While there is no proof or precedent to support the claim that baiting bans would diminish overall hunting success rates, bans would not doubt be felt. In Michigan, where bans have been recently put into place, bait sellers are feeling adverse effects. Not knowing the ban would take effect in 2008, most farmers had already put together their homemade bait stock, which they sell to make a living. With this change in law, many producers will recognize devastating losses this year [source: Muskegon Chronicle].
Arguments in Favor of Deer Baiting
Many hunters feel that banning deer baiting will change the sport in a big way. Without a doubt, the biggest argument in favor of deer baiting is based on the perception that baiting increases a hunter's success [source: Toso]. If baiting is banned completely, many hunters believe they won't be hitting the buck poles nearly as often, if at all. And as hunting is used as a method for natural resource and species conservation, couldn't ridding the world of it have negative side effects? If hunting success rates go down, then wouldn't that have an adverse effect on future deer populations as competition for food and space increase? That answer isn't clear, but it's a concern for many sportsmen.
Bow hunters feel especially strong about deer baiting. To obtain a clean, quick kill, which is revered in the world of ethical hunting, a bow hunter must hit the target in a specific manner. Without baiting, it would be more difficult to get close enough to ensure the clean kill. Bow hunting is a challenge as is, but if baiting was eliminated from the table, the sport could completely die out [source: Muskegon Chronicle].
Because baiting and feeding are so similar, bans on baiting could mean feeding must end too. Many homeowners would miss this practice.
It's no wonder hunting is such a controversial topic when it's such a diverse sport. But as baiting bans increase in popularity through out state legislatures, perhaps new, more definite information will put an end this aspect of the debate. To learn more about both sides of the deer baiting debate, check out the links on the next page.