John's Journal...

Hank Parker Talks About Baiting or Not Baiting Deer

Day 5: Hank Parker’s Opinion on the Great Bait Debate for Deer

Editor’s Note: Hank Parker, former Bassmasters Classic Champion, and his two sons, Hank Jr. and Billy, produce the TV shows, “Hank Parker 3D” and “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine” on the Pursuit Channel and “Hank Parker’s Flesh and Blood” on the Outdoor Channel. They use deer lure to get more bucks within bow range. When we asked Hank, “What are some of the trends you’ve seen in the deer lure business in the last few years?” we were surprised by what we learned. Deer lure can be an effective tool to allow bowhunters to put bucks in front of their bows. But if deer lure is used incorrectly, it rarely if ever works. Hank is the president of C'Mere Deer ( If you’ve wondered about how to use deer lure effectively, stay with us this week, and Hank will tell us how.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewI sit on both sides of the fence with the baiting controversy. I own a large parcel of land. So, I’m in the group of people who controls the food source in my area. We had a really-big buck on my farm that we had been watching for a couple of years. We had hunted this deer hard and hadn’t been able to take him. We spooked the buck, when we were trying to video him. Even though we spooked the deer, I told my cameraman, “I think we’re okay. I don’t believe we spooked the deer off the property.” But I was wrong. One of my neighboring landowners harvested that buck. My neighbor had every right to take that buck. I didn’t own the deer. That’s the reason I like hunting deer under the fair-chase concept. My neighbor deserved that deer just as much as my boys and I did. We had spooked the deer, and the buck had left our property. My neighbor figured out where the deer was moving, and where he needed to be to take the deer. A deer can go anywhere he wants to, and anyone should have the right to harvest that deer.

Or, the scenario may happen that before the season, you’ve been watching and patterning a buck on public land. But on opening day of bow season, you spook that buck. The next week when you’re driving out of the woods from an unsuccessful hunt, you see that buck on the tailgate of another hunter’s pickup truck. You can’t claim that deer. Yes, you may have seen the deer. You may have had the opportunity to take the deer, but the other hunter was successful, and you weren’t. That’s a level playing field.

I think, by being able to bait deer or use deer attractants, a hunter who doesn’t have enough money to lease a big property and plant a big green field has the same opportunity to take a nice buck as a big landowner does. Baiting and using deer attractants gives all hunters equal opportunities to see a deer and take an older-age-class buck. Also, when you make baiting legal, the people who are baiting in areas where baiting isn’t legal won’t have an advantage over the rest of the hunters. When baiting is legal for everyone, the deer-hunting playing field is equal for everyone. The states that allow baiting have more deer-hunting participation than the states that don’t allow baiting.

Today, young people want instant gratification. They aren’t interested in sitting 3 or 4 days in a deer stand and not seeing any deer. When I was a kid, I hunted 17 days straight one time and didn’t see a deer. Today young people have too-many other activities, video games, TV, and sports that they can participate in where there is some type of action happening. Hunters are happy when they’re seeing deer. They’re not happy if they’re not seeing deer. Deer attractants and baiting provides a way for hunters to see deer that they may not have seen, if they don’t use attractants and baits. They decide if they want to take them or not.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAnother advantage to baiting, is if you use bait and deer attractants effectively, you easily and quickly can evaluate your herd and decide which deer need to be harvested, and which deer you need to allow to grow for another year or two. Everyone has his or her own opinion about baiting and using deer attractants. In the states where baiting and deer attractants are legal, hunters can decide to use them or not use them.

To learn more about deer hunting, you can get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, "How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here on each, or go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Check back each day this week for more about Hank Parker Talks About Baiting or Not Baiting Deer"

Day 1: Hank Parker Says Deer Lures Will Help Hunters Take Bucks
Day 2: Hank Parker on Two Ways to Use Deer Lure - Correctly and Incorrectly
Day 3: Hank Parker Explains More on Correct Placement of Deer Lure to Take Deer
Day 4: Hank Parker - the Case for Baiting and Using Deer Attractants
Day 5: Hank Parker’s Opinion on the Great Bait Debate for Deer

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Entry 786, Day 5