Alabama: Would You Pay To Bait Deer?

deer-baitingAlabama has a penchant for strange and confusing game laws, like the current deer-baiting regulation, which allows you to use bait as long as the feed is placed at least 100 yards away from your stand and not in your direct line of sight.

Who knows exactly what that means? How could a game warden enforce it?

Well, that law might change, possibly to be replaced by another unusual statute.

The Alabama Times Daily reports that the state’s House of Representatives has voted to allow people to flat-out use bait—for a fee!

House Bill 197 allows for baiting of deer and feral pigs on private and leased lands for a $14 annual “bait privilege license fee” and a $1 issuance fee. Out-of-state hunters would pay $50.

“We have concerns about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and we also have concerns about the current (baiting) law and there is an opportunity with this bill to be used as a tool for (the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources),” bill sponsor Rep. Danny Crawford, R-Athens, said.

But wait… I thought one of the biggest potential problems with baiting, according to some scientists and wildlife organizations like the Alabama Wildlife Federation, is that corn or other feed unnaturally congregates deer in a relatively small area, thus possibly increasing the threat and spread of CWD and other disease?

Hey, it’s Alabama!

Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham, who abstained from the vote, said: “I voted that way because I was confused, because when they approached us about the bill, their main thing was about the disease part, the (CWD).But what confused me was that they said that if you do the feeding, that could control the disease from spreading…

“I don’t see any control of the disease in this bill, there has got to be something more for how they will treat the disease in my opinion.”

Hey, it’s Alabama!

Included in the bill is this provision: The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has the power to end baiting in case diseases are found in the state’s deer population. The bill says the state conservation commissioner may, without refund, suspend the use of a baiting privilege license on a county, regional, or statewide basis to prevent the spread of diseases.

So you might pay your baiting fee, start out the new season hunting over bait, then one day be forced to stop using bait without getting your money back…

Hey. it’s Alabama!

House Bill 197 was approved 85-10 and now goes to the Senate, where a similar version of the bill passed last week. The two chambers could form a conference committee to work out differences between the two versions before sending it to the governor’s desk possibly in time for the 2019-20 deer season.

7 thoughts on “Alabama: Would You Pay To Bait Deer?

  1. With the concerns of CWD spreading I think this idea makes ZERO sense.

    I don’t know how Alabama plans on dealing with CWD (it it occurs), but it seems the standard way of dealing with it is to come in and kill every deer possible in the offending areas.

    I don’t see how the reward is worth the risk…

  2. If you hunted in Sask. more than likely you hunted over bait or at the least near a bait site. If you hunted in Kansas, Texas and several other states you did the same. My question is why do not these states have huge CWD issues? Texas has been a bait state since before I was born in 1955 it would seems as though there shouldn’t be a deer alive yet they and many free range exotics prosper. Pa. with it’s befuddlement of game laws allows baiting with a permit issued from the game dept for a fee in some areas and arrests you for doing so in others.
    So yes I would and have paid to bait!

  3. From what I’ve read, Saskatchewan, Texas, Kansas and Pennsylvania have all had cases of CWD. And while it may not be statewide, or considered a problem by some, I don’t see the point of flirting with spreading CWD by baiting.

    Some may disagree, (and that’s fine) but I wonder how quickly minds would be changed if CWD is found near private property one owns and the state wants to come in and kill every deer they can in a certain county (or counties)…

  4. CDW is carried in every deer just like the cancer gene is carried in every human old school logic of just comming into an are and killing off family groups of deer has been proven to be ineffective,i.e. Pa. killed and tested over 1500 deer in one area only to find none of them had fragmented CWD genes in them at all. The prions released into the air from infected deer have been determined to be the transfering agents, how on earth are you going to stop that by killing off some deer? As you stated most states do indeed have cases of CWD but why then has it not killed off every deer in a state like Texas or North Dakota whom have had baiting for just about ever? The misinformation about CWD is 100x more deadly than a few cases in any state.

  5. I’m not saying that I agree with how CWD has been dealt with in the past, but it does seem to be the method that most states use.

    As far as misinformation about CWD goes, I completely agree. There are so many schools of thought on it, that it’s led to confusion on the entire subject of CWD.

    And while I’ve read about studies that describe prions existing in the soil, many of those studies have also recommended not baiting in known areas where CWD exists to try and slow down the spread of it.

  6. No arguement from me “BUT” why isn’t CWD spreading in the deer baiting states? One would think with the years of baiting… in let us use Texas as an example…. it surely should have by now.
    I do not know the answer wish I did I could make some serious cash.

  7. If a person could predict why, where and when he/she would be very wealthy…

    Point being…we can’t and if/when CWD hits those areas, the question will go to “why now” and “what changed”?

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