Jump to navigation
SB 2351 - Click Here For Talk Forum DiscussionSynopsis: (Sen's Olafson, Triplett; Rep's Belter, Kaldor) - Relating to the feeding of big game and hunting big game over bait; and to provide a penalty (2009).
"Hey look, there's my feed for my pheasants."
"No sir, I am not hunting over bait, I am hunting south of my pheasant feed."
"No sir, that is food for my cows and not for the deer."
Hello!!! Nice bill writing. I bet we see a lot of amendments to this bill.
It does look like there are some holes in this one.
You are right, tim. I'll becha this one is rewritten and revised a bunch of times.
So according to the bill, it would be unlawful to feed wildlife however, allows the planting of food plots. I'm confused. Who are the food plots for? PETA members!
"When we step into the outdoors, we have the privilege of standing in the presence of God through the power and majesty of His creation. That makes hunting more than a sport or a hobby. It's a calling to something greater. And that transforms the places that we stand into something more than a cropfield or a pasture or a mountain. It makes that place Hallowed Ground."
Yeah this one definately needs some work. If I have ever read a bill that is just begging to get hung up indefinately due to confusion from any number of angles, this is it.......maybe that was the point.
Other states have baiting laws. Anybody know how they are worded differently to work?
Actually, the vast majority of states with baiting laws allows the feeding of wildlife. I will have to go see if I can dig up the big report published a few years back.
Isnt a food plot intended to feed wildlife? I guess the devil is in the details. If you grow the food yourself (own land) you can get away with it. If you buy the food and put it out they want to make you a criminal.
It isn't ethical to shoot a deer over bait but it's alright to shoot one in a field planted specifically to attract them. I'll never understand that one. I don't care if they ban it but we need to call a spade a spade.
Here's the discussion from 2007 when this bill was up in the past: 2007 HB 1039 Bait Ban Bill
And here is the report: A Review of Wildlife Baiting and Feeding Practices
Wow was that topic a hum dinger in 2007. There are oodles of posts and some darn good discussion. Bingo asked about other states and this is something I researched in 2007 from the report. I don't know if anything has changed in regard to the numbers or not but here's what I found on the number of states with restrictions. I do not have the actual "text" of each ban or restriction. A person would have to go find that by looking in the report and then visiting that state's century code or Game and Fish website.
1) There are 25 states that allow baiting in some way, shape, or form. Out of that 25, 23 of those states allow feeding.
2) Simple math tells us there are 25 states that do not allow baiting. HOWEVER...
3) ...17 of those states. I repeat, 17 of those states allow feeding of deer/wildlife. Which includes Minnesota.
In short, in 2007 68% of the states allow the feeding of wildlife. And like I said in my past discussions the discussion about disease is obviously trumped by the discussion of ethics. With the current law as it is written it does little if anything toward the control of disease. Especially when the number one reason the spread of disease occurred is when deer interact with infected cattle. In the current bill, there is no suggestion of alleviating that problem.
Like it has been said, this bill has a lot of discussion in its future. That is, if it even makes it out of committee hearings with a "Withdrawn" stamped on it.
It will be interesting. Two years ago the bill failed by only 7 votes.
I guess I'm not sure how exactly this is worded but it sounds like feeding is considered a violation but planting a food plot isn't.
I think what they are attempting to establish here is that you can't go dump a pile of corn out, hang a stand up and sit there until a deer comes in.
You can put some time and effort as well as a little management and plant something that may attract animals and hunt over that.
Yes both are food sources.
Yes both may or may not attract game.
But one has a little more skill and hard work behind it.
There are too many animals in this state being taken on the principle of who's pile of corn/oats/barley whatever was bigger.
The bill would have to be worded like this so hunting next to a soybean field or corn field was legal. If that was considered a violation of the law then there are many areas in the eastern part of the state that you couldn't hunt.
I guess I agree with banning baiting. I think, especially relating to bow hunting deer, its a lazy way to harvest your animal. It doesn't take much skill. Patience, but not much skill.
Food plots are planted for one reason and one reason only. To attract wildlife and usually for the purpose of hunting. Kind of sounds like the baiting definition. A soybean/corn/sunflower/barley/wheat/etcc..are agricultural crops and meant to be harvested, not left up for wildlife to consume. Granted some leave some stand for wildlife, and then ahhh hunt over them. When I think of food plots, I think of the Tecomate seed brands and others that are planted specifically for wildlife use and have no agricultural means whatsoever.
The bill states baiting and feeding of "big game". That is where the bill fails miserably. If they want to be serious about things, they need to replace "big game" with the word "wildlife".
Now in regard to laziness. I disagree. Baiting requires the same effort as any other practice. If one wants to be successful they must understand the animal they are hunting, they must have a detailed location planned for their hunt and they must put their time in over that location. Does a bait pile help attract game? Yes it does. But I can testify that throwing down a bait pile is NOT going to give the same result as building a baseball field in a corn field like the movie "Field of Dreams." Laziness is the wrong word and considering it unethical is also the wrong word.
This fall a friend and I hunted up on a local refuge next to a corn field. I have never seen so many deer concentrated in one area in all my life. The very first night I sat in my ground blind (out in a alfalfa field next to a hay bale) I had five animals within 30 yards of me. My friend had 14 come by him just a little to the northwest of me. Other nights my friend sat there he had several deer in front of him including two animals I won't torture him with (he can offer the rest of the story if he wants...heh, heh). Anyway, using that corn field is no different than an individual using a bucket of seed. In fact, I will always attest that a food plot is twice the hunting weapon when compared to a bait pile. And why stop there? If we want to talk "laziness" or "unethical" is it okay for an antelope to sit over a water hole during a 80 to 100 degree day?
I spent some time emailing Olafson back and forth before this bill came out. Quite honestly, I provided him information that would have made this bait bill bullet proof. I did that because I wanted to cover all avenues and call out the hypocrisy often associated with the discussion of baiting especially when it is accused of disease and hoarding of wildlife.
While I won't protest the idea it may offer an opportunity for disease transfer there has not been any disease in North Dakota (as far as I can recall). The most recent discovery came from a cow in southwest ND. Cattle often are carriers of disease in many situations, hence the vaccination and prolonged efforts to keep them "clean." Many times, deer and cattle mingle in the same proximity and ESPECIALLY during times we are experiencing now. Baiting and even the feeding of wildlife targets deer and other wildlife specifically. In other words, the interaction of cattle and deer over a feed or "bait" area can easily be avoided by the hunter. However, the interaction where ranchers feed their cattle has very little control and in my opinion is basically impossible. But, if Olafson and other supporters of this bill want to blame the hunter for disease transfer I think they are grossly mistaken when we all know the story is different.
What is kind of kept in the background is the ethics and "hoarding" of wildlife theory. Disease is the poster child for the bill but it is obvious in NDGF publications that they are in support of a bait and feeding ban because there is a claim wildlife is taken from the general public. As I stated to Olafson in my email it is again, grossly hypocritical to again blame the hunter AND ESPECIALLY the non-landowning hunter for the "stealing" or "hoarding" of wildlife. There is no denying a trend is quickly sweeping the state where many individuals are managing their property for wildlife. Even farming or "active" landowners are providing habitat and food sources. The idea that piles of seed are different than a food plot is laughable to me when in fact, the power of a food plot far exceeds the power of a pile of seed. The number one rule to wildlife is habitat. Food plots provide not only habitat they supply a constant food source. There's a two for one attribute when it comes to food plots.
What I am getting at is the ban on bait is not going to fix the problems of "hoarding." In fact, it's my belief the bait ban will handicap the non-landowning hunter from access deer on another's property and make the "hoarding" of wildlife more signifcant. It doesn't take much research to understand the power of food plots. Take a look at the hunting shows out there or just take a look over the landscape when you are driving the countryside. Like my buddy and I, there was one place and one place only animals were frequenting on a regular basis and that was a corn field. The same is true in any sunflower, corn, soybean or pea field throughout the landscape. Just imagine what happens when those fields are not managed as food plots on a person's property. There will be a retention of animals. Again, a glaring example is a farmstead south of Parshall, ND where it is not uncommon to see a hundred deer roaming among the trees. The reason? There is a large corn plot surrounded by trees. It's a situation where habitat, food and security remain year round. I wouldn't leave if I was a deer either.
Now with all that said, I would go as far as supporting a bait ban but it better be restrictive to everyone involved in the outdoors and not just a single group. There are many hypocritical aspects to this subject and to ignore them is just bad policy. I look forward to the testimony on this bill but at the same time I am a little discouraged in how this bill was written. I mean, I supplied several emails and first hand experience with both food plots and baiting to the main draftsman of this bill and nothing was placed in the bill. It appears my assistance fell on deaf ears. I hope more discussion is put forth in committee. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
From the response I have gotten, at least the Leg get the intent of this bill and I do believe with some wording tweaks it is going to pass.
Food Plots are no different than planting and or managing property with habitat that is attractive to wild like. Food plots provide a benefit year around and not just during the time a person has a stand hanging and then stops feeding. Food plots do not suddenly stop being there at the end of the season and leave neighbors to deal with the artificial congregation of animals that dumping of bait causes.
I can go on and on, because I have heard all the lame excuses before when I lived in WI, from I have to bait because the neighbor does, or he has more money and can afford food plots and I cannot so to be equal I have to dump out corn etc....
Then comes the issue of disease which is the primary reason this bill will pass. People who support baiting try and say food plots cause an equal amount of nose to nose contact but every single study has confirmed that to be false. So the best thing to do is contact your reps and let them know how you want this to go. They have been given this issue to decide and like it or not what they do is what we deal with.
I have made it clear to mine that I want something done that is A affective,B enforcable,C fair. Fair being not to place any undue burden upon cattlemen.
I think all three are easily done!
In my lifetime I have seen fence row to fence row farming and the return of CRP and game to the landscape.Now we face again the prosepect of fence row to fence row again! Sportsman are our own worst enemy in that we fail to look forward and focus to much on the now!
Tim - the reason for the 'big game' is to allow the feeding of song birds.
You mention baiting of pheasants, is anyone really serious in that you 'bait pheasants'? Give me a break.
This subject has been completely beat to death over the last several years. Anyone who says they do bait and 'it doesn't account for big deer', it is a lot of work, it is the same as a food plot, it is no different than a corn field, etc. is just a plain liar. Baiting works or no one would do it.
In my opinion, if you want to bait I do not care. Just don't sit around and lie to my face. I have hunted over bait and also without bait. Baiting flat out works. Those that bait know so and that is why they are so dead set against getting rid of it. End of discussion.
Your first paragraph makes my point better than I could ever imagine.
So like solocam said, lets call a spade a spade and stop with the ethic b.s. If this ban is about disease so be it but don't try and tell the public it is a way to eliminate or even help with the "hoarding" of wildlife because it isn't going to do a single thing. In addition, I want the lame excuse that it is unethical to hunt over a bait pile to be removed from the discussion because it is no different to hunt over a food plot or water hole.
And my final thought on it is don't come crying to the hunter when cattle infect deer. We all know our deer heard is clean in North Dakota and when we get disease in this state it will be from livestock to wildlife from a feed lot or other feeding area. It's just something out of our hands and eventually will happen.
So let's cut the bull honky and make this bill about disease and nothing else. Anything else is just plain silly and hypocritical.
I hope the other 17 states I mentioned above get the point too.
Where did I say "baiting" of pheasants. Come on, if we are going to be worried about disease we must be consistent. People FEED pheasants. By current draft, this bill would allow me to put a pheasant feeder out with the intention to feed pheasants while I sit up 200 yards off a commonly traveled trail.
And just for the record, people "bait" pheasants all the time by planting food plots for them. Again, the ethics can be argued about that if we really want to get critical.
Put the ban in the name of disease and disease only and everyone will save themselves all sorts of levels of hypocrite.
I didn't finish reading your post. In no way did I say it doesn't work. I said it works and I say food plots work BETTER! So, by definition often inflicted toward "baiters" the same should be said about those that hunt over other wildlife attractants.
By the way, I consider both of them ethical. Just wanted to make that clear so someone doesn't go saying I am calling food plot hunters unethical. All I was pointing out is the hypocritical nature of it all.
There is no denying that bait increases the chances of encountering wildlife. Does this lead to increased success bowhunting, absolutely. I have hunted over bait, but after this past season could care less if they ban it. I would much rather hunt a agric/food plot anyday. My success rate should I have decided to take an animal skyrocketed compared to my bait pile. In fact, I never hunted over my bait once I had access to this corn field thanks to a generous landowner. You can't make deer come where they don't exist.
In my opinion, you write and pass wildlife bills based on scientific data and safety. There is only one real reason to put an end to baiting and that the threat of disease. Not one person on this site can argue that! Unfortunately, too many personal issues are pushing it. In the end, it will pass but I hope it does because of science and not because someone says it is unethical/laziness. Those are personal beliefs and should have no relevance.
I guess I'll just have to put a sign up by my bait pile, oh I mean this is only Pheasant feed.
Tim - my response (actually it is yours) to your question regarding pheasants:
"No sir, I am not hunting over bait, I am hunting south of my pheasant feed."
FBO Staff | Jan 21, 2009 7:53AM
I get so frustrated with this topic. So many people have their head shoved up their backside. Again, don't ever accuse me of being against baiting as I am not. I just hate the lies. Again, I have hunted over bait and it draws deer to a very precise spot - and since I have a brain, I put my stand within range of that spot. Does it work? ABSOLUTELY!
I have also hunted fields and trees and farmyards and food plots sans bait. Did I see deer? ABSOLUTELY! Were they all coming to a precise spot? Not as predictably.
I still can't figure out why they can't just limit the size of the bait pile to say a 5 gallon bucket. That would be easier to enforce IMO.
The unpredictability of it is what creates the challenge of hunting.
Do some scouting, put up a trail cam and try to figure the deer out.
Like I've said in other posts, it really doesn't take much skill to dump a pile of food out and wait. All you have to do is execute the shot. And with today's equipment in archery and firearms it gets easier every year.
mathews25 - while I say I have hunted over bait it is not something I do very much. Mostly I do that if I am with one of my friends as he spends hundreds of dollars on bait each year and is gracious enough to ask me along. I enjoy going along and hunting new ground so I do. It is not illegal so I do not see it as a problem.
In areas without defined travel routes, such as the pot hole country in the central part of the state, individuals will likely go without a deer most years if they cannot bait. There is no single source of food and they are much more random in their movements compared to river bottom deer for instance.
If everyone wants to bring up ethics, what about all the devices we use to aid in our hunting, to "outsmart" the deer! Those of you that are saying that hunting over bait is unethical do you think using a ground blind, scent cover, doe urine, or a compound bow is all that ethical too? Then what about hunting next to uncut fields, have you all never done that? What about using a rifle that can take a deer before he even knows your around? What about fishing for that matter. Using a fish finder or live minows. How ethical is that to you? I have hunted without bait and with bait and do prefer without just for my own minds eye but nobody should be throwing stones about ethics.
The way they have this bill is introduced is a perfect example of people starting something they have no clue about. The bill written this way will be an enforcemnet nightmare for the Game and Fish Dept. If they (the promoters) of this bill want it done right, give it to the Game and fish to write it. Thus,making it a disease issue, which is their main reason for it in the first place.
HUNTNFISHND | Jan 21, 2009 11:49AM
So how close than those piles be and if you are hunting an area that someone else is can you now both have 5 gal of bait out and at what distance apart?
No bait is the easiest way to enforce this. Normal ag activity of feeding cattle is clear regardless of how many may attempt to say otherwise.
Like I said before I watched and went through all of this when I lived in WI. Once a clear ban on baiting was in place it made enforcement easier.
Tim is right in that our deer herd will most likely be infected from cattle, but the spread of disease in the deer herd will be greatly reduced by a bait ban as will the spread of disease to other cattle herds.
The sponsor of this bill does not hunt, has no judgment on the ethics of baiting, he like almost all of the cattlemen I have spoken with see this as long overdue especially when they find out to what extent baiting is taking place in the areas where infected deer are most likely to show up.
The disease is in the MN herd from infected cattle but is being spread from operation to operation by deer and MN does not allow baiting legally. The speed of it expanding in the deer is increased with bait piles.
Like someone said before, this issue has been beaten to death on the ethics side and facts ignored on the disease side. There is no disputing the science that in piles of food, disease spreads faster and more effectively increasing the number of animals that will eventually carry disease to other areas and animals.
Here is my bill:
It is unlawful for an individual to engage in the artificial feeding of big game for the sole purpose of hunting. Artificial includes grain, seed, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetable, nut, hay, or any other natural or manufactured food placed in a given random area. As used in this section, baiting does not include agricultural practices; gardens; wildlife food plots; agricultural crops; livestock feeds; fruit or vegetables in their natural location, such as apples on or under an apple tree; or unharvested food or vegetables in a garden. This
section does not apply to wildlife management activities by and under the direction of the department. An individual who willfully violates this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for a subsequent offense.
Give me some input!!
You didn't answer the question appropriately. You said I said "baiting pheasants". If you look at the response of mine, that you posted for me, you will see the word feed. If that doesn't help you I will explain something else. We use to raise pheasants and in doing so we built feeders. In addition to raising pheasants we have also used them during tough winters (1997 being the most recent). That should help you understand bait versus feed. But the situation for both doesn't negate their equal potential. Deer don't discriminate a feeder full of durum intended for pheasants. By current definition, this bill would allow me to feed pheasants which would ultimately attract all types of wildlife, and as long as is set up a certain distance from that feed, I can technically still use bait as an attractant.
The whole jist of this: There cannot be any feeding of ANY wildlife if we want to be sincere about disease. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.
As for the "unpredictability" aspect. Come on mathews, I hunted up on the refuge two years ago down deep in the bottom. I patterned two bucks using a trail. I had two opportunities at them but held out hoping a bigger buck was in the area but one never showed. These animals were not moving toward feed they were simply moving out of the marsh during the evening. All it takes is habitat, travel corridors and homework. That homework is STILL required to use bait. You are not going to be successful if you just go throw out a bait pile in some random location. It just doesn't work that way.
Point being, it's not correct to think you can't predict deer movement without a food plot or bait pile. In addition, it is wrong to think that a food plot is too spaced out. A smart hunter will set up on the most traveled trails to that food plot and greatly enhance his opportunity at a deer. I was fortunate to utilize the accommodations of my friend spending just a few days up at the refuge this year. He had great opportunities and so did I. Keep in mind, this is over a 160 acre harvested corn field. My friend had to swing and misses and I never was able to make it back up there because the snow made travel impossible.
Let's not spin the ethic web folks because it just simply isn't convincing.
Ban baiting for the comfort in believing disease will not spread but don't ban it because of the ethic or hoarding mentality. And especially don't call one's self a more "mighty" hunter because he hunts over a food plot and not a bait pile. They accomplish the same exact thing.
Enough said. Make sure to contact the appropriate individuals and promote the right type of ban and not a hypocritical kind. I have already contacted the main draftman of this bill but I will send to others in the committee.
How are you going to stop deer from yarding up in winters like this?
Deer are going to congregate with or without bait!
What about water holes aren't diseases spread at waterholes too? Are we going to ban waterholes?