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With deer disease being in Ohio,wouldn't it make sense for the ODNR to ban baiting? I know most hunters use some form of baiting,but instead of making profits for the dealers and stores we all should be concerned about keeping our deer heard safe and healthy. The ODNR needs to do more for our deer heard and that would be a great help to ban baiting.
Oh my, somebody just opened a can of worms...8^)
Mike, I have heard that the ODNR may be open to considering banning baiting if they were to get a petition. I would like to see it ban because I have enough acreage that I do not need to bait to have deer to hunt. Plus, the constant introduction of new bait sites on adjacent land makes it hard to pattern and hunt deer. But those are selfish reasons. I doubt if a baiting ban will be approved anytime soon. Please feel free to start and submit a petition.
I'm conflicted on baiting. I don't hunt bait in Ohio, but I run bait to compete with my neighbors - all who bait and many within sight of my borders. The baiting allows me to track bucks. Plus, right now I'm hunting does and using bait. It's pretty much a slam dunk.
I have never heard definitive science that says baiting transmits CWD. Honestly, I find EHD to be a bigger threat and that issue is about drought and small pools of water.
My biggest concern is that the bow harvest will likely go down. And that may prompt the DNR to expand firearms seasons. That would suck. At my NY property the firearm season is so long every good buck gets killed. I'd hate to see that happen in Ohio. The deer management here is exceptional IMO.
But if they stop baiting I won't lose any sleep over it. And I'll probably save a lot of money.
Every study that I have seen says that the deer harvest actually goes down if everyone baits vs no one baits. Plus bigger bucks are taken if there is no baiting. If you are the only one baiting you have a huge advantage and if you are the only one not baiting you have a disadvantage. My personnel experience has mirrored that. Before baiting was so prevalent I saw a lot more big bucks in daylight and the does that were moving around browsing were a lot easier to draw on. However, if you have a few acres that normally do not hold deer and are not on a reliable travel pattern but you have good access and favorable winds and thermals baiting may be the only saving grace.
Goyt, that's very true. My hunting would likely improve tremendously. Every 20-40 acre property around me baits and 90% of all buck activity is at night. They would have almost no shot of killing a good buck without bait. I know this from hunting Connecticut where I'm hunting 4 acres in one spot and shot the buck in my bloodtrail game. No way I would even know about that buck were it not for running baits.
With my plots, I believe I'd have more daytime action. Anyone putting the effort into plots would have an advantage, so it would improve the hunting. But, I do worry about bow harvest declines. It's gonna be inevitable. And I bet DNR would expand gun season over it. I'd take the baiting over a 3 week firearm season.
Illinois is 1of28 states that ban baiting.I have hunted there and you aren't even allowed to use any mineral blocks etc.Hunters there have no problem killing big bucks or lots of deer.Just saying.
I was against bait for a long time. I started occasionally using it to harvest a doe late season. I found it was NOT as easy as it would seem. Selection bait sight, approach etc. Deer KNOW it is not a good thing when they come in - especially during daylight. It can be very successfull - especially when done right. It takes some effort to do it right.
I had a great stand on private property I hunted for about 3 years. 4th year someone dumped bait 6 yards away. Mature bucks I saw dropped significantly. Pretty much to zero.
About 5 or 6 years ago they legalize bowhunting in my urban city. I had occasionally had a camera out and caught more people hunting/poaching then medium size bucks. Not a single mature buck. Treestand were around - I could see them in winter. Bolts, arrows, spent shotgun shells etc. When they legalized hunting I decided to dump bait to draw in deer so my girls (around 10 at the time) could hunt easily. I nearly pooped a brick when I saw what came in. 2 huge bucks and a couple really nice ones. I had no clue they were there. I figured maybe 1 and was sure some nice ones would occasionally cross my property.
I had both bucks coming in during daylight hours. I suspect this was only because they were not legally hunted before. Both were dead within a few days, as the rut approached, when they started shooting up during shooting hours. I shot one and the other had been showing up every single day at the same time then never, ever again.
Since then I have very very very few mature bucks coming in during daylight. Some never do not even during the rut.
I have caught them on camera and in person sneaking along a treeline (hardwood to pines) about 50 yards downwind. I have seen mature bucks doing this during the rut. They travel in the open woods along the edge of a thick checking for hot does entering. I have only seen mature bucks do this, it is a smart low effort way to check for hot does.
Late winter if a snowstorm is coming a mature buck might show up the last couple minutes of shooting light. Sometimes during the rut they might follow a doe in.
I have not hunted in 2-3 years and occasionally I let someone else hunt. I take corn out between noon and 1pm only. The past 4 years the park system has been sharpshooting does nearby there are significantly less deer. There are TONS of mature bucks now but daylight visitation is rare.
That is my 2 cents and experience for what it is worth.
It is fun to see what comes in. I have what looks like a typical 14 point, but is really a 12 with one pair of split tines. He was young but amazing. Never showed up during daylight. One more year on him................
Pat, I agree that your and my hunting would improve significantly if baiting were banned. To ease your concerns about Ohio increasing gun seasons, ODNR has already addressed that issue. Not that long ago ODNR was concerned that the deer herd had gotten to the point where it was not possible to control it with hunting alone. They studied hunter habits and deer responses and decided that it was best to have multiple opening days about two weeks apart. They felt that with a long gun season, hunters would get complacent. That two weeks between seasons would allow the deer to settle down and would focus hunting pressure and increase forced movement. ODNR added a two day season two weeks after the close of the traditional 7 day season. The muzzle loader season was adjusted to provide the preferred timing. I think that they also added a two day doe season in October for a few years. The bag limits were increased to 6 for a lot of the counties and they considered increasing it even more, but their records showed that very few hunters were shooting six deer. The approach worked and many felt that the deer population dropped too low in some areas. I think that ODNR feels like they had a huge success. I hope that they will try to control populations by adjusting bag limits until that is felt to be ineffective. The best thing that we can do is to shoot does. IMO it is better to have too few deer than too many. Deer populations seem to respond quickly if the habitat is there. IMO mature bucks are easier to hunt in lower deer populations especially if a lot of the harvest is made up of does. I feel that private landowners and people leasing hunting ground that do not want to disturb their hunting areas by shooting does is having a bigger impact on the deer herd than baiting. This year I did not shoot a mature buck and I kept hunting for one until last light on Saturday. No does were shot where I hunt in early archery season because of that so I am guilty as charge. Fortunately, it was easy enough to get out the 350 legends and in-line MLs and fill does tags quickly with a few days of hunting.
Although I would personally like to see baiting banned and I feel that it is the best thing for hunting, I am not advocating it. I have too many friends and neighbors that rely on baiting. The in fighting caused over the issue IMO would be severe. We attacked each other over what broadhead to use! Whether baiting is allowed or not has a huge impact on hunters. It is easy to say leave it as an individual choice, but it is not that easy because as we both have found out that other hunters baiting has a significant impact on our hunting experience.
Thanks Goyt, you make a lot of sense.
Don, I agree that baiting is not the best way to kill a mature buck. That’s why I don’t hunt over bait, I hunt trails leading to food plots or field edges. The 5.5 year old buck I shot last season came to my feeder twice all season and in the middle of the night. He was impossible to kill over bait. But I killed him as he entered my brassicas in 11/9. I do have a really big 8 that was killable at one of my feeders for about two weeks post rut. I can’t tell how he approached it though and imagine he came from downwind. He survived too, just saw him without antlers this weekend.
"I do worry about bow harvest declines. It's gonna be inevitable."
Not this year, bow kills surpassed fire sticks statewide again...
Zbone, I saw that. I am surprised how high the kill was considering the lack of shooting in our area. It does not seem like there are many deer drive. Most shots must result in a dead deer. I know that we were 100% this year, both gun and bow on the land that I hunt.
I saw that too. So much different from my NY property. It’s like 98% firearms and 2% bow kill up in the Northern zone.
But my point was: would those archery numbers be that high without baiting? I’d bet they’d go down by 50%.
I don't think the number is high because of baiting. It is high because crossbow kills are included in the archery total. I accept that they are legal in Ohio but there use has driven up the archery kill number.
Yep Old Reb, I'd bet a paycheck so called archery numbers would drop less than half if xbows we're restricted...
They're now used as a management tool....
I think that the overall kill and the archery kill would go up if baiting is banned. There may be an adjustment period as some hunters learn how to hunt w/o bait. Some hunters may drop out and some may get back in. I would like to find out if I am right.
The crossbows are the majority of the archery kill. Baiting is allowed and legal, but I don’t think it would change the harvest more than a couple percent if it were banned. As a P&Y and B&C measurer, the majority of deer I measure are shot with a crossbow. 70/30 crossbow to compound/longbow was very close last year, and this year so far crossbows are even higher for deer that I have measured.
I understand that they are a legal weapon, but as long as they have the full season to use them, the numbers are only going to keep going up.
I really think you guys underestimate just how much baiting contributes to the harvest numbers. Not just for archery either.
Just think of all the small parcels like 10-20-30 acres in Ohio and imagine how frustrating it would be to shoot a buck without bait on those properties? All of my neighbors bait, some of them don't need to because they are effective hunters, but most of them do. I don't think they would kill a buck without it. They sit in little wooden box blinds 20 yards from a bait pile and they kill a buck every year.
If it wasn't that effective, then why are they all doing it year after year?
I will agree that for the mature bucks, and those old Alpha does, it's not effective at all. But for young bucks and does, it really is a slam dunk.
Again, I'm all for eliminating the use of bait. But I bet the buck harvest would be cut in half. Ohio would become like Iowa, with all the giants running around.
I talked to the ODNR about this exact issue and their main goal is hunter participation and hunter success. I do not think baiting will ever be banned because it allows the average joe a fighting chance of getting a deer every year. If you own a small parcel or poor habitat and want to hunt, throw up a feeder and shoot a deer....any deer. This is what makes the ODNR happy and why they won't outlaw it. Simply allows hunting to be more accessible and more successful statewide.
Short of a significant disease outbreak that can be linked to bating, it is here to stay.
We have 130 ac with multiple plots, etc. but do not bait. Can hear feeders going off all around us and it 100% pulls deer onto those properties. I wish it was illegal as well.
I will admit that I do bait, and sometimes do hunt over it. Mostly I use it to get them coming to an area and hunt around it, not on it. During late winter/early fall it’s a good way to grab a few sheds also. A lot of hunters sit their bait piles way too often, making it less effective for actually harvesting a deer. I think most average hunters, without bait, would take as many deer, if not more than those that bait. For the average buck or doe it might take a few more days to tag one, but the numbers would stay pretty close to the same. I did not harvest a buck this year, but did tag out on 2 does. It took me 3.5 hours of hunting on an oak flat, no bait, during firearms season. I heard 7 shots on those 2 days during my brief hunting time. Both were the Saturdays of firearms seasons. People that want to make things happen do, and if we were a non baiting state, you would see reduced hunter numbers and bigger deer. Looking at the buck harvest, and no bait allowed on public land, they are still going to get killed with the amount of hunting pressure, with the most of that being during archery. If we were the kind of state that did age surveys, the 1-3 year old bucks will still be the most taken, public or private, and I bet you would see pretty close to 60/40 resident vs nonresident. We have ALOT of non resident hunters.
I agree that most hunters in Ohio bait during all seasons. A lot of hunters in Ohio feel that they have to bait seeing that all of their neighbors do. I talked to an outfitter who hunts adjacent land and he said that his expenses for bait this last year was right about $20,000. He has gone to 1,200# Boss Buck feeders. It is hard to compete w/o baiting. Pat may be right that the kill would drop off w/o baiting. I certainly do not know for sure. The studies says that the kills go up but they may not be representative of Ohio or they maybe be measuring kills per hunter day with the number of hunters days going way down due to the non-baiting restriction. I would love to see baiting banned.
If you "hunt" over bait you're not hunting, you're just shooting. I'm OK with it I guess because it's legal in Ohio, just please don't call it hunting.
Ut oh, cord62 is stirring the pot...8^)))
Z... Stirring the pot, what pot? You know as well as I do that this site has been dead for years. Who's going to read any of this besides me and you and 5 or 6 other people. LOL.. All kidding aside I do enjoy Bowsite and click on several times a day. Baiting still aint hunting tho.. BTW as I type this a small six pt. just walked thru the backyard, still holding both sides....
Bow season is too long,3 months would be plenty. Give muzzle loaders more days instead.
I would assume mineral licks are more dangerous. I would think broadcast feeders would be pretty safe as they disperse feed in a 30 yard circle onto the ground. Maybe banning some baiting would make sense if disease got bad enough, but i think broadcast feeders should be allowed.
No baiting here in South Dakota and Wyoming Where I hunt Whitetail. No crop fields either. Rifles kill most of the mature bucks. Probably 98% I have shot a few and missed a few. By creating funnels, Rattling and Hunting high doe areas. It can be Tough. I agree Ohio would have Iowa type bucks if the baiting was outlawed. You can hunt a hay yard here, If it was not placed there for hunting. Alfalfa hay is a deadly attractant in late season. I killed 1 mature 164" buck in Ohio over a corn pile. On January 24th 20 years ago -4 degree and a north wind. Outlawing baiting would make better hunters out of a lot of guys.
I wish I had a pic of the local drive through feed store and all the pickup trucks waiting to pick up their seed corn this week - just in time for 2nd rifle.
I hunted bait this year from a redneck blind. The amount of deer pouring into that spot was ridiculous. I passed 3 PY bucks. One of them was killed during rifle by my neighbor - over his bait on 42 acres.
Baiting works here in Ohio, especially during the rut when all those does are coming in and the bucks blindly follow. That's why everyone is doing it. If I wasn't targeting specific bucks I'd have a nice 140 10, 130 8, and a busted 150 9 that would net around 130.
It is a fun, lazy way to kill a deer - not gonna lie. It would absolutely wreck my neighbors' small-parcel hunting if it was banned. And quite honestly, I don't think many of them would ever kill a mature buck again. No doubt, we'd see far more mature bucks if it were banned and I agree that we'd see Iowa quality bucks here. Like I mentioned above, my preference is to see baiting outlawed - but will freely admit to a selfish motivation in that preference.