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On baiting and dog hunting

Editor:

During the fall of 2014, Ben Lewis of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was in charge of a state Senate joint resolution that received many dissenting opinions from various sources about abolishing the ban on baiting deer in Virginia.

Virginia already has a “de facto” deer baiting solidly in place. Most counties allow the feeding of deer for 8 months out of the year.

Landowners can grow crops to hunt over. The law also allows for food plots (baits) to be hunted over. During the 4-month fall prohibition on baiting, stores across Virginia briskly sell millions of dollars of deer baits.

In reality, the deer are living off of and being hunted over baits. If disease concerns had merit, why is it not an issue to the states that permit baiting, and why is it not an issues in Virginia since baiting goes on both inside and outside the law? 

A common thread to all the negative letters on baiting is ethics. What’s ethical about hunting deer with dogs?

I hunted deer using dogs and was taken back by what I saw. Deer were run relentlessly until their hoofs split and driven into lines of waiting hunters to be shot.

This hunting is defined as ethical, fair chase. So says the DGIF. Those who can condone hunting with dogs while condemning baiting as unethical are hypocrites.

Karl Schmidt

Farmville