem a bit like cheating to me, so I don't use those either.
And again, that's just my definition of fair chase hunting. I fully recognize that you may have a different definition.
But I’ll bet you that 9 out of 10 food plots just like the one in Kevin’s picture are in fact gun hunted at some point. The person or people who did the work to put the plot in as well as the blinds.... are going to kill some deer there. Period. Or else they won’t be putting that same effort in next year. Owning something like what is in Kevin’s picture is way more of a sure bet to kill a deer than hunting bait in my 20 acres in the U.P. of Michigan.
Owning something like in Kevin’s picture takes lots of time and lots of money.
Just stating facts, please don't take this wrong...
I killed 5 deer last year, all with bow. I think you said that is what you killed in the last ten years on your place?
That is the lowest number I have taken in one year, by far, over more than the last 20 years. I don't gun hunt, not that I am against it at all. I just don't need to, and find no enjoyment from it. Like my approach on Saturday, I have enough confidence I can find them.
My habitat allows me to see, and sure, pattern more game. It is always more fun to see it. But, maybe 6 deer for me in the 13 seasons I have owned the farm have come off the plots. The vast majority are me moving around in the timber, based on wind, thermals, rut stage etc. Most of my deer in the last 20 came from property I did not own and was not allowed to leave stands up. Nor was it managed. All timber drainages into a creek with some agriculture. I lost that property 2 years ago. The hunters now use corn piles, and have less success. Not bragging, just facts.
Our differences may be due to where we hunt. The vast majority of my bow kills have been on the ground in spot and stalk situations. There's nothing quite like crawling thru hundreds of yards of knee-high cover to kill a buck I've had my eyes on for several weeks, if not years. I do use stands and blinds when conditions aren't conducive to spot and stalk, but I don't enjoy it as much.
If I lived in Michigan, I may have a different opinion on bait piles and small kill plots. I'm just happy I've never had to resort to that to kill animals.
This Friday I hope to see one wandering through my property in southern Michigan inside of about 75 yards so I can put some venison in the freezer with a shotgun.
Good luck Friday! MO rifle season begins Saturday and I will bow hunt wearing orange. Like you, I just enjoy hunting.
Caught them in Florida, Texas, Mexico and South America
Years ago I went on the Tarpon quest. Was going to catch the new world record. DID NOT. LMAO!
caught some good ones but nothing close to a record. Texas 201 lbs. Florida 195 lbs México ??? Not sure. 91 inches 49 inch girth. South America maybe 150 lbs
Good times. Still fish for them here but quest is over. Off to something new
When can we fish together? LOL.
Kevin's "logic" falls apart when he will not answer when his feeder goes off. We all know it is not at night. Good grief is right, LOL.
Again though, I don't care what a guy legally uses to bring venison home.
At least we know Kevin is equally likable when discussing hunting topics as he is when talking politics.
I still live in the city.... and spend weekends out at our new house which is only about an hour from Detroit. When my wife and I retire,, We’re moving out there for good and selling the house in the city.
Good on you BB!
There is much more to life than shooting deer of any kind. It is obvious that to some, "tradition" and "home" are infinitely more important than finding or building better deer hunting property.
I have hunted what many would consider to be some of the best deer producing habitat in the nation and I can say, without equivocation, that I would not trade any of it with the opportunity to sit in a stand, overlooking our own marginal deer hunting habitat (with the aid of a feeder if need be) with this young lady.
Peace everyone and enjoy the rest of the season. Winter has come early. 6 degrees here overnight and about 8 inches of snow on the ground. We usually don’t have much snow before Christmas.
"At least we know Kevin is equally likable when discussing hunting topics as he is when talking politics. "
Kevin is a smart guy who no doubt has his share of friends, and like many probably has a different approach in person than he does on the www. He just can't help taking his veiled shots at folks who disagree with him, like he has done in his last two posts. I assume all of us put family before everything else in life, except for God. But we come here to discuss our passions that relate to hunting. Maybe a good suggestion is to make less assumptions about people, and let's all follow Chris's lead and be able to disagree, agreeably.
Now you're just being silly and ridiculous, Einstein.