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Author Topic: Baiting in wilderness areas  (Read 1530 times)

Offline Buckhunter24

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Baiting in wilderness areas
« on: October 27, 2021, 02:35:57 PM »
I've been searching for a clear answer on if I can do this for deer/elk. I would be using weed free alfalfa. Been into a couple good bulls but its pretty thick and I am thinking I need something to sit on to get a shot opportunity.

Offline 92xj

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2021, 02:50:00 PM »
I have been stopped by a NF LEO and told I could not put out "bait" or a camera in a wilderness area.  Was told of a law of no personal belongings left unattended for more than 48 hours in a wilderness.  I chuckled and told him I would retrieve them in 47 hours and went about my business. 

My hours may be off as if has been a few years, but whatever it is, there is supposedly a law about personal belongings unattended to for a certain time period.  The camera AND bait were considered personal belongings.   

I know of cameras, bait, tree stands, etc. that have been up in a wilderness for a long time and no citations were given, though I am not sure if any LEO has found them. 

Good luck!
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Offline Tinmaniac

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2021, 04:04:15 PM »
Going to take a wild common sense guess here and say no,not allowed.

Offline Buckhunter24

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2021, 04:18:38 PM »
Going to take a wild common sense guess here and say no,not allowed.

I appreciate the feedback

Offline Buckhunter24

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2021, 04:21:23 PM »
I have been stopped by a NF LEO and told I could not put out "bait" or a camera in a wilderness area.  Was told of a law of no personal belongings left unattended for more than 48 hours in a wilderness.  I chuckled and told him I would retrieve them in 47 hours and went about my business. 

My hours may be off as if has been a few years, but whatever it is, there is supposedly a law about personal belongings unattended to for a certain time period.  The camera AND bait were considered personal belongings.   

I know of cameras, bait, tree stands, etc. that have been up in a wilderness for a long time and no citations were given, though I am not sure if any LEO has found them. 

Good luck!

Thanks man. I figured there was some gray area to it. I'm gonna just pass on it and keep hunting the way I am.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2021, 05:55:09 PM »
There are probably more rules  pertaining to hay and alfalfa in the wilderness areas than there are about baits intended for wildlife.
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Offline MeepDog

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2021, 05:59:04 PM »
I doubt anyone would care about salt :dunno:

Offline Bob33

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2021, 06:46:10 PM »
I believe baiting is not legal in Forest Service areas.
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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2021, 06:50:57 PM »
If they tell you no cameras or personnal gear for more than 48 hrs have them show you the law don't take their verbal word for it,  a particular FS Leo would lie his a$$ off to get his tree hugging agenda. Fortunately that SOB is no longer employed in the Methow. As as feeds go they must be certified weed free and trust me Outfitters do have to use weed free HAY but they also carry in a lot of COB.
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Online CP

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2021, 07:59:14 PM »
The FS follows Washington State Fish and Wildlife Laws pertaining to Baiting. 

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 08:03:08 PM »
There's no legal clarity on the matter.  I got into an argument on here awhile back when I got someone on film (on a game camera) stealing a cable I used to secure an elk carcass to a tree stump as camera bait.  Through that conversation and afterwards I've done a lot of research, including several conversations with some lawyers that I'm friends with. 

Long story short - FS and State Patrol or Wildlife Officers are very unlikely to cite you for something without clear instructions from the prosecutor's office.  So unless you find yourself on the wrong side of an overly ambitious federal prosecutor (which is very unlikely), you're safe in the grey area. 

In this case, I'd encourage you to think hard about the ethics of the act and make your own decision.  I hunt the east slopes where things are a lot more open and personally don't use bait as part of my own fair chase calculus.  On the west side, I might land on the other side of the argument. 

That's just to say: I personally don't think that the land use designation has that much to do with it. 

Good luck, and don't let internet forums make the decision for you  :chuckle:

Online fishngamereaper

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2021, 08:21:10 PM »
If someone wanted to they could probably get you for the caching restrictions ( 48 hour rule) , or the pack it in pack it out expectation.

The rules are in place ..have been for a long time... enforcement is another issue. Not likely to get caught unless someone finds your stash and reports it.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2021, 08:35:04 PM »
If someone wanted to they could probably get you for the caching restrictions ( 48 hour rule) , or the pack it in pack it out expectation.

The rules are in place ..have been for a long time... enforcement is another issue. Not likely to get caught unless someone finds your stash and reports it.

Bait, in my opinion at least, is more analogous to a game camera than an equipment cache or trash/litter.  A good argument could be made that bait is "in use" in the same way that a game camera is in use.  If I set up a game camera, I haven't abandoned it or cached it in the usual sense of those words.  It's there doing a job for me, and I'll be back to get it within a reasonable time frame.  A similar argument would apply to bait - it's not abandoned; it's there doing its job for the intended amount of time.  As long as it stays within WA hunting regulations, I don't see a federal LEO pressing charges (unless you royally piss them off, of course). 

You're not allowed to cache equipment in the non-wilderness NF areas either, but no one would say that baiting on NF land is illegal (again as long as you stay within WDFW regs).

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2021, 08:36:11 PM »
There's no legal clarity on the matter.  I got into an argument on here awhile back when I got someone on film (on a game camera) stealing a cable I used to secure an elk carcass to a tree stump as camera bait.  Through that conversation and afterwards I've done a lot of research, including several conversations with some lawyers that I'm friends with. 

Long story short - FS and State Patrol or Wildlife Officers are very unlikely to cite you for something without clear instructions from the prosecutor's office.  So unless you find yourself on the wrong side of an overly ambitious federal prosecutor (which is very unlikely), you're safe in the grey area. 

In this case, I'd encourage you to think hard about the ethics of the act and make your own decision.  I hunt the east slopes where things are a lot more open and personally don't use bait as part of my own fair chase calculus.  On the west side, I might land on the other side of the argument. 

That's just to say: I personally don't think that the land use designation has that much to do with it. 

Good luck, and don't let internet forums make the decision for you  :chuckle:

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Offline bigtex

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Re: Baiting in wilderness areas
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2021, 09:41:21 PM »
Long story short - FS and State Patrol or Wildlife Officers are very unlikely to cite you for something without clear instructions from the prosecutor's office.  So unless you find yourself on the wrong side of an overly ambitious federal prosecutor (which is very unlikely), you're safe in the grey area.
The difference is the prosecution at the state/county court vs federal court.

In state/county court every misdemeanor case essentially has to be signed off by the prosecutor because it requires a mandatory court appearance (aka it requires prosecutor's time before a judge.) Nowadays in WA when someone commits a misdemeanor they are no longer given a ticket, instead the case is referred to the prosecutor who then decides to charge or not charge. This really changed about 10-15 years ago. Some of your smaller localities still operate the "old" way but not many.

However, federally officers can still cite someone into federal court for committing misdemeanors, no prosecutor support needed. It's essentially how Washington worked prior to the shift 10-15 years go.

 


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