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200 pounds of meat from 100 ft.² of alfalfa bait crop

 
Dale Hodgins
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   My friend gets up to 200 pounds of meat from his small 100 square-foot patch of alfalfa. Of course that's a crazy amount of production but the alfalfa is simply used to encourage deer to stop by his cottage in the forest. A 12 foot high fence protects his crop until fall when the deer are at their fattest. Apparently it is illegal to lure wild animals you are hunting by bringing them food. But provided that you have the appropriate hunting license it is okay to shoot a deer which is eating your crop. The alfalfa is 75 feet from the house and the deer are dispatched with arrows from a balcony perch. Shooting at them on this angle is safe for the neighborhood since a missed shot would simply strike the ground.

    I'm sure many hunters would consider this foul play but I look at it from a resource management point of view. He has his license to shoot a deer and in the process he doesn't drive a giant 4 x 4 through the wilderness, destroy gates and fences and trespass on other people's land as so many hunters do. The whole process happens in front of his house. No fossil fuels burned, no collateral damage, no accidentally shooting a hunting buddy, no binge drinking or any of the other malarkey that passes for hunting. Efficiency in its purest form
 
Brad Davies
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Perfectly OK IMHO. What your describing is a "food plot" more specifically a "hunting plot". Food plots are used as forage food for wildlife and seldom hunted on where as hunting plots are more intimate and are used for selecting the animals to harvest / cull.

There is a large movement, mostly in the midwest, that is aimed at improving wildlife forage for various reason, herd health, herd size, and selective harvesting. The most organized of these movements seems to be QDM, Quality Deer Managment. They have a website, forum, articles, and DVD's.

As far as I can tell no one is yet applying permaculture principles to QDM. I am currently creating a plan for improving the wildlife habitat for my close friends hunting property, ~20acres in Northern Michigan. I'll be sure to document my results.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Feeding deer to hunt with feeders or feed plots  is perfectly legal here in Texas, or in any case everyone does it.  Deer feeders are manufactured in my locale.
 
Dave Bennett
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Feeding deer to hunt with feeders or feed plots  is perfectly legal here in Texas, or in any case everyone does it.  Deer feeders are manufactured in my locale.

In some states there is an arbitrary distance from the "bait" where hunting is allowed.  In some states it is legal for a farmer to kill deer any time of the year if they are damaging valuable crops.  No license is required in most of them.
It has been my experience that in states that allow dogs to be used to hunt deer it is also legal to use feeders which is a form of baiting.  Where I grew up, if you are in the woods during deer season and you see a dog it is OK to shoot the dog.  Dogs are not allowed to be used for hunting deer in that state.  The law about shooting a dog in the woods was supposedly designed to protect the deer from the dogs.  It is true that dogs will run down deer and kill them and it has been a problem in some places but these days the deer population all across the country is growing so I think that hunting deer with dogs should not be considered wrong.

I think the idea of growing a patch of alfalfa specifically for literally luring deer for harvest is an excellent idea.  In my opinion there is nothing better than a nice venison roast or some "deer burgers for lunch or dinner.  I rate it as my most favorite "red" meat. 
 
Dale Hodgins
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Back when it was legal to run deer with dogs in Ontario Canada, my dad and grandfather did it. Many people use very big fast dogs for this purpose but since dad knew it was highly unlikely that the dog would ever catch a deer it made no sense to scare the deer off with a scary dog.

    Quite often a dog will locate deer which have chosen something tasty to eat. If a fast dog pursues the deer it may run off completely or it may take an hour or more to circle around and come back to its feeding spot. Hunters would sit and wait for hours for the deer to return.

    Dad chose a better method. He got a large dog with a loud bark but this dog was some sort of odd crossbreed which had very short legs. Imagine a German Shepherd crossed with a dash hound. This dog loved to chase deer and would bark loudly while doing so. Because he was so slow and he always announced himself with loud yapping they didn't view him as a serious threat, more of an irritation. So instead of taking two hours to come back to the feeding spot the deer would often return after only five or 10 min.. By this time dad would have heard the commotion, locked the dog up in the house or barn and positioned himself to shoot the returning deer.

    This dog would have been useless for hunting birds, rabbits or almost any other creature because he couldn't stop yapping. I'm sure that if dad had taken him to any of those hunting dog trials they would have disqualified him. But because of the unique farmyard hunting method that dad employed this silly dog became the most useful animal on the farm.
 
Dave Bennett
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dale hodgins wrote:
Back when it was legal to run deer with dogs in Ontario Canada, my dad and grandfather did it. Many people use very big fast dogs for this purpose but since dad knew it was highly unlikely that the dog would ever catch a deer it made no sense to scare the deer off with a scary dog.

    Quite often a dog will locate deer which have chosen something tasty to eat. If a fast dog pursues the deer it may run off completely or it may take an hour or more to circle around and come back to its feeding spot. Hunters would sit and wait for hours for the deer to return.

     Dad chose a better method. He got a large dog with a loud bark but this dog was some sort of odd crossbreed which had very short legs. Imagine a German Shepherd crossed with a dash hound. This dog loved to chase deer and would bark loudly while doing so. Because he was so slow and he always announced himself with loud yapping they didn't view him as a serious threat, more of an irritation. So instead of taking two hours to come back to the feeding spot the deer would often return after only five or 10 min.. By this time dad would have heard the commotion, locked the dog up in the house or barn and positioned himself to shoot the returning deer.

    This dog would have been useless for hunting birds, rabbits or almost any other creature because he couldn't stop yapping. I'm sure that if dad had taken him to any of those hunting dog trials they would have disqualified him. But because of the unique farmyard hunting method that dad employed this silly dog became the most useful animal on the farm.

Here in Virginia some people cross a Beagle with a Labrador.  The idea is to produce a medium size dog that can run faster and improve the sense of smell.  They call them "eer Beagles" but they most often look like a small Labrador.  I had one as a pet a while back.  Very nice dog that I wish I could have kept but I was working as a field service technician and rarely got home at a regular time.  He was caged trained so well that even if I did not lock his cage door he would not come out.  Well after the third time of getting home from work so late that he could not wait to "do his business" I felt so guilty for not being there to properly care for him I found a family that could.  I really miss "Murphy."
 
Brice Moss
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@op my g'pa had an old camp trailer next to a little rye patch for the same reason.
 
John Polk
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For you MIchiganders, this is good news (baiting ban lifted):

http://www.unclelukes.com/

 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
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My son took a nice doe during this year's Michigan Youth Hunt (his last qualifying year).  We used some of the meat in pasta bolognese the other night but, I agree, nothing touches a good roast of venison!

For our property, we use the pastured horses as scouts.  The hunters will position themselves along our shallow tree-line (a deer super-highway) and it won't be long before the horses turn to acknowledge the presence and direction of an incoming deer. 

Oh... hunting season!  I hope the guys bring me at least 3 more Michigan Whites!!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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My grandfather (and most of the guys in that area) used to hunt deer with dogs, back before it was made illegal here in Oregon.  The dogs didn't run the deer down, though.  They were called 'jump' dogs, and their purpose was to jump a deer and hopefully get it going in the direction of the stationary hunter, who could then shoot the deer as it ran by him.  This was in the thick underbrush of the Oregon Coast Range, where visibility is poor, so it's hard for a person to sneak up on a deer.  I guess the method worked, as Grandad fed his family pretty well that way.

If anyone is interested in reading Grandad's hunting stories, look on Amazon or Barnes and Noble for the book, Confessions of a Poacher, by Warren Vanderburg!  (Hope that's not too much of an ad -- Grandad wrote his stories down starting about forty years ago, and Mom finally got the book published.  I'm not sure it's listed yet, but it should be soon.)  It's not just hunting stories, there's also quite a bit of good stories about surviving during hard times.  Grandad was born in 1906.

Kathleen
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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