Here we go with another hot button topic in the hunting world, and sadly even more evidence that all hunters do not agree. Even worse, is the lack of ability on some hunters’ parts to debate respectfully. I know you’re thinking this is supposed to be about baiting. Right? Well, yes and no. There will be some discussion over baiting of deer and other game, but there will be even more about respect.
First, a little background as to why I am even writing this right now. A few days ago, I shared a picture on Twitter, which was then retweeted by several people. A man, who will remain nameless (because I actually do have respect for others), saw this picture and went on a bit of a tirade over baiting deer. I will confess that there was a pile of corn in the picture. I also want to point out that this is perfectly legal in my state. Anyway, this man made a comment to me, which was not all that horrible to begin with. But, nonetheless, I decided to click on his profile and check him out. It was not someone I was following, or someone who was following me, for that matter.
Now, when I went to his page, I really had no expectations. I am fine with people expressing their own opinions as long as it is done in the right way. However, I quickly learned that this man was very expressive in his opinions, and in a “not so nice” way. His page was full of comments stating that people who baited deer were “stupid” and “pathetic”. Again, I had no problem with him disagreeing; I did have a problem, though, with being called stupid and pathetic.
Normally, I would probably have just let statements like this go, but as I felt they were directed at me, I couldn’t ignore them. So, I commented. I let this man know that I did not appreciate being called stupid and pathetic. I also told him that I respected his opinion. I just didn’t like the way he expressed it. He continued to argue with me, telling me I was unethical, and unfair to animals. I tried for what seemed like hours to talk rationally with this man, explaining to him that I had multiple stand locations and that this was the only one with bait. I also pointed out that the corn was there more for the purpose of capturing great trail camera pictures. Yet, no matter what I said to this man, he pretty much always came back with the same attitude and replies.
I repeatedly told him that I respected his opinions, but everything I said seemed to fall on deaf ears. I finally gave up, because I was obviously getting nowhere. I told him goodbye and wished him luck making friends in the hunting world with that type of attitude. Honestly, you would have to read his words to truly understand. All I can say is that he was extremely disrespectful and argumentative! His reply was that he got along great with all hunters. Yet, I learned a short while later that he was picking fights with other hunters (one might even say he was baiting people) over several different topics. He was arrogant and rude to say the least.
So, that is what lead me to here, a very heated debate over baiting. Okay, let’s discuss baiting. I know there are a lot of people against it. Yet, if it is legal where you live and you choose to do it, then it is perfectly ethical. This man seemed to be under the impression that deer must throw all caution to the wind when they find a pile of corn, apples, or other types of baits. As I tried to explain to him, this is not the case. Deer are just as cautious when they are eating over a corn pile as they are when they are over a pile of acorns that fell from a tree.
Yes, I do put out corn or apples from time to time. I’ve been known to occasionally put out a mineral rock or salt block. I’ve even used buck or doe urine. Oh, and let’s not forget food plots. Although, it appears that the man on Twitter is okay with food plots, as they are all natural. Now, I could totally disagree with that, pointing out that food plots are man-made and put out for the sole purpose of drawing in deer. But, that’s not the point here. My point is this, we are all different. We have our own ideas as to what is ethical and right. However, we do not have the right to trash people who think differently than we do. Express your opinions. Agree to disagree. And continue to debate. But, debate with respect.
I have no unrealistic expectations here. I have dealt with controversy before, and I know I will continue to do so. I’m sure there will even be some backlash here from all the “anti-baiters”, and that’s fine! All I ask is that you do it respectfully. As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome. Oh, and let’s not forget that they are also respected.