Methods of baiting deer have some on opposite sides
TribLIVE Sports Videos
These are two groups headed in opposite directions.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission — concerned about “unnaturally” concentrating deer at a time when chronic wasting disease is spreading across the country — has discussed the idea of banning the use of urine-based scents.
At the same time, a dozen state lawmakers have signed a bill that would legalize baiting statewide. Currently, that's legal only in certain parts of southeastern Pennsylvania, where it's being used in hopes it will bring lots of deer together at one place.
The urine issue got a lot of attention last month. Game Commission veterinarian Walt Cottrell told commissioners the urine used in those products comes from deer farms, one of the prime sources of wasting disease.
Given that, he suggested the board might want to ban its use.
The board's going to at least explore the idea. Commissioner Jay Delaney of Luzerne County wants staff to determine the feasibility of enacting regulations that would prohibit the use of urine-based attractants by deer hunters. Specifically, he's asked staff to figure out whether a ban might work to protect deer and, just as importanty, whether the commission could even enforce it.
A report is due when the board holds its next work group meeting April 1.
The idea of legalizing baiting, meanwhile, is being touted most vigorously by Rep. Gary Haluska, a Cambria County Democrat and minority chairman of the House game and fisheries committee. House Bill 679 would legalize “any shelled or eared corn used as an enticement for wildlife or bait for game.”
He said the bill is a common sense one. Currently, if a hunter sets up 50 yards from a field of standing corn — counting on that crop to draw deer — he's not considered to be hunting over bait. If he puts shelled corn on the ground 50 yards away and sets up in the same stand, that's baiting and he could be fined, he said.
That doesn't make a lot of sense, said Haluska, who said he and friends have hunted over bait in Ohio, where the practice is legal in places.
“It's crazy to even worry about it. I just don't see the need to make it illegal. If there's corn in an area, and you're hunting near it, so what?” Haluska said.
The bill has been referred to the House game and fisheries committee for review.
“I don't know if we can get this to run right now, but we're going to try,” Haluska said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Experts call for deer hunters to step up game
- Coyotes proliferate despite year-round hunting
- Musky program achieves new standards
- Most cities likely to host coyote populations
- Frye: County’s sport, travel and outdoors show lacked crowds
- Outdoors notebook: Study of stocked pheasants set for fall
- Outdoor notices: Feb. 1, 2015
- Frye: Looking at bait vs. lures, their affect on fish
- Frye: Deer seasons and game lands