Alabama 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.
She stopped and looked back. “Oh boy, this is it,” he thought.
Greg’s heart dropped as he glassed a young buck with one antler come out the trees toward the doe. Then he caught more movement—an enormous rack overtook the little buck and made for the doe!
The hunter started to get excited, but quickly took 5 deep breaths to calm down. “If I think about it too much, I could screw this thing up,” he thought.
The giant started toward the doe, but when he got about 150 yards out from Greg’s stand, he stopped and looked around slowly, like he knew something wasn’t right. He never looked Greg’s way and he didn’t spook, but turned slowly back toward the trees and Greg knew it was now or never.
He had practiced out to 200 yards with his muzzleloader, so he was confident at 150. At the shot the buck tiptoed into the trees. Greg knew the deer hit, but didn’t see him fall.
He walked over to the shot site, but found no blood. He looked around some more and started to get worried. He looked up and saw the monster lying dead in the trees 50 yards away! The 22-pointer gross-scored 218.
3 keys to the hunt:
Greg did a super job reading the buck’s body language and demeanor—and then confidently taking the shot him before the buck got away. That is a critical but often misunderstood and overlooked key to killing a big deer.
Greg took deep breaths and calmed his nerves. I don’t care how long you’ve been hunting and how many bucks you’ve shot, the exhilaration and nerves are still there…do what you can to settle down.
If you’re a blackpowder hunter, listen up: MANY times there is not a speck of blood at the shot site, especially at ranges beyond 100 yards.
The velocity of a muzzleloading bullet (even the best new ones) is relatively low, and many times you get no pass through on a buck. The bullet stays inside the deer, and with no exit hole there is little if any blood. You owe it to the deer to look and look, and grid search, and look some more. I can’t tell you how many muzzleloader bucks I’ve shot and found dead within 120 yards, with not little or no blood to go on.
You know how enthralled and obsessed I am by dark, thick Canadian racks, especially one that I know will go 200-plus, so I investigated.
It took some digging but I finally caught up with @tiffcheryl on Instagram. “That’s my buck in case you’re wondering!” she posted me back.
All the initial info I had seen proved true. The giant was indeed shot by a lady in Alberta last November 12.
Then I was able to study the official score sheet and see just how massive this buck is!
14 points on right antler, 10 on left
42 inches of total mass
MOST AWESOME: 27 5/8” length of right beam, 27” left beam (just 5/8” deduction)
FINAL NON-TYPICAL SCORE: 238 2/8”
This is one of the top bucks shot anywhere in North America in 2018, way to go @tiffcheryl!