Ask The Biologist

It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

By Bob Humphrey

Calendar-based baiting law has our biologist stumped.

QUESTION: My state just enacted a ban on feeding deer that begins June 1 and ends Dec. 15. I’m a little confused as to why they would do this. Any ideas? — Travis E.

ANSWER: It does seem a little strange, and there are multiple possibilities. There are about as many different baiting/feeding regulations as there are states.

Some states allow it, even during hunting season. Some prohibit baiting during hunting season but allow it otherwise, although Northern state wildlife agencies tend to discourage winter feeding. Some ban it altogether.

If the purpose is to prevent illegal baiting during hunting season, there should already be sufficient laws on the books. I see no reason to prohibit feeding more than 2-4 weeks before the season. If the reason is to prevent the spread of diseases like CWD, ban feeding altogether. Deer have two major periods of nutritional stress: winter, and late summer. The ban you mention allows for feeding during one, but not the other. I’d be very curious to learn the reasons myself.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd