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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  • by AD Location: SCOOBA on Apr 4, 2008 at 08:00 AM
    There is a difference in feeding and baiting.Learn to hunt! Most Hunters want to sit in a house with a heater and coffeepot and hunt? Hunting over bait is about as thrilling as shooting a calf in a feedlot.
  • by Gary Location: Meridian on Apr 3, 2008 at 09:56 AM
    I hunted all season and most of the deers I seen was to thin to shoot. This would be my reason for baiting is to produce healther deer population on my property. I guess when you can afford to go and hunt on any ranch you choose at the expense of Mississippi it doesn't matter to you.
  • by Ricky Location: Meridian on Apr 3, 2008 at 05:00 AM
    Here is another example of how barbour does not represent the people of mississippi. We have wanted this passed for years. The state has passed the bill now barbour needs to sign it and shut up putting his personal feelings in front of the people he is suppose to represent. If he is against it he does not have to use bait.
  • by Johnny Location: Meridian on Apr 2, 2008 at 05:20 PM
    I agree, If they do not want to hunt over bait they don't have to. It needs to be legalized for the majority of MS hunters that want it and have been fighting for years to get it approved. Beside's keeping the population down it gives our youth a chance to see and observe deer as well as a chance to harvest one. I have hunted with the aid of it for years and I like to sit and watch the deer that come in. I have seen as many as 50 in a weeks time and never fired a shot. Hunting over bait does not mean that an ethical hunter shoots everything that comes in, deer, turkeys, hogs ect.
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