November 26, 2022

SAM Opposes Deer Baiting, Sells Wildlife Seeds to Grow Crops for Deer Baiting


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.


Deer Baiting Bill Shot Down in Committee

The proposed deer baiting bill for Maine deer hunting was shot down in committee, I am being told. One reason given was that, “this could really hurt the pride of hunting in Maine,” and explained that shooting deer over bait would incite groups like the Humane Society to “ripping these things apart,” and, “to see our hunting industry jeopardized.” Helloooooo!

The Humane Society of the United States and others, are already doing everything to “rip(ping) these things apart,” and to put the hunting industry in jeopardy. Although I don’t support hunting over bait, this is just the kind of reaction groups like the Humane Society of the United States hope to create – to live in fear of their shadow.

One guide at the hearing commented that it was legal to hunt over “crops” that deer like to feed on, so what was the difference? There are some obvious differences but it is my opinion that hunting over “crops” shouldn’t be allowed either. I like to see hunting as HUNTing not shooting.

But it still comes down as a practice that is not needed in Maine for deer hunting. It only promotes more lazy hunting and could jeopardize the opportunities of others by forcing a shorter season, among other reasons. Should the management of deer in Maine become necessary to implement a baiting rule, then this is a tool that should be available to the department.

Congratulations to the Committee for defeating this measure.

“AUGUSTA — A legislative committee voted Tuesday against endorsing a bill that would have ended the state’s prohibition on using bait to hunt deer in Maine.”<<<Read More>>>