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Thread: Is baiting ethical

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    Default Is baiting ethical

    First off let me state that I am not against baiting, I am just struggling with the decision to bait. I look forward to the meat, hide and participating in the management aspect. I just want to feel like I am really hunting, has anyone else had this dilemma?

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Ethical values vary from one person to another..from one culture to another.

    Many people like to paint a pretty picture of Native American's ethical use of animals, yet they used the simplest means to feed themselves that were available. If it took driving buffalo off of a cliff to harvest them or killing polar bears with balls of rolled up whale baline in seal fat they did what they had to do to survive. Would killing by gravity or tearing up an intestinal tract be considered ethical today? No it would not, but it seemed perfectly ok to the people that used this method.

    I like to eat black bears. I like to control their population and help the moose population. I don't give it a second thought that they were attracted by bait any more than I give thought to a silver salmon taking an egg cluster I put right in front of it. I don't give it any more thought than I do when I lure a moose in by sounding like a sexy cow moose. To me, baiting is totally "ethical".

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default ?

    Baiting allows you to choose the bear you take. There will never be a sow with cubs shot on accident while baiting. You can take a mature boar (the ones who kill cubs, and take moose calves). Usually your shot is going to be better placed, and at a short range eliminating any chance of a losing a wounded bear or causing extra stress or suffering to the bear. There is nothing unethical about it at all.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Baiting

    First baiting is a lot of work.

    It offers one the opportunity to take a well placed shot that hopefully will lead to a quick harvest.

    It allows one the time to see if the animal at the bait is a sow and if it has cubs.

    It allows you to be selective in your harvest. Lot of bears out there over 15 years old.

    It allows you to take friends that might not otherwise be physically capable, young hunters, non-hunters to photograph and more.

    It is a lot of fun, it is not just killing.

    I take a lot of wildlife film.

    I see many more animals than I might otherwise. Last year a friend was feeding a Stellar Jay on his leg.

    On PWS where the terrain is straight up, rocky and you can't see 20 yards, it is almost the only way to be successful.

    It allows many bears an initial feeding to start off the summer with good rich food. We had three sets of cubs using one bait last year. Two, were one year olds on their own.

    You can use a ground blind, tree stand or just a chair. What ever is the most fun for you.

    Anyone else have something to add?
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 02-12-2008 at 20:57.

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    Dave pointed out the really good reasons to bait.

    Ill point out the challenge. Ive been baiting for 3 years now. I have a buddy thats been doing it for 4 years.

    We have lots of bears where we bait, I put out alot of food and I put in alot of time. Ditto for my buddy.

    Ive never seen a black bear on my bait, Ive seen two brown bears though. I know the blacks were on it from hair rubbings on the barrel but thats it. Oh and the brown bears, they were only in for a second before they knew something was up and bolted.

    My buddy has shot one bear and seen a few that have busted him during the draw.

    Its not easy. Me and my dad kept track of all the walking through Gps. Back and forth we covered 14 miles. 7 of them with 50#s of food on our backs, 2 treestands, and chains for the barrels. I drug the barrels to and from on my own.

    So based on my experience, the work and lack of success on my part make me feel that baiting is totally ethical.

  6. #6
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    I fail to see the difference between baiting bears and calling any animal, scenting any animal, using bait (or lures, for that matter) while fishing, camoflage, using dogs to flush upland fowl, etc, etc.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default has anyone else had this dilemma?

    Nope. I practiced every day with my bow. When I got mine over my bait I had watched over 30+ bears and learned how to judge size, age, etc etc. When I released my arrow I knew I did it right. When I see my bear on the wall I know it was hard earned. Then there is the 2 months of setting up my stand, bait, checking the bait, getting run out, run by griz's, more bait, boat in water, drive blah blah blah. I would not trade my experience for nothing. Well maybe? Next time I want a 7 footer not 6
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Question interesting...

    "Is baiting ethical"

    One could argue that the fact you are asking the question should provide the answer.
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    Wink

    I"m in the minority here but i"ll have to say yes it"s not ethical, IF your a hunter. If you want to HARVEST, an animal go right ahead! Using todays terms, HARVEST = HUNTING, not so. Just look how effective baiting is compaired to hunting with a bow and , using no bait! Also if your into hunting record book animals, even though P&Y, B&C, SCI, allow record book animals, to be entered based on the game laws in the states where they were taken, using bait vs. game taken in no bait states, and then listing the scores implying that the same effort was used is a joke! Is it legal in the states that allow it's use, yes. Can you compare, it's use vs. it's non use to take game, and then imply that the effort used to HUNT the game was the same, I don't think so. If bait were banned in the US, all states, the guides who offer bear hunting over baits would go out of business, thats how effective it is!
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    Default Longhunter7

    They bait deer and javelin on most, TV shows in Texas do it. They plant food plots to hunt over. People fish with worms, herring, minnows. People hunt over corn fields. People use sex lures for bait. People use scent lures. People hunt over oaks. There is no difference!

    Have you ever been to Alaska and hunted in the alder thickets along the coasts? Here is a bear, in blueberries from 20 yards, elevated stand (15 feet).

    How hard as a bowhunter do you think It would be to put an ethical shot into this bear or get within 20-30 yards before he knew you were there?

    How about the alder thicket in my yard? There is a house, 2 cars, a shed and a camper. 30 yards behind the start of the alders.
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    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 02-13-2008 at 08:41. Reason: Grammar

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    Member GITDEMBARS's Avatar
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    Default Ethics are in the eye of the beholder

    For the arguement of ethics a bowhunter may question the ethics of a rifle hunter, a traditional bowhunter may question the ethics of those of us who use "training wheels" on our bows, and so on. It's what ever helps you sleep at night.
    My success is right on target with rimfirematt. Don't think you are going to put out some dogfood, climb a tree and wait for bears to parade by and allow you to just pick and choose the trophy of your choice. Last year was my first year of bearbaiting. I was extremely sucessful however I didn't harvest or for that matter even see a black bear. I was sucessful in the leasons I learned, the experience I gained, and most importantly I was able to sit in a tree feeding mosquitoes grinning from ear to ear thinking to myself, "Holy Cow, I'm really doing it, I'm hunting in Alaska, not to bad for a kid from Kansas". Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would happen.
    Because of work I wasn't able to hunt as much as I had hoped but I spent about $1000 in equipment, bait, and mostly gas, not counting wear and tear on my truck running to and from my sight. Countless hours making sure the bears were properly fed.
    Another thing to consider when pondering the "thrill of the hunt". It gets pretty exciting to sneak into your sight, see your bait has been destroyed, pull up pictures on your game cam and see pics of multiple griz and then walk out as it is getting dark, WHAT A RUSH. I felt like George Bush walking unescorted through the streets of Baghdad after dark.
    For anyone who says that it is unethical, I would question "Can you buy a loincloth and spear in Mossyoak?" Anything more may be unethical.

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    Hey Bobby , did you factor in the amount for new atv ramps...We dont want you to use plywood anymore....Spot on with your reply. This year is a brand new year of baiting....

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    Default your location......

    Quote Originally Posted by LongHunter7 View Post
    I"m in the minority here but i"ll have to say yes it"s not ethical, IF your a hunter. If you want to HARVEST, an animal go right ahead! Using todays terms, HARVEST = HUNTING, not so. Just look how effective baiting is compaired to hunting with a bow and , using no bait! Also if your into hunting record book animals, even though P&Y, B&C, SCI, allow record book animals, to be entered based on the game laws in the states where they were taken, using bait vs. game taken in no bait states, and then listing the scores implying that the same effort was used is a joke! Is it legal in the states that allow it's use, yes. Can you compare, it's use vs. it's non use to take game, and then imply that the effort used to HUNT the game was the same, I don't think so. If bait were banned in the US, all states, the guides who offer bear hunting over baits would go out of business, thats how effective it is!
    Just the title of your location justifies your explanation. Nothing further needs to be said!

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Ethical depends on how someone does it.

    If a person leaves the woods full of trash and leaves there bait barrels out all year then I think they are a slob and should be fined for littering and should clean the junk out of the woods.

    I think some forms of baiting big game are lazy and resemble on game farming. I think the typical methods for bear baiting up here are hard work if done legally.
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    When you use a bait to catch a fish, do you feel like you are fishing?

    When you use Decoy's for Ducks, do you feel like you are Duck Hunting?

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    Just the title of your location justifies your explanation. Nothing further needs to be said!
    True, true, northway! Its really easy for a person who has never hunted bear over bait to question the "ethics" of it. Its very easy to get confused between the term "sporting" and "ethical". To me, baiting bears allows a hunter to take the most ethical shot possible on a bear. Ethical shot selection, as I define it, is taking only a shot that will ensure the highest probability of a quick, clean kill, and will end with you recovering the animal with minimal meat loss.

    Baiting allows me to choose the spot where I will kill the animal. I can remove all brush, limbs, and weeds that may deflect an arrow. So to me, baiting allows me the best chance of an ethical shot. The act of baiting, in Alaska, is legal. Our terrain and vegetation make it necessary in many areas if one is to harvest bears.

    Once I have climbed into my stand, and am waiting for a bear, I am in full hunting mode. Most bear I have seen are very wary. Scent control on the way into the stand, quietness of motion and sound while in the stand, allow me to fool a bear into thinking no one is around. The bear I hunt are wild, free range, free hunting animals. They are not fed at the site year round, just getting fat so I can eventually shoot one when it gets big. I think some folk have the idea that that is the case. That would be tantamount to going down to the park in September and hunting the geese that have been hand fed all summer... such is definitely not the case with bear baiting! (If that were the case, I wouldn't even attempt to make the case that it was ethical hunting.) Since it is within the parameters of being ethical, it is ethical.

    Now, for "sporting." I could make a compelling case that hunting bear over bait is not as sporting as a spot and stalk hunt of a mountainside blueberry bear. Just as I can make the case that it is more sporting to hunt with blackpowder rifle than modern rifle, iron sights than a scope, pistol than rifle, compound bow than rifle, stick bow than rifle, spear from a ground pit, jumping on a bear with a bowie knife... yes, there are means of harvesting a bear that are more "sporting" than others. Ironically enough, the last two means listed, spear and knife, while arguably the most sporting, are also the least ethical, in my mind, as they provide the highest probability that a clean kill will NOT be made.

    I see the evidence of "sporting" idealogy when I look at the evolution of many hunters. Many bow hunters began as rifle hunters, and reached a point in their lives when they wanted to bring a new challenge to their hunting. So they picked up a bow and tried it out. (I think bow hunting is way more than just a harder way to kill an animal, but that's usually discovered the first time a new bow hunter gets into the woods) So just like baiting versus not baiting, is bow hunting more ethical than rifle hunting? The argument is compelling on both sides, but to me the defense of "sporting" is often used in place of an argument on "ethical."
    I could argue that my bait station was more "sporting" than most, as I packed everything in about a mile, with a 1000 foot elevation gain. It gave me great satisfaction. You could also argue that there was no difference, that I just had to work a heck of a lot harder at mine, so bully to me. It would be pretty silly, if not downright idiotic, to say that I had a more "ethical" bait site than someone elses just because I had to work a little harder to get mine set up and maintained.

    If you're still struggling with the question "Is it ethical?", go into the woods with someone who does bait. Help him set up his stand, carry the bait in there with him, sit in the stand. I think the questions of ethics will be clearly answered very quickly. Now, if the hunter you go with is a slob, leaves trash in the woods when the hunt is over, takes poor care of the meat from his bear, that doesn't make the act of baiting bears unethical. No, it just means the guy committing the act is unethical, a slob who gives ethical hunters a bad name. The two shouldn't be confused. Go ahead and give it a try! Let us know how it went come June.

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    Willphish4food, what a great post!

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    Default Bear baiting - Ethical?

    Absolutely.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Northway

    I do not think that bashing Northways location has anything to do with the post. FYI New York does allow bear baiting. You can put out a bait pile there but it has to be cleaned up 2 weeks prior to the opening of bear season. You are just getting them into coming into a place, and they will, even after 2 weeks because of habit and the smell.

    Lets keep this an "Informational Post, "Learning Post", instead of getting down on others because the have a question.

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    Default Dave

    I like that ladder up to your stand in the background of pic with a canoe. Jokes Good pics and explanation.

    I think baiting is ok. Especially if one is hungry. Is catch and release OK?

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