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Not trying to beat a dead horse, but as I sat in my blind the final week of archery season I did some reading. I read through Article 34 of the game and wildlife code. When I got to section 2308 unlawful devices and methods.

It reads (8) Any artificial or natural bait, hay, grain, fruit, nut, salt, chemical, mineral or other food as an enticement for game or wildlife, regardless of kind and quantity, or take advantage of any such area or food or bait prior to 30 days after the removal of such material and its residue.

Nothing contained in this subsection shall pertain to normal or accepted farming, habitat management practices, oil and gas drilling, mining, forest management activities or other legitimate commercial or industrial practices. Upon discovery of such baited areas, whether prosecution is contemplated or not, the commission may cause a reasonable area surrounding the enticement to be posted against hunting or taking game or wildlife. The posters shall remain for 30 days after complete removal of the bait.


The part that confuses me is that Nothing contained in this subsection shall pertain to normal or accepted farming, habitat management practices, oil and gas drilling, mining, forest management activities or other legitimate commercial or industrial practices


does this mean that with some type of habitat management plan or timber management practices you can have feeders (not corn, some type of alfalfa/bean mix)out during hunting season. I have a few hundred acres that I own and manage it is a forest stewardship property and have wildlife plantings, fruit tree plantings, along with brushpile for nesting and rabbit cover. I also have a lot of aspen that I generally cut to provide browse, would this be considered baiting as well.

The reason I asked about the feeders is to take the pressure off regenerating hardwoods. A lot of publications I have read talk about year round supplemental feeding practices like this as a habitat management tool
 

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Hmmmm.....I'm interested in the answer to this one.

My SWAG and amateur and very inexperienced guess would be you could certanily have the feeders out there, and have them dump "stuff" on a regular basis....BUT...I don't think you could hunt over 'em.....or within a certian distance of 'em.

But, I've been proven all wet before when I sit here and type stuff up...just makin it up from my head....like I'm doin right now.

But that's my gut feel. Which means nothing at all.

Dave
 

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No, it does not mean you can use feeders. It means that if any food source is spilled as a result of normal accepted agriculutural practices, or if a food or mineral source is provided by any of the other practices mentioned it is not considered baiting for the purposes of hunting. Feeders are not an accepted wildlife management practice nor are they considered a habitat management practice. You would never put out a feeder to keep deer out of a regenerating forest area as it would attract deer which would eat their perfered food, yhe buds and leaves of young trees.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
John S said:
Feeders are not an accepted wildlife management practice nor are they considered a habitat management practice.
Some publications that I have read do speak of the use of supplemental feeding as a tool for wildlife and habitat management practices. I could see why this wouldn't be recognized by the PGC due to trying to dtermine what is a habitat management practice and what isn't. I understand that law changes have to come from the legislature, but why not just have the law read "no use of any type of artificial feed 30 days prior to the start of any hunting season period" That would probably save the PGC a lot of money going to court against people that think they found some type of loophole to get out of the charges
 

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I would like to see no feeding except bird feeders, from August 1 through Jan 30, no playing around with distance, everyone complies, that would solve the problem. Now convince the general assembly.
 

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John S said:
No, it does not mean you can use feeders. It means that if any food source is spilled as a result of normal accepted agriculutural practices, or if a food or mineral source is provided by any of the other practices mentioned it is not considered baiting for the purposes of hunting. Feeders are not an accepted wildlife management practice nor are they considered a habitat management practice. You would never put out a feeder to keep deer out of a regenerating forest area as it would attract deer which would eat their perfered food, yhe buds and leaves of young trees.

thats as clear of an answer as one could provide
there is no gray area the only gray area is when folkes choose to invent ont to sute there desires
 

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How would placing feeders to alleviate pressure on hardwoods regeneration not be a legitimate habitat management practice? The argument of attracting deer only holds water if the person placing the feeder owns a small tract. On 20,000 acres, there deer are already there and eating your choice trees.

I also don't see from that section how food plots that are planted to hunt over are not baiting. They serve no greater legitimate agricultural, wildlife management, or habitat management function - especially if they are designed to peak during archery or rifle season when other food sources are plentiful. Also, how much corn can I put in a bird feeder for cardinals and how many can I put out before it becomes baiting? I love to watch birds from my tree stand. (Just kidding but you see my point.)

The regs just seem arbitrary to me and I think the state legislature should pick a side on hunting over food - either in or out.
 

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Food plots are a recognized wildlife management practice in every state of the union, wildlife management practices are not baiting under the law as has been brought up here many many times. No matter how much some folks want to call food plots baiting, they are not under the law, only in the minds of some, and it is in the end, the law that counts.
 

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Texas allows baiting, what else are they going to say. They allow landowners to manage the herd on their property the way they see fit. They feed and manage for large antlers, not to have a balance of habitat to herd numbers. Deer in arid areas are no comparison to deer in forested states.
 

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See, this is where is comes full circle. I understand that managing deer numbers is a widely accepted timber management practice and the law clearly state that anything done pursuant to such practices is not baiting. Thus, use of bait piles and sharpshooters as part of your official timber management plan would not be baiting pursuant to the law just like the use of food plots as part of a wildlife habitat plan isn't. I understand that is not the Game Commission enforcement policy, but looking back at the original question reegarding the language of the law, the poster is right that the law is unclear on this issue at best. Your policy regarding how it is enforced may be more consistent, but that is not the law which is where confusion arises. The frequent arguments about foodplots having roots and year round benefits is also full of problems. A year round supplemental feeding program can have equal or greater wildlife benefits. This is especially true in drought years or extremely harsh winters when the food plots provide no help and mass starvation occurs. Just saying the clear lines people cite are not clear in reality, only in game commission policy.

You also didn't answer the question about how many bird feeders someone can put out before its baiting.

Thanks for indulging my ramblings.
 

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work2much said:
See, this is where is comes full circle. I understand that managing deer numbers is a widely accepted timber management practice and the law clearly state that anything done pursuant to such practices is not baiting. Thus, use of bait piles and sharpshooters as part of your official timber management plan would not be baiting pursuant to the law just like the use of food plots as part of a wildlife habitat plan isn't. I understand that is not the Game Commission enforcement policy, but looking back at the original question reegarding the language of the law, the poster is right that the law is unclear on this issue at best. Your policy regarding how it is enforced may be more consistent, but that is not the law which is where confusion arises. The frequent arguments about foodplots having roots and year round benefits is also full of problems. A year round supplemental feeding program can have equal or greater wildlife benefits. This is especially true in drought years or extremely harsh winters when the food plots provide no help and mass starvation occurs. Just saying the clear lines people cite are not clear in reality, only in game commission policy.

You also didn't answer the question about how many bird feeders someone can put out before its baiting.

Thanks for indulging my ramblings.
First off the PGC doesnt allow the general public to institute baiting a sharshooting as a timber mgt plan... the permits would NEVER be issued....second, in PA at least...which is the state where this law is and being discussed, there is no area other than the "big woods" where drought or severe winters would call for supplemental feeding. All the other areas of the state would have some type of food source available whether it be mast crops or gardens or crops.... ive never heard of mass die offs in winter in the souther portions of the state.....AND if a severe winter did occur in the big woods, feeding them anything than what they are accustomed to would be fatal....thats why its frowned upon to feed corn throughout the winter....what do you think those four elk died from? and lastly, if we have a sever winter and it kills off some deer, then there wasnt the habitat to support them anyway... its MOther Natures way of culling the herd HER way. By adding supplemental feeding that just prolongs their death or adds to it. Even out in western states (and i dont know if they still do this) but when they have done supplemental feeding it was with hay/alflfa NOT corn.
 

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I would like to see no feeding except bird feeders, from August 1 through Jan 30, no playing around with distance, everyone complies, that would solve the problem. Now convince the general assembly.
Honestly John, while I see the dilemma that feeding can cause, especially while trying to enforce laws and regs. regarding wildlife and feeding (baiting), I don't think it wise to try and ban feeding. Why ? Well sometimes we all being hunters, can think commonly, there are many folks out there from different walks of life that feed wildlife. Even as simple as putting a couple cobs of corn out for squirrel they may enjoy photographing. They don't think like, or have a hunter's or hunting oriented mindset. They mostly, I'm sure, are not even be aware of the hunting regs. when it comes to bait, or how supplemental feeding may affect say, and Elk. I think the "baiting" laws in the game code are quite clear (other than acceptable distance while hunting near a cordoned off bait area). Problem is, many magistrates have many interpretations as to what the letter of the law implies.
 

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I don't know how many bird feeders could be put out but I do know that when a bill to prohibit feeding was introduced years ago there was a clause that allowed back yard bird feeders and there was a size that could not be exceeded so they couldn't be used as a way around the no feeding law. I do not remember what the size was as it has been many years since the bill failed. I can tell you that under the current law if a bird feeder is attracting bears or elk the PGC can make the owner remove it.
 

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not to change subject, but im not sure why some people bring up the "acceptable distance" argument with this law.....every animal will utilize a bait pile different. A squirrel with travel a shorter distance than a bear, deer or turkey and even they are different...so why set a distance whne you cant pin down a travel habit of an animal.... let the officer use his discretion as to how far an animal or animals are influences.....sorry for the side rant...just another one of those things that gets brought up and irks me
 

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Officer discretion is great until it gets abused. That is why a clear law is needed. I know of a hunter charged w/ hunting over bait based solely on a soil sample showing minerals in the soil (not elevated levels of minerals, but just minerals). The samples were in the normal range for soils in the region, and the PGC collected no background for camparison. Fortunately the charges were dismissed, but this shows the problem with too much enforcement discretion. (And no it wasn't me.) There are many PGC officers who I would trust with a lot of discretion and some who I wish could not exercise any.
 

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so why set a distance whne you cant pin down a travel habit of an animal.... let the officer use his discretion as to how far an animal or animals are influences.....sorry for the side rant...just another one of those things that gets brought up and irks me
Sorry for "irking" you, but if I own 50 acres, and all I care about in my "hunting life" is to hunt my little 50 acre parcel, and some jerk-whack landowner next to me decides to put a corn pile on the property bound and gets busted, why should I have a WCO tell me that Deer are crossing the length of my property to eat the corn, and I can't hunt my property ? 300-500 yards of cordoned off bait area may not be common, but it does happen. Does that make sense ?
 

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That is what the courts have done since there are many variables on whether the bait is an enticement, distance being only one of them.
 

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work2much said:
Officer discretion is great until it gets abused. That is why a clear law is needed. I know of a hunter charged w/ hunting over bait based solely on a soil sample showing minerals in the soil (not elevated levels of minerals, but just minerals). The samples were in the normal range for soils in the region, and the PGC collected no background for camparison. Fortunately the charges were dismissed, but this shows the problem with too much enforcement discretion. (And no it wasn't me.) There are many PGC officers who I would trust with a lot of discretion and some who I wish could not exercise any.
You cannot submit a sample without also submitting a control sample. For instance, someone places a mineral block down minerals leach into the soil, deer are using the site, I show up and take a sample at the site, I have to take another sample away from the site as a control sample or the lab would have nothing to compare it too. Whoever told you that story had to have left something out.
 
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