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The opinion's on deer baiting or supplemental deer feeding are about as varied as each state's regulations are on the subject. My state does allow it but with some restriction. One of the main restrictions in my state is "no baiting on public hunting lands.
For week's and week's we have been scratching our bald heads raw trying to figure out what has happened to our deer, where they are and why are they hanging out there. After 2 more day's hunting without even a hint of deer or much deer sign I got my answer after getting home this evening. After getting in the door and settling in for the night the phone rang. It was a previous member of our club. At 1st thought I figured it was your normal "if you have any openings, I want back in" phone call. But I was wrong.
This previous member decided Sat morning to come up up the mountain and hunt some of the State owned public hunting land that surrounds our hunting club. He was caught off guard as he neared the boundary of our club and could see something on the ground, that stood out from a long distance. He said as he got closer he could see that it was new, clean, bright red 5 gal buckets. Not understanding just yet what they were he went right to them to investigate. What he found sent fear into him and caused a an immediate retreat from the area. He said the buckets were full of what looked like a mixture of corn and dog food. Around here we call it "Deer Chum". It's a mixture of roasted deer corn and a quality deer pellets. He explained that the whole area looked like plowed field because of all the deer activity but his fear of being caught like this caused him to vacate the area and contact one of my other members[ whom has still not called me about this] and then he found my number and notified me.
Let me say this one thing about my opinion on feeding deer. I don't see any harm in it. BUT I won't start feeding unless I can maintain a feeder year round if possible. I prob. also wouldn't want to shoot deer at my feeder either. My opinion of a deer feeder is exactly as the name implies a "deer feeder". My experience with them, about shooting deer at the feeder, is that the deer will abandon the feeder until dark to feed if they are getting shot at while daylight feeding. Enough of this opinion stuff on feeding.
My deer have been thru a drought like this land hasn't seen since 1944. For the 1st year in 8 I wasn't able to get any food plots to grow. I have tremendous cover and the best 2 creeks within 2 miles. My oaks produced an early crop but a smaller crop. I honestly believe nearly all my deer on this small 300 acres are holding tight to this "Hand Out food source". ILLEGAL FOOD SOURCE.
It has been several years since I've used our gravity feeders but I feel like I almost have to if I want these deer to come back into a huntable part of my property. The location of the illegal food is in an area more accessible to public land hunters than it is to us on the club. It is also possible that this deer food has been placed on our private land illegally. I won't know for sure until I go look at it.
Patience and Perseverance are qualities that are best practiced rather than preached
Of a similar situation, in Texas you are allowed to hunt on navigable streams and rivers.... jackasses in Texas have, as of yet, not defined where those areas are in Texas... so people park on the highway, walk down the river, find a good spot to throw out some corn, and wait. Usually it happens to be adjacent my wheat fields. And I can't do anything about it, unless I catch them above the river bed. Makes a mans blood boil to know I grow the deer, and someone else shoots them. Oh, and I still have to pay the taxes on that property....
Hopefully the GW can nab them. Thats just not right Paul. I have tried to understand Texas water laws. They need a hand book. Like is it illegal to walk in a river? What if it dries up in a spot?
Being a Texas native, I am used to hunting feeders, but understand both sides of the spectrum. However, I have hunted a lot of public land, and strictly abide by their specific rules/laws. On some public land here, it is legal to "hand broadcast" bait, but illegal to run a feeder of any type. Some public land here it is illegal to bait. As far as your case, I would be absolutely furious in your situation. Good luck with this my friend, and keep us posted, please.
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