Deer Baiting Bill May Be Vetoed

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Many hunters like Bill McKee say they enjoy the thrill of the hunt, whether they bag the big buck or not. Just hunting deer is enough for them. Still, McKee also keeps a feeder on his property.

"We have a lot of people that do it," said McKee. "Matter of fact, I've got a feeder I keep out year round just to supplement the food for the deer."

And McKee's not alone. I spoke with many hunters who didn't want to talk on camera, who say they may not hunt over corn feed or bait but they'll keep it on their property to keep the deer on their property.

House Wildlife Committee chair, Bo Eaton, says hunters want an even playing field.

"In Louisiana, it's legal. In Arkansas, it's legal and Texas," said Eaton. "And these hunters in the state want to have the same opportunity as those hunters in the other states that adjoin Mississippi."

For some it comes down to a matter of ethics; they say there's no fair chase, no sportsmanship, in killing a deer over bait.

But Eaton said he believes the decision to bait or not, should be left up to the hunter.

"What's best for the hunting public? And this is an ethical issue that's before us and the hunters, in my opinion, if you feel like it's unethical then don't do it," said Eaton.

Last year, the wildlife commission was given authority to allow deer baiting. At this point, they are doing field tests to study how it affects the deer population.

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