Deer have been the subject of man’s hunting, be it survival or sports hunting, since thousands of years ago when mankind started becoming the apex predator on Earth. Throughout the years, deer got smarter and started avoiding human contact and learned how to fade from sight through camouflage. Mankind, in turn, became smarter hunters and started hunting using what do deer eat as bait to attract them to their deer stands.
Deer hunting is a seasonal activity and has been regulated this past century for fear of over hunting. This regulation would also let the deer population increase their number; certain regulations have been passed to protect females and younger deer from hunting.
What is Bait Hunting?
Bait hunting is an age-old technique that some hunters brag about, but most hunters from regions where bait hunting is not allowed would usually scoff at them for not getting good and go straight up hunting. Bait hunting would usually involve the ancient techniques of stalking, camouflaging and tracking to spot and kill the best-sized deer you can find.
This does not mean that you should not try out bait hunting. It is a valid hunting technique that can help you bag a deer quicker. Try this technique and let the heads roll in. Pun intended.
Deer bait hunting is a method of hunting wherein you use what do deer eat as a means to attract them. The main concept here is to set-up a baited area that has a clear view from the main deer stand, as well as from the one or more other stands in your area.
The reason that this works is that deer are attracted to the smell of the items that they eat, and they would, of course, try to find it. This is especially true during late autumn or winter, sometimes even during early spring, where food is scarce, and deer have no foliage to munch on yet.
The bait area is where they would head to, and since you have a clear view from a portable deer blind, you can go ahead and sight them with your scope and fire at will. This works for one or two deer and three at the most since they do have some form of extra-sensory perception and would know if killing has been done in an area. If you want to bag more than these number, you may want to use the following bait hunting tips and tricks.
What Do Deer Eat?
Deers are plant-eaters and would often go for nuts, grains, and fruits. If these food items are scarce, then they sometimes would graze on grass and whatever plant is available.
Deers, for the most part, like to munch on wildflowers, grass and even farmed vegetables like potatoes, beans, and wheat. Most deer hunters would use a mix of grains, like corn and wheat, some fruits and a lot of vegetables as bait. You can even mix in some grass if you want to.
Check the Wind Direction
Ideally, bait site should be placed upwind in a clear area, and deer blinds further upwind or parallel to the bait site. Never place your deer blinds downwind as this would carry your foul human smell to the noses of the deer and alert them that there are enemies nearby.
Track to Attract the Big Game
If you want to bag a bigger buck than the usual deer that gets shot at near bait sites, then hone your tracking skills and start stalking that mature buck. Yes, they have better evasive skills, that does not mean that these set of deer don’t get attracted to the bait.
Stalk larger deer and find where they usually would graze or sleep and try to set-up a bait site near these areas without alerting them. Once you’ve set-up the bait site, move away and take cover behind a tree or a mound that is still upwind but must have a clear view of your bait.
Take to the Deer Stands
Most hunting regions would require hunters to remain at the pre-installed deer hunting stands at all times. This ensures minimal human interaction, and you would not pollute the entire area with your human smell.
Use Multiple Sights and Sites
Setting up a backup stand is also advisable as it gives you the ability to move between trees and provides you with multiple angles to shoot at deer. If your hunting area is pretty large, you can set-up multiple bait sites as well, which gives you more areas to watch out for approaching deer.
Cover Your Tracks
This is a standard practice among hunters, especially those who know how to stalk and track their prey. What they would do is they would erase signs of their movement around the forest by righting stones and unbending grass and branches, as if nothing passed them at all. This task may seem tedious, but it does trick deer into thinking that a human has not gone this way yet.
Some hunters would even go as far as rubbing foliage on themselves to mask the all too human smell. A few hunters have also gone and attached twigs and leaves on their hunting clothes to blend in with the surroundings better.
Clean up the Bait Site
Majority of hunters would set-up their deer blinds close to trails and fire roads so they would have easy access, especially since they would need to move the carcass of what they shot as soon as possible. This helps mask the violence done around the area, and it allows for faster cleanup of the bait site.
Probably the main reason why hunters look down on bait hunting is that they have not tried it, which can be followed by them finding bait hunting too easy as compared to the more traditional approach.
But no matter what other hunters say, bait hunting is a valid hunting technique and has been used for a long time now. It’s comparable to bait fishing and bear hunting; you need to learn how to attract deer to your sights so you can bag them. And not everybody has the time to train and use traditional hunting methods but whatever the case may be, do not be afraid to try out bait hunting.
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