I wrote earlier today about how the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife disapproved a bill proposal that would have allowed baiting deer and shooting deer over bait. In that report I said there were differences between creating a bait station and hunting over that site and growing a crop of food for “wildlife,” and there are. For one, the crop growing site wouldn’t force so many deer, nose to nose, for those worrying about chronic wasting disease. Secondly, the sales pitch for growing the crops, whether beside or near “deer wintering areas,” would be because it provides nutrition for deer prior to and coming out of deer yards. From here you can conjure up any excuse you want for or against the action.
And there’s sort of a difference between hunting over a bait pile versus hunting over a crop grown to attract deer, but I can’t think of what it might be.
So, one has to wonder. According to the Portland Press Herald report, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) opposed the bill that would allow hunting deer over a bait pile. “David Trahan, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and Don Kleiner, director of the Maine Professional Guides Association, opposed the bill because it could put more hunting pressure on herds in areas where deer are relatively sparse, and there’s “no real biological or management-based reason to support (the bill),”
But they more than support growing deer crops and hunting over the crops, even if those crops are planted in areas where “deer are relatively sparse,” as can be seen from the advertisement below. Maybe the fear is that deer bait piles are not nutritious and would be bad for deer…but not for bears?
I doubt there is enough crop growing statewide that is having much of any influence over manipulating nutrition for deer. However, I think for the state to allow hunting over those crops, especially when you consider the location of some of these crops, they need to provide a better more explanation.