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Author Topic: "cleaning" a baited area?  (Read 3053 times)

Offline DrakeKill

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"cleaning" a baited area?
« on: June 16, 2014, 02:52:11 PM »
Let's say you spent part of the weekend getting ready for the season, including hiking out your stands and cameras to get set up. You hit your usual areas and upon entry to one of your favorite spots; you find some knuckle head left a few salt blocks and what looks to have been some grain scattered too. Now that I "know" about it, what to do about it?

I hung the stand and cameras to watch and see if they come back (its a helluva hike, I wouldn't want to carry bait out there, so I'll remain hopeful  :P) ; if they are legit for deer - I guess I'm just out the spot. If no-one returns to re-bait though I'd sure like to use the spot come 8/1. I believe with waterfowl they will open an area after it has been "clean" for 10 days, is there a similar guideline for bears or is this something I'm going to have to try and get a warden to hike out there and tell me in person? I cant seem to find anything in the RCWs or game regs on the topic other than baiting for bear is illegal. Thoughts?





Offline h20hunter

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 02:59:42 PM »
I've baited cams and hunted the same areas. MY rule of thumb, never seen anything published, is to wait 30 days once bait is depleted before hunting even close to it. Like I said, never seen it publised as far as an acceptable time frame.
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Offline tonymiller7

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 09:10:16 AM »
I'm under the assumption that once the bait is gone you are no longer baiting.
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 09:18:17 AM »
I'm pretty sure there is a number of days after the last bait has been eaten or removed. If there is still grain on the ground that may still be considered as bait. I would call your regional office and ask to talk to your local game warden. Tell him your situation and ask him if you are OK.  :twocents:
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Offline bobcat

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 09:30:05 AM »
I don't think there's anything written into the law in regards to baiting bears. It would simply be up to the officer and his opinion. I think h2O's minimum of 30 days is a good rule of thumb. However I could still see a person being cited for baiting bears if it was a location that had been baited heavily and got lots of use by bears, even if it had been more than 30 days. So be careful, especially if you have trail cam photos of bears that could be used as evidence against yourself.  :o

Offline bearpaw

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014, 09:39:33 AM »
Best to call the local warden, he's the one who will write the ticket or say it's OK.  :twocents:
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Offline Machias

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 04:23:24 PM »
There is no written timeframe, if bait is still present you will be hooked up.  If even after the bait is all gone and it still influences the bears behavior you can be cited,  This was straight from the warden.  I asked this very question a couple of years ago to a bait site for deer in NE WA.  A friend of mine was going to bait some whitetail bucks, and shortly after putting the bait out a toad of a bear showed up and took over the bait.  He cleaned it up and I wanted to know how long I had to wait to go after the bear.  I ended up NOT hunting that bear that year after talking to him.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 04:33:24 PM »
No time limit.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=77.15.245

(d) As used in this subsection, "bait" means a substance placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, scattered, or otherwise used for the purpose of attracting black bears to an area where one or more persons hunt or intend to hunt them.
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Offline emac

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 06:35:34 PM »
So then can you bait bears during the summer as long as you have the bait removed and cleaned up before the season starts

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Offline h20hunter

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 07:56:21 AM »
Emac....

I don't believe that is what Bob is saying. My suggestion would be to only bait animals legal to so. If a bear shows up to eat your deer/elk feed then so be it. You can't control what silly bears do. However, my understanding is if you hunt the area no matter how broad of an intrepretaion YOU have if the warden believes you are hunting a bear that is either on bait, reacting to bait, or has possibly become patterned or recognizes the greater area as a source of non natural occuring food then you could be looking at a ticket regardless of what we say or you may say. Since it is not clearly defined with a time limit or range you are simply at the mercy of the warden.
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Offline emac

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2014, 09:19:41 AM »
Emac....

I don't believe that is what Bob is saying. My suggestion would be to only bait animals legal to so. If a bear shows up to eat your deer/elk feed then so be it. You can't control what silly bears do. However, my understanding is if you hunt the area no matter how broad of an intrepretaion YOU have if the warden believes you are hunting a bear that is either on bait, reacting to bait, or has possibly become patterned or recognizes the greater area as a source of non natural occuring food then you could be looking at a ticket regardless of what we say or you may say. Since it is not clearly defined with a time limit or range you are simply at the mercy of the warden.

I wasn't really referring to what he was saying. I was just trying to get sonera clarification. I have heard so many things on this issue. A warden told me once you could bait bears as long as you werent hunting within a 1/2 mile of it. I have been told you can bait as long as you have the area cleaned up 24 hrs before you hunt. Also you could bait but just not during the season. And the last one i was told is you can bait all year and hunt over bait just don't get caught Haha.  so i was just trying to get some clarification since it really doesn't say. I mostly probably comes down to the gamies discretion. I wouldn't wanna lose my hunting privileges over a bear.

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Offline Bob33

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 09:26:37 AM »
I wasn't really referring to what he was saying. I was just trying to get sonera clarification. I have heard so many things on this issue. A warden told me once you could bait bears as long as you werent hunting within a 1/2 mile of it. I have been told you can bait as long as you have the area cleaned up 24 hrs before you hunt. Also you could bait but just not during the season. And the last one i was told is you can bait all year and hunt over bait just don't get caught Haha.  so i was just trying to get some clarification since it really doesn't say. I mostly probably comes down to the gamies discretion. I wouldn't wanna lose my hunting privileges over a bear.

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Those are individual enforcement officer interpretations, as the RCW is silent on time periods and distances.

My perspective would be this: if you are hunting bears in an area that is attracting bears because of bait, regardless of when it was deposited, then you are in violation of the RCW.  If the area was "cleaned" six months ago but is still attracting bears, then it would still be considered baited.

The gray area is when an area is truly and completed cleaned, but bears are still coming to the area out of habit. It would be easier to defend against such a charge if the time period between when the area was cleaned and when the hunting occurred was long rather than short.
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Offline h20hunter

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 09:30:11 AM »
I think you answered your own question. There is no clarification available......you got exactly what I would expect....various opinions from those that are in enforcement. You are also right...not worth losing your rights or getting ticket for.

Yeah, what Bob said.
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Offline bigtex

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2014, 09:36:47 AM »
I wasn't really referring to what he was saying. I was just trying to get sonera clarification. I have heard so many things on this issue. A warden told me once you could bait bears as long as you werent hunting within a 1/2 mile of it. I have been told you can bait as long as you have the area cleaned up 24 hrs before you hunt. Also you could bait but just not during the season. And the last one i was told is you can bait all year and hunt over bait just don't get caught Haha.  so i was just trying to get some clarification since it really doesn't say. I mostly probably comes down to the gamies discretion. I wouldn't wanna lose my hunting privileges over a bear.

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Those are individual enforcement officer interpretations, as the RCW is silent on time periods and distances.

My perspective would be this: if you are hunting bears in an area that is attracting bears because of bait, regardless of when it was deposited, then you are in violation of the RCW.  If the area was "cleaned" six months ago but is still attracting bears, then it would still be considered baited.

The gray area is when an area is truly and completed cleaned, but bears are still coming to the area out of habit. It would be easier to defend against such a charge if the time period between when the area was cleaned and when the hunting occurred was long rather than short.
:yeah:

There is no time limit, no distance limit, etc. If you are told that then that is one officer's interpretation. And remember, that just because one officer told you it's ok doesn't mean another won't cite you for it. Most counties have multiple officers, so Officer X say it's ok to do something, but your caught by Officer Y and he gives you a court date.

When it comes to making a bear baiting case the officer has to prove that 1) the substance placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, scattered, or otherwise used and 2) for the purpose of attracting black bears to an area where one or more persons hunt or intend to hunt them.

People for a long time have thought that they could have their wife or buddy place the bait and they could hunt over it, because they themselves didn't place the bait, that's false. If the bait has been placed for the purpose of attracting bears to hunt them then you are in violation, doesn't matter if you placed it or not.

Now if say you are hunting an apple orchard and an apple falls to the ground and a bear walks by and you shoot it, that's not baiting because nobody placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, scattered, etc the apple. Now if you go around the apple orchard shaking trees to make the apples fall off then an officer could probably make a case out if it.

The big thing an officer and the prosecutor has to prove is the placement of the substance for the purpose of bear hunting.  :twocents:

Offline bearpaw

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2014, 05:10:15 PM »
I don't think there's anything written into the law in regards to baiting bears. It would simply be up to the officer and his opinion. I think h2O's minimum of 30 days is a good rule of thumb. However I could still see a person being cited for baiting bears if it was a location that had been baited heavily and got lots of use by bears, even if it had been more than 30 days. So be careful, especially if you have trail cam photos of bears that could be used as evidence against yourself.  :o

I thought I had read 10 days before, but after looking I can't find anything about the specific number of days. 10 may have been in another state I was reading about.

It might be 10 days for waterfowl, seems like I seen a time frame of 10 days somewhere. :dunno:
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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2014, 05:18:29 PM »
There is no written timeframe, if bait is still present you will be hooked up.  If even after the bait is all gone and it still influences the bears behavior you can be cited,  This was straight from the warden.  I asked this very question a couple of years ago to a bait site for deer in NE WA.  A friend of mine was going to bait some whitetail bucks, and shortly after putting the bait out a toad of a bear showed up and took over the bait.  He cleaned it up and I wanted to know how long I had to wait to go after the bear.  I ended up NOT hunting that bear that year after talking to him.



 :yeah:

We have been round and round on this in the past. There is no timeframe and if they believe the bear was still attracted to the spot because of bait, regardless of how long it has been cleaned, you could be cited.




Offline Beardo

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2014, 11:36:32 PM »
What about deer mineral sites?  I have a nice run of mineral sites that have the old mineral worked into the ground and a trace mineral block. Site gets freshened up with random deer attractant and minerals/proteins. I would be interested in hunting bear about a half mile from there at an unbaited site I found last week. 3 different bears on cam and over 300 pics. At my mineral site bears are very rare on any cams. The spot I am interested in is down in the next valley over.

Offline 180-GRAIN

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Re: "cleaning" a baited area?
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2014, 09:31:27 AM »
Where abouts? I had a couple sets out for deer and one was ransacked by bear so I pulled my camera and left the area hoping the bait would be eaten and the block would eventually draw deer back in to the area.

 

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