When it comes to legally baiting whitetail deer, opinions vary as to what does and doesn’t count as baiting and about whether or not it is even an ethical practice.
We won’t attempt to end the old debate here, nor decide what’s best for every hunter, but some discussion might clear up some aspects of this subject.
First, when it comes to the right or wrong of baiting, figurative lines have been drawn in the sand.
Those who support baiting typically practice it just as any other necessary part of hunting. They generally don’t express any sense of guilt or fault, nor offer any apologies for the practice.
Those against baiting, on the other hand, are usually very adamant in their stance that it is an unethical, selfish, lazy or harmful practice.
Curiously, it seems that many folks in this corner tend to live in areas where conventional baiting is illegal.
Some say baiting deer is unnecessary, that it creates harmful competition among hunters, that it upsets the balance of nature, or that it gives hunters an unfair or easy advantage in harvesting animals.
Most hunters realize deer are most readily found where there’s plenty for them to eat.
We may call it management or baiting, but in either case, we intend to find deer in their pantries.
For some hunting sites, where agriculture yielding a healthy whitetail food source is regularly implemented, additional baiting may not be necessary. But in “dry areas” without this utilization, feeders or food plots may very well be necessary for hunting purposes, if it is agreed that hunters deserve a fighting chance to hunt in these areas.
Also, even within the region we refer to as central Texas, the landscape and climate vary--even from one county to the next. Therefore, there is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all method for managing or attracting whitetail deer in this region.
As hunters with experience in these dry areas, we can attest that baiting does not in itself make for an “easy” or “uneven” practice.
Whitetail deer hunting in these areas is still very challenging.
Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but arguably, these opinions should not be formed through hearsay, assumption, or envy, but rather through knowledge about wildlife, hunting and a varied landscape.