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ETHICS: Deer "hunting".... is deer shooting?
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: ETHICS: Deer "hunting".... is deer shooting? Reply with quote

(11 paragraphs) This post expanded from the DNR post re doe shooting.

Deer “Hunting” versus “shooting”...

My friends… we have an entire generation of “deer shooters”. The sport of Deer HUNTING has eroded with the practice of shooting over bait piles. No wonder deer “hunter‘s” get a bad name. Personally, I have a HUGE ethical problem with killing baited deer. I guess I am old school. Fair chase and all of that. Killing an animal that has been hunted, as part of the conclusion of a hunt, is a personal decision. Nor is it necessary to kill an animal to have had a successful hunt. Like check …and checkmate… “I could have” is often good enough, for me, at least. And I have. And haven’t. I am going further with this, at the end.

Near here is a place called “The Sanctuary” which could be better called “The 2000 acre deer-shooting farm” because that’s what they do. Scientifically managed for Trophy whitetails. And for several thousand dollars, you can go in and shoot one. But it gets better. They advertise “Trophy Whitetail Deer HUNTING. I have seen some of the monsters through the 12’ high fence surrounding the preserve. I have never been in there but know some who have been employed there.

This is how it works: You make your reservation and show up. A “guide” takes you out to “blind” which has heat/air, padded everything. Now you are “hunting”. I understand the hunting area(s) are divided into smaller lots although not obvious to the “hunter”. I assume each of these lots is stocked with x number of trophy bucks. One comes out in the open and POW. The trophy of a lifetime that got “simulation-hunted” and shot. And then you get your picture taken with it, and a certificate with B&C scoring.

So you have it mounted, hang it on the wall and brag “Look what I hunted and shot” Feel free to omit the part that this was a canned deer, that you could have walked right up to and whacked. There are other nearby shooting preserves where you can pay to whack an Elk, Buffalo, pen raised pheasants whatever. Bring lots of ammo for lots of shooting.

And the point is what? If you want to hunt, then you need wild game and the acquired skill to hunt. Any moron can shoot an animal and unfortunately, this simulated hunting might be as close as they ever get.

When I was a young man, learning the skills of deer hunting, shooting a doe or shooting a deer over a pile of bait was beyond my imagination. The point is what? The meat? People are too busy to spend time on the hunting part? Or they are clueless about the concept of fair chase? Many know no different. No one has ever shown them the how to hunt. Only how to load a gun and hit a target.

All accepted standard practice in these times and unfortunately the terms “hunting” and “shooting” have become one? I don’t know if this (baiting) got started with the popularity of the compound bow and “bow hunting” or because if the bow hunters did it, the rifle hunters could do it… Or if the DNR simply allowed it or figured it would bag more deer and sell more licenses…. Or what.

I think this practice is completely unsporting and is truly pathetic. (why hold back?) So now we have a generation of “hunters” that know no other method than a bait pile. Sad. Nor do they understand how they have truly undermined their opportunities. They do it because everyone else does and if they DON’T bait, they won’t even see deer? The even sadder part is that they do not know the “thrill of the hunt” and shooting the deer is often anti-climatic.

(around here) After the opening morning barrage, the deer go nocturnal. Two reasons: 20 generations of deer that have gone nocturnal have survived where the “day feeders” have been weeded out. Selective breeding, survival of the fittest.

And common sense: With hunting pressure, the deer simply feed all night on the bait pile of theri choice, and lay around all day. I have found that after the opening day (around here) going out in the morning or any time other than a few minutes before dark, when the deer begin to move, is a complete waste of time unless you enjoy sitting there for hours on end seeing zippo. The point is what? The only thing which might move these otherwise nocturnal deer is really harsh weather or "driving" them. Driving is another practice I strongly DO NOT endorse; seldom successful and incredibly dangerous, ethics aside.

The irony of baiting is that in these times, after 20 generations of survivors breeding and evolving into nocturnal deer, they have found another way to survive. Baiting actually results in lower deer kills.

As it has been and where it has gone.

C

Sorry about long winded. If you made it this far, I have gotten your attention. Comments welcomed!
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis you got my attention. Run way hunting is the easiest for shooting no doudt. I admit that I do both and I have got the most of my deer between 11:00 and 3:00. I have never shot a buck over a bait pile altho I have tried. Not easy The bucks are uaslly in the rut and don't eat in the day time bait or no bait. If you do bait and you are looking at your bait then chances of getting a buck isn't as good as run way hunting. They only come out to the bait pile if there is a doe in heat around and they will be on the run chassing the doe so you better be quick with the gun to even get a shot off. If you do have a buck come to a bait pile it is useally a spike horn which I don't even shoot. The bigger bucks do not come in to bait piles. I do think baiting is saffer because you aren't wondering through the woods snap shooting or sound shooting which I used to hear that went on. Or making other hunters mad because you have wondered into there area. If you are feeding the deer by baiting and not getting as many deer that is o.k. with me.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin. Thanks for being a hunter.

No big bucks don't hit bait piles. Only does and twinkie bucks.

Deer are creatures of habit. They use the same run ways at the same time of the day. The "hunting part" is observation and figuring some of this out. This requires some scouting and effort. Not bait.

C

PS I do use "doe in heat" scent to draw bucks in for a closer look. It works, too. I don't consider this baiting. call it attractive camoflague.

If some guy wants to sit and stare at a bait pile all day to see small bucks and does, fine with me too. Let the hunters have the woods and the shooters have the bait piles. We get the nice bucks and they get doodly squat unless they have doe permits... which is where this discussion started?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am going to sound like a complete and total hypocrit here. Whatever. I love the taste of local "high speed beef" (corn fed ag-deer). Each opener I take two does off my property...because does are what we have and need to be taken out. One into summer sausage and the other into Jerky. I sob when it gets all eaten up! I don't shoot over bait, I don't have to. Same old ditch out in the back coming in from the surrounding corn fields. Slam dunk all done by 8am. Not real exciting or sporting, Deer management 101. Get it over with and in the freezer.

Call me a meat hunter because that is EXACTLY what I am doing, shooting deer. VENISON in the freezer and grade A primo at that. Then by 10am, heading north to spend the rest of the season hunting. Best of both worlds.
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veva
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEVIN
I would like to take a second of your time to say thanks to you and your family. I have been on your property many times in the past. Until the past few years I didnt know who owned this area. It is a great piece of property.
I have only been there to duck hunt,and some times have snowmobiled
through the property. I have many good memories of great friends an good hunting.
Hope you have luck with your feeding. You have a nice place to try it.


HOPE TO MEET YOU IN THE FALL
VEVA
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:46 am    Post subject: Hunting Reply with quote

I have HUNTED on Bois Blanc for about 45 years. I've tried hunting in other places but I'm spoiled and can't stand to hunt anywhere but here now. The changes I've seen over the years. It was a moral sin to bait when I first started hunting on Bois Blanc. A real hunter never baited. I remember when bow hunting began on Bois Blanc. It got off to a bad start with an arrow stuck in the school house and hunters carrying dead fawns into the Pines for the scornful residents to scoff at. The quality of bowhunter has improved since. I guess I have followed the morals taught me back then for all these years. I have noted that even miles from a Burger King for deer in the woods, the deer trail routes are changed. Instead of following their normal routes they all become like spokes radiating from the Burger King. I'll find a good deer trail out in the middle of the island and pull up some dead wood into a blind and wait for a deer. Then I'll scout the area later and you guessed it, the trail leads to a big bait pile and usually a permanent "house" built on state land. So then I abandon my blind because I'm in someone elses territory. It has come to the point where most of my hunting is trying to find a place where I'm not in someones territory. Years go by.
Then, I find that place, and I'm finally in the right place at the right time, and I actually hit the buck, can you imagine just how good it feels. I have only gotten a few really "good" bucks this way, but the pride in doing it that way is priceless.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

My reflections parallel yours. Erosion of the sport . Hunting has evolved into baiting and shooting.

Mecosta County ( where I claim residence) used to be the tops for deer hunting in Michigan. In the late 70s, we would ALWAYS take 2-3 NICE bucks from 40 acres behind my home and let many more go through. I don't think I have killed a buck around these parts in 15 years. All small and we need every one we have left.

I have just lost interest around here. Same in Cheboygan County. Same old crap. There is no hunting any more. All bait/shoot as you have described... Good luck trying to find a niche.

I think what really turned things sour was the wholesale endorsed slaughter of the herd by farmers. We had an over population problem at one time. The DNR dealt with it by issuing unlimited block (kill) permits and that mentality has stuck ever since. At once time, there were signs along the roads inviting SHOOTERS in. Open season, have at it. So many killed they just buried them... or gut shot them so they wouldn't have to pick them up. Absolutely sick.

Nothing has changed. Block permits are no longer issued. What are issued are over the counter doe permits, unlimited except one per day. I think they still had 3000 left for this county at the end of 05 rifle season. The only reason it is one per day is to prevent hunters from buying them up and destroying them.

I made a comment about doe shooting on my own property. I know about how many deer are around. When in rome... I might as well put meat in the freezer because any does making it into the farmers fields are goners, anyway. There is absolutely no hunting to it. I haven't seen many deer/does around this summer. I will post it as usual and probably just stay out this year, give them some refuge, as if it would make any difference.

I have no problems with ethical bow hunters. My problems are with unlimited doe shooting and absurdly long seasons.

The latest debacle being the September "youth" deer hunt. What a joke.
I was at Jays Sporting goods last fall and all the deer coming in for show and tell. I asked one 14 year old youngster what he shot his buck with? (gun?) He says "Dad... what did we shoot it with?" Dad proudly says "a 7 mm mag". EGADS! What lessons are these kids learning? I should have asked him what sort of bait they used? There's a blossoming young rule bending deer shooter in the making. Like father like son.

It has come to the point where any one who wants to have a place to hunt deer had better own enough acreage to control what goes on.

More later.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:25 am    Post subject: Deer Reply with quote

Cousin Mike ..knowing you .. you would not do it any other way .....

The pride you feel is worth it ....

I was going to the school the time the arrow was hit on the front of the school .... we were scared to walk home though the woods afer that .. we were told to sing on our way to school and home ....

I have alot of respect for you Mike for keeping your standards ....
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Kiefer
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have hunted in Mecosta County. I could not agree with you more. I am not an old timer, but I don't know where the hunting ethics went. I am not a perfect hunter and I have shot some small deer in my youth. I have matured and I can honestly tell you that the hunting is so much better. I have let nice 8point bucks walk by my bow stand and "know" that I "could have" shot. The check/checkmate analogy. I have become a better hunter because of my ethics. I used to (hunt) over bait. I never liked it, but that was the way everybody did it! I bought into the notion that you had to have the bigger bait pile. What a joke! Since my rebirth, I have succesfully taken three trophy bucks including one that scored 158 3/8. My new tactic is to hunt where no one else is. This simply means to hunt in the nastiest, thickest most god awful part of the property. The truly beautiful thing is, just like you don't see rookie, or lazy hunters there. You don't see rookie, or lazy deer there either. You see the big boys! Last year I was successful in seeing a B&C bruiser three times that as far as I know has not seen me. Getting this boy within my 30 yard self imposed range has been a challenge. I would not have it any other way. It is refreshing to know that someone shares my passion and ethics about deer hunting. We are the minority I assure you!

Kiefer
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time we go hunting and we have a blind or just setting in an area we are uasally baiting by some means by accorns apples or using sugar beets or in a cutting area thease are baitting forms. I don't disagree with baiting for one big reason it is safer for the hunters. I don't like hunters walking over into my area this always happens when you have hunters walking all over the woods. Then if they spook a deer they shoot at it they don't even know if some one is on the other side of the deer they might shoot and hit the other hunter. Blind hunting is much safer. I would reather see it safer then every one walking around the woods. But I do not belive in shooting does no matter what kind of hunting you do. When I do bait I can't even see my bait pile It might be a couple hundreds from me. But I don't hunt the bait just the runways going to it. The same as a accron ridge or a cutting or a apple tree.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baiting brings in the does, which may bring in some bucks. It probably is safer... Attracting deer is one thing. Shooting does eating bait is another.

I see these huge pick up load bait piles dumped in the woods. The deer feed all night and lay around all day. Pretty soon the night deer survive.

Take a look at some of the electric corn feeders that work on a timer. Set it to feed in the morning or at noon and by night, all the feed is gone. Deer get conditioned to these and will come running when they hear the feeder run. Cost around $40 and mount to a 5 gallon (drywall) bucket. They also save a lot of feed.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool I need one of them.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can get them in the catalogues. Been waiting for some due in at local sports shop. Probably invest in 2-3.

Everyone I know who has used them, swears by them. Takes a couple weeks to "train" the deer to the sound.

Definately a solution to the nocturnal deer problem. Not feeding the coons, either.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who ever thought corn fed deer.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kit is $39, $44 with 5 gal bucket. Kit will mount to pail, 30 gal plastic drum or whatever.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?cmView=full&type=pod&id=0030709

Jays has them, same price.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will they work with accorns too.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question. They will work with beans.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we get them with big lights on them. So we can stay legal
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had the greatest success hunting away from hunters. Not sure if you are hunting on private, or public lands. I have found this tactic to be successful on both. Don't get me wrong as I will never argue legal hunting tactics. It is just a preference. I do not hunt over artificial bait anymore.

There was the subject of taking does. I support managing a balanced herd. I do not think the DNR has done a good job of this. Ask Conis....In Mecosta County the DNR's policies has devestated the balance.

As long as we are not shooting each other in the woods, it is a good day.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kiefer wrote:
I have had the greatest success hunting away from hunters. Not sure if you are hunting on private, or public lands. I have found this tactic to be successful on both. Don't get me wrong as I will never argue legal hunting tactics. It is just a preference. I do not hunt over artificial bait anymore.....


Ask Conis....In Mecosta County the DNR's policies has devestated the balance. They have cut WAY back this year but it will take years to get a normal buck/doe ratio


To be successful you have to scout-scout-scout... and go where few men dare to walk. One of my neighbors bags a big one ever year. He puts on his waders and trudges out to the middle of a 300 acre swamp, parks himself on an island and waits. One the shooting starts on the opener, he can pick his buck. Next trick is getting it out...
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as hunting state or private lands I do both I have hunted the island for fourty years and I don't use artifical bait eather I do use natural bait corn, sugar beets, cuttings, accorns and apples. And I runway hunt. And I have all kinds of ten,eight,twelve,six point racks in my pole barn. I haven't went to many years without getting a nice deer.
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Kiefer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin,

With that many deer. Looks like I might want to hunt in your pole barn next season.javascript:emoticon('Laughing')
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They like sugar beets bring some with you. They also like gummy bears. Good hunting and get to watch all the football games too.
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Bruce Lord
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natural bait ... artificial bait ... isn't bait, bait? Just wondering. Is it like using rubber worms or real worms? Rubber corn? I dont get the baiting thing but I don't get alot of sruff. Will someone explain the point> of it other than the obvious, lazy hunter thing.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis,

I know the feeling of your neighbor. Last year it took me three hours to drag that beast out of the swamp. I have told all of my buddies that it was the hardest thing I ever did. I went the next day and invested in a deer cart. Hopefully that will make it somewhat easier the next time. This was on public land and no motorized vehicles allowed. Other places I get the quad runner as close as I can.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rubber corn?

HOLY MOLY! maybe you are on to something! I remember that candy corn we used to get in our trick or treat bags.

50/50 with m&ms?
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