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Vote: What's more fair chase?

What's more fair chase?

  • No fence with congregating food sources (plots or feeders)

    Votes: 11 36.7%
  • In a fence, but no congregating food source

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • Epstein didn't kill himself

    Votes: 19 63.3%

  • Total voters
    30

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
Baker, I am truly jealous of the hunting properties you have. No offense on my opinions, they aren’t directed at anyone, and I don’t intend them to be insulting, or putting that type of hunting down. I am just saying, the high fence does give an advantage, if not, then why have one? To me that kind of hunting just doesn’t seem right, I wish it did, I could have some trophy deer on my walls. But to me, I am more then happy shooting 120-130” deer, or even a decent doe, knowing I worked to get the deer, and had to try to out think the deer. Obviously I don’t win that one very often.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
What makes a food plot, planted in part, for the attraction of deer to be hunted over, more fair chase than depositing bait, in part, for the attraction of deer to be hunted over?

One is a concentrated food source that has potential disease transmission impacts the other allows deer to naturally distribute them selves. While not related directly to fair chase, this has ethical implications. Feeders are often set to go off with a timer. Deer become acclimated to the sound of the feeder like a dinner bell. Food plots are available 24/7/365. Bait piles are point source. That makes selecting a specific hunting location relative to conditions much easier. Deer that use the bait pile end up in a specific location. One can position for any weapon. Deer enter and use food plots in various ways as hunting pressure builds. Depending on the weapon, deer can often use the field and not come into range for the hunter.

Shooting any old deer in a food plot is pretty easy as Bill says, but that is true in an oak flat when acorns are raining as well. Easier does not mean it not fair chase. Baiting is something that has a single purpose. Food plots serve a variety of purposes. Baiting, where it is legal, is one of those things that falls on different sides of the ethical line for some folks than for others. It is significantly different from baiting and is recognized as such by our game department. I live in a state where baiting is illegal, but the law specifically identifies planted food as different from baiting and explicitly identifies them as legal.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Not necessarily true in many cases and certainly not true on my farm. Sure you might get the girls and young bucks to come but it doesn't work at all for mature deer. I've read so many misconceptions about how folks believe deer behave and what the hunting is like on a well managed properly scaled high fenced property it makes me wonder how many folks are speaking from experience or simply preconceived notions of what it 'might' be like?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to say that high fenced areas are never fair chase. But I will say, that I don't have to hunt deer behind a 10 acre high fence to know it is wrong for me. I don't always need to experience something to know whether it is right for me.

I've only been on one guided hunt and I loved it. Having said that, I'm not a fan of guided hunts for me. For me, the scouting and/or managing is part of the sense of accomplishment! I can find a sense of accomplishment in scouting and identifying a particular deer and harvesting it with a bow, but I can also find a sense of accomplishment when harvesting a doe with a rifle on a food plot that I worked hard to build.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
"would you feel like he earned that deer? I wouldnt!"

I'm not sure what is earned when a deer is killed. Is it bragging rights? Is it ego? What if he had purchased a 110 class buck or even a doe and had it mounted, would that be different than the 190? Would it matter if it was smaller than a deer you normally shoot, or only if it's bigger than a deer you normally shoot? Is there a line in the sand based on size? I believe there is for a lot of people. I could be wrong but I truly doubt most people care about little bucks and does that get shot under less than fair conditions, it's a big buck thing. With that said I've only cared about how I shot deer and if I felt I had done it in a way that I was comfortable with. I really wouldn't care if someone mounted a road kill or decorated their house with replica's of other peoples record bucks. I have still not had a mount done. I will when I shoot a deer that is one that is big.

I just re-read the post I've written. I hope you (4wonderingeyes) don't take it as a slam on your opinion. I respect your posts and enjoy them regularly. You asked me a question that went pretty deep in my opinion. My opinion stands that I don't care what someone else does, I feel no need to measure my efforts against them in hunting. With that said I understand the viewpoint. I am a very competitive person and will whip it out for a measuring contest in a heartbeat. I like to race and run marathons... what the hell does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Nothing, but I sure as hell like to win! If I was to view hunting the same way I view running I would be very offended by someone bragging about a 190 that they took under unfair conditions. I just don't see hunting in that light.

I think earned is relative to how much you value your quarries life. I personally think killing an animal under terms that cheapen its existence it’s disrespectful to something has a heartbeat and tries to its very end to survive. It probably sounds sappy and romantic but I want to know that when I kill something I did it under its own terms. I don’t feel like a fence or bait gives it that opportunity. At the end of the day we are smarter than an animal, in particular a deer. You can say baiting isn’t cheapening a kill but to me it is. They are weak to it. Just the same reason I don’t trout fish Montana with a can of worms. They are dumb relative to us.
My trophy room may be a joke compared to a lot of people but I can look at each one and tell you a story that I’m proud of. None of them start with well he came to a Volkswagen sized pile of corn or he was a inside this fence, but it was a big fence, and he fit within my budget so I shot him. That what earned means to me. And if someone else can sit there and look at their collection and be proud of it under different circumstances then good for them.
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
I think earned is relative to how much you value your quarries life. I personally think killing an animal under terms that cheapen its existence it’s disrespectful to something has a heartbeat and tries to its very end to survive. It probably sounds sappy and romantic but I want to know that when I kill something I did it under its own terms. I don’t feel like a fence or bait gives it that opportunity. At the end of the day we are smarter than an animal, in particular a deer. You can say baiting isn’t cheapening a kill but to me it is. They are weak to it. Just the same reason I don’t trout fish Montana with a can of worms. They are dumb relative to us.
My trophy room may be a joke compared to a lot of people but I can look at each one and tell you a story that I’m proud of. None of them start with well he came to a Volkswagen sized pile of corn or he was a inside this fence, but it was a big fence, and he fit within my budget so I shot him. That what earned means to me. And if someone else can sit there and look at their collection and be proud of it under different circumstances then good for them.
Outstanding answer! I like it. To keep going.... at what point is our intellectual advantage too much for their instinct? Is there a yardage, a caliber, an arrow speed? Something that makes our cognitive ability with tech too much of an advantage (besides baiting or fencing)?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
I don’t think a deer cares how or where it gets shot. They probably don’t like getting shot. Camo, guns, food, tree stands, nose jammer, none of it is fair to the deer. This thread has convinced me not to shoot a deer this weekend. Now if my daughter shoots one while I am sitting there I will put it in the freezer with the other. I shoot deer because they taste good and I have a passion for habitat improvements. I am under no delusion that any of it is fair. I work very hard to make it as unfair as the law allows. If you shoot a deer in a one acre pen over a pile of corn it is the same dead deer that I sat 67.5 hours waiting for. To each there own under the rule of the law.
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
Outstanding answer! I like it. To keep going.... at what point is our intellectual advantage too much for their instinct? Is there a yardage, a caliber, an arrow speed? Something that makes our cognitive ability with tech too much of an advantage (besides baiting or fencing)?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
It’s a phenomenal question and one I wrestle with. I started bow hunting only before it was cool! I refuse to hunt out of the comfort of a blind, on an on...yet I have no problem using a range finder, a super quiet machined aluminum stand, a top of the line bow with arrows inspired from nasa technology! I don’t know...i guess for me it’s like the definition of pornography, you’ll know it when you see it! I really want to emphasize whatever anyone else does within the confines of the law is fine, I just hold myself to a higher standard. Legality doesn’t equal morality. I think a mature buck is one of the most majestic, rarest creatures on earth. My life nearly revolves around them. The last thing I want to do is have them lose that mystique because of decisions I make.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
I am just saying, the high fence does give an advantage, if not, then why have one?
Tons of advantages, like eliminating the human problems that retard the game of man vs beast. That's all I wish I had. The outdoor writers never do articles on how to legally thwart a neighbor you suspect is cheating, or a wandering dog, or shiners, or trespassers, line sitters, crowded neighboring properties that kill everything, neighbors that drive everything etc.

Not knocking any of that if they're doing it legally. I just wish the effects of that stuff didn't spill over onto my place.
 

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
You can also add in wealth. Is it fair that some people have 1000’s of acres to hunt, and some people have to hunt public land because they can’t afford it. But I respect anyone that has the means to afford anything they want to spend their earned money on. In fact, I like to see money being spent. It is what keeps the economy rolling.
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
One is a concentrated food source that has potential disease transmission impacts the other allows deer to naturally distribute them selves. While not related directly to fair chase, this has ethical implications. Feeders are often set to go off with a timer. Deer become acclimated to the sound of the feeder like a dinner bell. Food plots are available 24/7/365. Bait piles are point source. That makes selecting a specific hunting location relative to conditions much easier. Deer that use the bait pile end up in a specific location. One can position for any weapon. Deer enter and use food plots in various ways as hunting pressure builds. Depending on the weapon, deer can often use the field and not come into range for the hunter.

Shooting any old deer in a food plot is pretty easy as Bill says, but that is true in an oak flat when acorns are raining as well. Easier does not mean it not fair chase. Baiting is something that has a single purpose. Food plots serve a variety of purposes. Baiting, where it is legal, is one of those things that falls on different sides of the ethical line for some folks than for others. It is significantly different from baiting and is recognized as such by our game department. I live in a state where baiting is illegal, but the law specifically identifies planted food as different from baiting and explicitly identifies them as legal.

Thanks,

Jack
I plant forty acres of food plots a year - so it isnt like I am unfamiliar with food plots. I am only speaking of fair chase. I know food plots provide other benefits - over and beyond a bait pile - but as someone who plants forty acres of food plots a year - and someone who baits - as far as fair chase goes - I dont see a lot of difference. I actually think it is easier to kill a MATURE buck off a food plot than a spin feeder - at least in my area. In my area, rarely is a spin feeder a location to kill a mature buck. Food plots dont seem to alert and alarm mature bucks like a spin feeder does. I have hunted food plots and bait sites both in the last week. I easily see five times as many deer in the food plots compared to bait - and that is hand spread bait - not spin feeder. I have seen several mature bucks in the food plots. Have not seen a mature buck on feed for a month now.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I plant forty acres of food plots a year - so it isnt like I am unfamiliar with food plots. I am only speaking of fair chase. I know food plots provide other benefits - over and beyond a bait pile - but as someone who plants forty acres of food plots a year - and someone who baits - as far as fair chase goes - I dont see a lot of difference. I actually think it is easier to kill a MATURE buck off a food plot than a spin feeder - at least in my area. In my area, rarely is a spin feeder a location to kill a mature buck. Food plots dont seem to alert and alarm mature bucks like a spin feeder does. I have hunted food plots and bait sites both in the last week. I easily see five times as many deer in the food plots compared to bait - and that is hand spread bait - not spin feeder. I have seen several mature bucks in the food plots. Have not seen a mature buck on feed for a month now.

Just trying to lay out the differences for you in my post. I think they are significant. Perhaps you don't. I wasn't suggesting one was more effective in attracting deer than the other. With bait, just like food plots, in my opinion, the food itself is not a first order factor. There is always a tension between the need for food, especially as a stress period approaches, and the need for security.

My food plots are quite ineffective in attraction during hunting hours right now. They look beautiful! Turnips and GHR are huge this year; clover abounds; WR is thick. Why? Because our habitat improvement has created abundant native quality food in cover. We have only had a few cold days. They are calling for 70s again this weekend. Deer can still get great food without exposing themselves. Our food plots were used to some degree during daylight hours when hunting pressure was lower. As pressure increases daytime food plot use decreases. A while back, I did a multi-year picture count, day verses night against Julian date. The resulting graph was cool. It showed how daytime use began decreasing in mid-September as guys started scouting and setting stands. It declined slowly through archery season. It continued declining through muzzleloader season with a hump that probably correlates with the chase phase of the rut. As firearm season begin, daytime pics drop dramatically to near zero. The total pic, day plus night, had slight luxation over time but not dramatically. So, deer were using the plots a lot, just during nighttime when they felt secure.

I'm certain that bait would be no more effective than the food plots at attracting deer on our place right now. If you own a large area and can control hunting pressure, not just the local pressure but pressure over several thousand acres, food would have a different impact. Even on our place, food was king when we first bought it. It was a pine desert and over populated. Average deer would risk most anything to get to quality food. As we improved habitat, we have made deer much harder to hunt.

I would not bait even if it was legal here. That is just beyond the line for me. However, I have no criticism for folks who bait in areas where it is legal.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Outstanding answer! I like it. To keep going.... at what point is our intellectual advantage too much for their instinct? Is there a yardage, a caliber, an arrow speed? Something that makes our cognitive ability with tech too much of an advantage (besides baiting or fencing)?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

To me it is not tech, it is changing natural behavior and reducing fear.

When we have learned to condition the quarry to become livestock by creating a pavlovian conditioned response (behavioral change based on reward) to offerings or safe environments, and the prey (us) have lost the ability to hunt & adapt based on a quarry's natural fear & elusiveness, survival instincts are reduced.

Ultimately every culture or ecosystem survives or fails based on natural selection & evolution. When you eliminate the evolutionary cycle of the strong eliminating the weak, neither the prey or the quarry develop a natural instinct to survive over the other.

I am not judging the fence crowd; however, when you fence you have the ability to manipulate the quarry's habitat for their benefit, and you also have the ability to control or eliminate their prey. When you drop 300 lbs of corn, carrots, or apples every week you know exactly how far and when the deer will show up from your stand.

btw Cat ... there is a difference in knowing you have a 10 lbs bass in your farm pond and having to go out and find a lake that might have a 10 lbs bass ... and oh btw I have a nice farm pond like you and I enjoy fishing it also :emoji_wink:
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
I'm extremely guilty of trying to condition deer into feeling safe! I don't put cameras out where I hunt, practice scent control, avoid sanctuaries like the plague, and am very careful about entries and exits to hunts. I really don't want them to know they are being hunted. As careful as I am I doubt I have the advantage in this category.

My plots are in my yard. I like to see deer from the house. Have never hunted them even though there are some nice deer that routinely watch me do outside chores or smoke a brisket. Seems like we have some sort of unspoken agreement or truce within those parameters.

Interesting point about the pond. I highly suspect there is NOT a 10lb'r in my pond, but I fish it for one anyway! Maybe if I had knowledge of one in there I would fish it harder, but I doubt it.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
Just trying to lay out the differences for you in my post. I think they are significant. Perhaps you don't. I wasn't suggesting one was more effective in attracting deer than the other. With bait, just like food plots, in my opinion, the food itself is not a first order factor. There is always a tension between the need for food, especially as a stress period approaches, and the need for security.

My food plots are quite ineffective in attraction during hunting hours right now. They look beautiful! Turnips and GHR are huge this year; clover abounds; WR is thick. Why? Because our habitat improvement has created abundant native quality food in cover. We have only had a few cold days. They are calling for 70s again this weekend. Deer can still get great food without exposing themselves. Our food plots were used to some degree during daylight hours when hunting pressure was lower. As pressure increases daytime food plot use decreases. A while back, I did a multi-year picture count, day verses night against Julian date. The resulting graph was cool. It showed how daytime use began decreasing in mid-September as guys started scouting and setting stands. It declined slowly through archery season. It continued declining through muzzleloader season with a hump that probably correlates with the chase phase of the rut. As firearm season begin, daytime pics drop dramatically to near zero. The total pic, day plus night, had slight luxation over time but not dramatically. So, deer were using the plots a lot, just during nighttime when they felt secure.

I'm certain that bait would be no more effective than the food plots at attracting deer on our place right now. If you own a large area and can control hunting pressure, not just the local pressure but pressure over several thousand acres, food would have a different impact. Even on our place, food was king when we first bought it. It was a pine desert and over populated. Average deer would risk most anything to get to quality food. As we improved habitat, we have made deer much harder to hunt.

I would not bait even if it was legal here. That is just beyond the line for me. However, I have no criticism for folks who bait in areas where it is legal.

Thanks,

Jack

Believe me, I understand the benefits of food plots. I planted food plots as part of my job as a wildlife biologist for 34 years - and still planting them on my own in retirement. I have provided “bait/supplemental feed” in one form or a other for fifteen years. Strictly considering killing deer all around - my food plots provide more opportunity for harvest and more opportunity for harvest of mature deer. Bait sites would provide more opportunity for harvest with a bow. Bait sites provide the greatest opportunity for harvest compared to food plots up until about mid October, then food plots take over. Bait sites for mature bucks are particularly effective the first week of Oct - before the bucks break up. I would not even bother to hunt a spin type feeder. Corn is also not very effective as a bait. Hand spread bait is much more attractive. Some Deer may respond to the sound of a spin feeder - but it isnt like you are going to set it to go off at two in the afternoon and have deer come running. I can put more weight on deer during the summer using bait/supplemental feed than I can soybeans and clover.

The long and short of it - when considering hunting mature bucks in my region - hand spread bait will provide opportunity at more mature bucks the first two or three weeks of October. The next four months, food plots will provide more opportunity. This is based on my experiences of working with food plots for forty two years and providing bait for fifteen years. I am not trying to convince anyone to bait. To the contrary. When strictly considering “ease” of harvest of mature deer,
I consider food plots the more long term surefire method. But in my opinion, both are a supplemental food source that would not be there in either variety and/or quantity if we did not provide it.

As to the original post, again, based upon my own experience - although limited to one high fence operation - it would be much easier to kill a free range deer on a food plot or bait site than in a high fenced area of some size, with no food plot or bait - like my next door neighbor’s 1400 acres.
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
I'm extremely guilty of trying to condition deer into feeling safe! I don't put cameras out where I hunt, practice scent control, avoid sanctuaries like the plague, and am very careful about entries and exits to hunts. I really don't want them to know they are being hunted. As careful as I am I doubt I have the advantage in this category.

My plots are in my yard. I like to see deer from the house. Have never hunted them even though there are some nice deer that routinely watch me do outside chores or smoke a brisket. Seems like we have some sort of unspoken agreement or truce within those parameters.

Interesting point about the pond. I highly suspect there is NOT a 10lb'r in my pond, but I fish it for one anyway! Maybe if I had knowledge of one in there I would fish it harder, but I doubt it.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

I will sometimes have a friend over to my place for a hunt or just to ride around and they will invariably comment how tame my deer seem - often saying “they dont stand around like that where I hunt”. I think that is because my deer see me everyday. We have a shooting range across one of my wheat food plots and often have deer come out to feed while we are shooting. We squirrel and coon hunt with dogs. We hog hunt 24/7/365. We duck hunt, dove hunt, trap, fish, crawfish, frog, hunt mushrooms - and just ride around. There is no where considered a sanctuary. The biggest deer I have killed in my life - I used a range finder to make sure my stand was at least 100 ft from the centerline of a BUSY US Highway - as our law requires. My property adjoins a small rural community and runs a mile and a half down into the roadless river bottoms. We consistently have more mature deer near the community than we do down in the wild river bottoms. I think deer are fairly quick to get accustomed to regular sights and sounds
 

Telemark

5 year old buck +
The more challenging a kill is, the more rewarding it is for me personally, and the more impressed I am if it's someone else's deer.

That said, I hunt for food, and I'm out to kill these animals. I take every advantage I can to put meat in my freezer. The pride/joy/accomplishment/antlers/bragging rights/etc. is all just a bonus.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Animals in a HF enclosure are owned by whomever owns the HF property no matter how many acres it is, wildlife on same amount of property no fence are not.

As far as baiting and food plots which are extremely similar and serve the same purpose, is it an advantage.. of course.
Are cameras/crossbows/compound bows/scents/carbon clothing/ozone machines/decoys/lighted nocks/high powered rifles/shooting houses/tree stands also an advantage ...sure.
It is interesting to see where some draw their ethical lines on their personal opinions of fair chase. I say if legal and you personally are fine with it go ahead, if you aren’t then don't. If one can afford to have a nice HF set up and it's what they want to do for whatever goals I think that is great, same with anyone owning whatever size property they can afford and managing it however they want.

The form of "hunting" I do not personally consider fair chase at all and very distasteful is surrounding a country block with trucks and pushing everything out to nimrods parked on the road while everyone talks back and forth on their phones jumping deer from block to block until they kill all they want over multiple properties with and without permission. To me that has nothing to do with hunting and swings in and out of being legal.
 

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
As I have said before, I am not against baiting, or high fence, or for that matter hunting deer with dogs. If it is legal, and you are ethical about it, and it is how you want to hunt, have at er.
I grew up a farmer, shooting a fenced deer sounds about as much fun as cow hunting, but I have never done it, so I wouldn’t be a good person to judge. But it just isn’t something I ever wanted to do.
Bait hunting, I have done it, the county I am in, has been in and out of it being legal for several years. Right now it is illegal, but I am pretty sure most of my neighbors still do it. I personally learned that is I bait, I have more bear, and when I have more bear, they wreck more trees, so I have decided it isn’t worth it to me. But those that do it, are drawing the deer off of my property, which they are on most the rest of the year.
Food plots, I have 3, 3/4 acre plots, and an apple orchard. Deer use these year around, and they benefit the deer year around. My land is in the northern forest region, and there is very little crop land. So any winter food source, and early spring food sources help deer.
TSI, I also hinge cut about 50 trees a year to bring more cover, and a food source to ground level for late winter, early spring food.
So my comparison between a hunted over bait pile, and a year around food plot I think is night and day different. A bait pipe benefits the hunter, not the deer. The food plot benefits a deer herd year around. Sure I can have 10 deer in my food plots at any given time, I do know the food plot later draw deer, but they also feed them all year, not just draw them in, for a good shot.
I have 1 food plot that is never hunted over, and I have a camera over it. There is more deer in that plot then in the other 2 combined, but it draws the deer off of the neighbors land, so that is its purpose. I also plant clover throughout my entire 2 acre yard, and the deer are always wandering my yard, they aren’t hunted there either.
Again if it is legal, and you feel it is what you need to do to hunt, and you can sleep at night, enjoy! I have my idea of fair chase, or ethical, but that is mine, and my choices. Everyone else can chose theirs, as long as it is legal.
Unless of course President Harris decides no more hunting, or guns allowed.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Animals in a HF enclosure are owned by whomever owns the HF property no matter how many acres it is, wildlife on same amount of property no fence are not.

As far as baiting and food plots which are extremely similar and serve the same purpose, is it an advantage.. of course.
Are cameras/crossbows/compound bows/scents/carbon clothing/ozone machines/decoys/lighted nocks/high powered rifles/shooting houses/tree stands also an advantage ...sure.
It is interesting to see where some draw their ethical lines on their personal opinions of fair chase. I say if legal and you personally are fine with it go ahead, if you aren’t then don't. If one can afford to have a nice HF set up and it's what they want to do for whatever goals I think that is great, same with anyone owning whatever size property they can afford and managing it however they want.

The form of "hunting" I do not personally consider fair chase at all and very distasteful is surrounding a country block with trucks and pushing everything out to nimrods parked on the road while everyone talks back and forth on their phones jumping deer from block to block until they kill all they want over multiple properties with and without permission. To me that has nothing to do with hunting and swings in and out of being legal.

Ownership probably depends on the state you are in. Here, you need special permits for a "deer farm" where deer are purchased like livestock. You also need a special permit to own a wild deer. There are limits on fence height and distance that restrict wildlife movement. In our state, wildlife is owned by the state while it is alive. Ownership may be different in other states.

Thanks,

Jack
 

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
Technicalities Jack!

If you have a 12 foot high fence going all the way around your 1000 acre property, those deer aren’t getting out, they now belong to the land owner.
 
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