Stan P. from Ohio wrote about happenings on his hunting lease the past few years. “Four of my buddies and I have a 500-acre lease that is mostly forested. We’ve got some areas that have been clear-cut and now they are thick, good bedding areas. The best bedding site created was located close to the neighboring property line. This area made for great hunting until two years ago when the neighboring lease (an area that is about half woods and half cattle pasture) people started baiting. Once they started baiting, they started shooting ‘our bucks.’ We’ve tried to set up between the bedding and bait sites, but to no avail. We don’t want to bait. Any ideas how we can get our good hunting back?”
Dr. Dave Samuel
First, they have a legal right to bait, so legal issues don’t exist here. You have three choices that I can think of. If you can get the bucks to bed elsewhere on your property, that might help. Maybe walking through there during the late summer and early fall might work. If they then bed in thick areas on the interior of your property, it might be easier for you to find spots where you can catch them coming and going to your neighbors bait piles. Of course, by walking through the existing bedding area, you might cause the bucks to leave your area totally.
The second option you have is to feed deer. You don’t have to hunt over these baited sites, but it might hold the deer on your property.
The third option is your best. Plant some really good food plots on the interior side of the existing bedding site that the bucks now use. Spend some money and plant about 25 acres worth of food plots. Spend time and thought on what you plant, the size of the plots, and where to put them. Make sure you plant some plots that provide fall and winter food, and some that provide spring and summer food.
I hope these tips help you out!
Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, manager of Guide Outdoors & Social Content at www.sportsmansguide.com to email@example.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.