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Every year I try to add something to my hunting arsenal. I hunt the big woods of Newark watershed and am considering some sort of feeder. It is a lot of work etc but could make things easier. I have another spot that is a goldmine with no need to feed but the big woods can be tough..Any thoughts???
 

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feeders or piles are both good. the only con's are the feeder may be stolen.... Food plots/feeders are a good way to view the deer and to have them relaxed before the shot. You will have to make sure your legal to have a feeder/food pile where you hunt. On the properties I hunt I bait so I can have a better shot at a relaxed deer.
 

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Baiting can be a great hunting tool if used correctly, especially with archery hunting. It not only attracts deer to the area but more importantly stops the deer for a good clean shot. Bait on!
 

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There are cons to baiting though too.

1. It concentrates the animals in one area, causing them to overbrowse that area, when not feeding on the bait. This effects all the wild animals in that area.

2. Deer can become sick and in some cases die, for the fact that they are taking in too much of one type of food. If baiting, switch it up, and use different types of foods.

3. Baiting in piles can spread diseases, causing widespread disease or death. Use broadcast feeders.

4. Most the larger deer that feed at bait sites, dont come out until after legal shooting hours, they know it isnt natural.

5. A study was done a few years ago, and it showed that the success ratio for baiters, and non-baiters was about the same. Infact in some cases, the non-baiters had a much higher success ratio. They attributed this to the fact that deer pattern hunters at bait sites, and feed on it nocturnally.

So if you want to bait, go ahead, its legal, but try to do it with the least amount of impact on the deer, surrounding wildlife and habitat. Remember too though, good scouting can put you on deer just the same.

Have a good one---Matt
 

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Matty brings up some great points, but if it is as bad as he says.. Why does alot of the big hunting ranches do it? The King Ranch, The Tripel 7 ranch, Blanco Ranch, ect: all use feeders/baitstands and food plots. just something to think about


P.S. I'm not trying to start anything, just passing on some information others may not have.
 

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Food plots are a totally different story. They are great!

Secondly, broadcast feeders, like what many of the ranches use, are ok, as long as you mix up the food.

Finally, you have to take into account that deer in different regions act differently and therefore must be hunted differently. People that I have talked to that live in texas, and areas like it, usually say the deer dont have much as far as patterns. They claim baiting is one of the only ways to get them to a certain spot. Several people have said it, so it must be true to an extent. Therefore, the ranches are going to bait for the sole reason that they are a business. They need deer infront of their clients.

Do I dislike baiting? No, as long as its done properly.

Im not saying baiting is the end of all deer herds, but many people go about it the wrong way, and if they could be educated as to how to bait properly (little effect on the animals) than I would be all for it. Unfortunately the majority of baits I come across in the woods, are large 50-80# piles of corn. Thats not the healthy way to do it.
:(

By the way, not to say that the Newark watershed is small, but if you think thats "big-woods" you'd die if you had to hunt the Great North woods of Maine.:D
How anyone shoots a deer up there is incredible, they cant even bait! Saw a few pics of bruisers though, and a few mounts while I was there that blew me away...all taken in GIANORMOUS woods. It made me realize how easy the deer hunting is down here....we hunt them in small woodlots, and they are as rampant as rats at a dump. :eek:
 

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I agree matty.... I only use 5#'s of feed at my spots. and only feed ever other day, working on 2 ranches in Texas ( MAJ & King ranch ) is where I learned about deer management & Food Plots/baiting. Many years go by that I wish I stayed with one of them, but to darn HOT for me down there to live.
 

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Thanks guys, One thing I noticed is that the deer are on the bait as I am coming to my stand site. They run and come back when I leave. Yea Matty I don't know how those guys in Maine hunt..too much to cover. I hunt a 100 acre spot and the deer are going back to there beds and bam I greet them. In my definition of big woods..1000,s of acres, I hunt funnels, draws, etc..but it does get lonely out there at times..except for November then its one big party.
 

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Remember that deer are like cows in that they have a 4 chambered stomach.

During the Spring/Summer they have enzymes in their stomachs that are able to breakdown green leafy food sources, whereas during the Fall/Winter, those enzymes are gone and they switch over to feeding on twigs, mast crops (acorns, etc..), and dried type feed.

If a deer ingests a lot of green leafy forage during the winter, their stomachs have the potential to become upset/blocked and they will eventually die.

Best bet is to stick to dry feed, and spread it out like chicken feed so that the deer have to forage naturally for the food.

I've seen mature does with that year's fawns see a bait pile, stop dead in their tracks, turn and walk away immediately.

Planting clover and multi-seasonal food plots is the way to go.
 
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