Survival Hunting: Baiting Animals, Large Game, and Predators
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Outside of a survival situation, baiting animals (with the intention to kill) is often illegal, simply because baiting can be highly effective, making hunting just a bit too easy.
In the modern day world this means that too many animals are often killed - thus laws against baiting in many states.
For example ducks and geese. In the 1930s federal regulations were passed outlawing baiting due to populations being nearly wiped out by sport hunting. Deer on the other hand are different. States may allow baiting deer but the data is mixed on whether or not baiting is more effective than hunting without bait. It's said that deer can become leery in areas hunters are known to bait, choosing feeding times more at night when they're harder to spot.
Baiting for survival
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But what if you're new to an area that hunters don't frequent and deer aren't accustomed to baiting practices? That's an area you may find yourself in a survival situation.
It goes to say that there's a good chance your use of bait may work in a short time frame to land a meal (or I should say, quite a few meals) That's great for survival.
There are many more animals out there than just deer, ducks, and geese to consider. Bear, boar, bob cat, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, snapping turtles, coyotes, foxes, elk, moose, wolves, gophers, groundhogs, birds, opossum, porcupine, rabbits, weasels, otter, armadillo, nutria, mink, woodchuck, voles, the list goes on.
If you're serious about survival, it would be a good idea to hit the books, and research just what all animals are in your local mountains and forests, lakes and rivers.
What type of bait?
In America major mountain ranges include the Cascade Mountains, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Appalachians. What about the desert (reptiles like lizards and snakes), prairie, swamps (think alligators, crocodiles, etc.), coastal islands and Great Plains?
Wherever you may end up traveling to you can research well in advance and know just what animals are out there. On top of that, research what the best baits are for different animals. Here are a couple web pages as examples:
Animal Traps and Baits
Bait deer with peanut butter
Here are a few books about baiting and trap setting:
The Trapper's Bible: Traps, Snares & Pathguards
Trapping North American furbearers: A complete guide on trapping all North American furbearers for both amateur and professional, also deer hunting, ... and baits, skinning and handling fur, etc
The Indian Hunters: Hunting and Fishing Methods of the North American Natives
If you happen to have peanut butter and molasses or peanut butter and honey, either of these combinations are said to be effective bait for deer. But what if you don't have the luxury of having peanut butter and honey or molasses? It would be good to know what some effective baits are from nature - such as corn in the case of deer - and also know that corn needs to be used a certain way - or a nearby bear may instead eat the corn you've laid out for the deer, and chase any deer away.
Baiting snares and deadfalls
Often times baiting animals is also going to call for a number of effective hunting skills as well. Unless of course you're simply setting traps such as snares and deadfalls. These you can set in areas you've placed bait, and return to hours later to see if any animals have been caught or killed in one of your traps.
For deer, however, you may be best choosing a concealed area (blind) that you've put together to hide where you can set your sights with a rifle or bow / arrow, and then simply wait. Practice using effective hunting methods such as being downwind - so that any wind is blowing toward you, and not carrying your scent toward deer), as well as scent concealment (attempting to reduce your scent by natural or artificial means), while factoring in what time of day the deer are feeding (early morning / early evening for example).
Finally, learn what kind of foods specific animals eat in nature. Often these same kinds of foods can be used as bait, if they can be found.
Baiting lions and leopards
For big cats (lions and leopards) on other continents such as Africa, a dead carcass can be hung from a tree or placed in tree branches. Your blind hidden nearby offers a place to give you an easy shot.
For bears, especially in North America, a highly effective method is to use dead fish and honey or molasses. The combination gives off a scent that will likely draw in any nearby bear. This practice makes hunting bears a bit easier as a hunter doesn't need to hide nearby and wait all day, day after day. He (or she) can simply return to the spot of the bait each day, until he notices that the bait is being eaten and there are nearby bear tracks. At this point the hunter can re-set the bait and can set up a blind nearby to provide an easy shot. There's a great chance the bear will be back soon.