Supertips on How to Bait Deer

TED Giant bow buck Supertips on How to Bait Deer
The Nuge isn’t a fan of mandated antler point restrictions and believes personal choice is the best way to go.

No words can adequately describe how I crave encounters with deer. Right behind God, family, country and killer guitar adventure, ambushing deer with my bow and arrow has always been the thrill of thrills for me.

As I gleefully embark on my 69th deerseason for the glorious fall of 2017, the accumulation of a lifetime of painstaking trial and error I have subjected myself to makes me more giddy than ever for what lies ahead in the Great Spirit of the Wild deergrounds, for all these hard hunting lessons learned have taught me much about how to improvise, adapt and hopefully overcome the uncanny radar escape capabilities of the mighty, mythical whitetail deer.

I am surely a reasoning predator but the deer are always so unreasonable!

My backstrap dreams throttle on regardless in that not so quiet night!

Here in the brotherhood, the basics of deerhunting 101 are mostly well known, understood and adhered to by my fellow diehard backstrappers who crave this stuff like I do. There really isn’t that much new to review, so I pretty much take for granted that most hunters have their proven and preferred strategies and hunting styles down to a science, and I wish you well in all your individual choices.

TED acorns2 Supertips on How to Bait Deer
Acorns are the fuel for the great whitetail and give hunters reason to celebrate each autumn! And if you can legally use bait and choose to do so, enjoy it!

Ain’t life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and American freedom grand!

With the increased explosion of hunting TV shows flooding the various satellite TV networks over the years, some really good and some off the charts dismal, I have witnessed a few iffy practices that could use some genuine and sincere advice and upgrades.

With the inexplicable and irritating hodgepodge of confusing gamelaws all over the board across America, it should be the Job One battlecry for all concerned sporters to demand that all gamelaws in all states be science and safety based and to eliminate the nonsensical “social” based and embarrassingly politically correct anti-nature, anti-science laws and bureaucratic abuse of power and overreach that plagues our sport.

Since it is irrefutably established by so many official state biologists who have confirmed that baiting is legal, harmless and aok in so many states, how can biologists and hunters in other states claim otherwise?

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The embarrassment of runaway dishonest political correctness, that’s how.

I would like to meet the man that can look me in the eye and dare claim that the eating of spilled grain is detrimental to wildlife, seeing as how wildlife eats spilled grain all across the continent.

And don’t give me this insane malarkey that our spilling grain by hand is any different than the universally constant spilling of grain from leaky combines nationwide. (which by the way, it is impossible to grow and harvest grain without spilling a lot)

Some computer geek desk-jockey that weaseled his or her way into some wildlife department may want to make note of that and fess up.

And here’s a little tip for the critical-thinking challenged out there; if you don’t want to bait, DON’T!

If you don’t want to skewer a worm on your hook when you go fishing, have at it. I prefer a big, fat, slimy, wriggling night crawler on my hook, thank you very much.

TED Mathews Halon bow buck Supertips on How to Bait Deer
Enjoy your hunting no matter how you do it!

And here’s a little alert for the mentally challenged out there — your foodplot is bait. Your bucklure is bait. Your rattling horns and grunt tubes are audio bait. That waterhole is bait. That mockscrape is bait. Those big white acorns, persimmons and apples near your stand are bait. That decoy is bait.

Please tell me you know this.

Meanwhile the millions of us that enjoy this exciting style of hunting that increases and enhances our wildlife viewings and encounters will continue to do so joyfully and fight like mad to eliminate foolish non-scientific baiting bans wherever we find bureaucrats abusing their power and violating professional biology 101.

If you criticize hunters who hunt over bait you will have to criticize me, Fred Bear, Howard Hill, Ben Pearson, Ishi, Chuck Adams, Fred Eichler, Michael Waddell, Nick Mundt, T-Bone Turner, Jack Frost, Tom Hoffman, MR James, pretty much every president of Pope & Young, Boone & Crocket and most hunters in America. Go ahead, give it your best numbnut shot.

In order to potentially maximize the effectiveness of luring deer into optimal identification and possible shooting position, there are a few tricks I have learned over many years of experimenting with baiting procedures.

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TED Cannon Feeder Supertips on How to Bait Deer
Ted’s Cannon feeder gets a workout all year to help deer, turkeys and other critters get a little extra boost.

First of all, never, I say never place bait in a pile. Bait piles are less than effective, even more often than not actually counterproductive especially if mature bucks are on your hit list.

Sure, in some areas of the country I suppose bait piles can be occasionally effective where the deer are not ultra-spooky or over-pressured, but in my experience, the more the bait is spread out the better.

I use my favorite Primos Swamp Donkey products to great success throughout the year, here, there and everywhere on my hunting grounds to keep the critters around and interested. But when I get within a month or so of opening day, I then zero in on my favorite ambush setups and bait those areas exclusively.

Like millions of Texas hunters and millions more around the nation, we run automated corn and protein feeders year round to keep our critters beefed up and happy. My new favorite auto feeder is the ingenious Cannon Feeder out of Texas that uses propane on a timer to blast corn or pellets out in a wide, perfect scattering.

I also use my Harvant Feeder attached to my ATV that makes it ultra-convenient to spray corn wherever I want to.

Just before opening day I begin to spread and scatter shellcorn in a wide half-moon arc about 15 to 20 yards upwind of my stands with a little extra tossed farther out sparsely to about 35 yards or so. I want the deer to run into some kernels beyond my actual killzones to possibly get them comfortable.

TED Harvant feeder e1503456741816 Supertips on How to Bait Deer
The Harvant trailer hitch feeder is one of Ted’s favorite things to use while driving around his property.

It is very important to keep feeding as many ambush sites as possible as often as possible so deer become somewhat settled in those areas we are not hunting on a daily basis. This way when we do decide to hit them, we have a slight element of surprise advantage, and God knows we need it!

There are so many killer attractants and supplemental feed products on the market these days, and they all have benefits and advantages to varying degrees. When using granulated products like my favorite Swamp Donkey, be sure to spread them out in a wide arc in order to keep the deer moving about and offering varying angles, thereby increasing the odds of providing hopeful shot opportunities.

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I’ve hunted every imaginable legal way there is all these years, and my walking, stalking, mountain climbing days are long gone at my age with these new knees. My absolute favorite style of hunting is the year round scouting and exploring my sacred deergrounds to determine where my best ambush setups would provide the best opportunities for encountering, and hopefully killing a deer.

With the proper wind direction, sun location, stealthy approach, well concealed stand, clever bait placement and year round dedication to being the deadliest predator I can be, my backstrap dreams will continue to drive my love of the hunt, balance the herds, feed my family and friends and make me the happiest bowhunting guitarplayer in the world. That’s called the American Dream and I’m living it with all I got! God uses bait, just look at Mrs. Nugent!! Say Hallelujah like you mean it and pass the garlic & butter!

With more than 40 million albums sold, rock legend Ted Nugent is equally well known as the nation’s most outspoken proponent of our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, conducting thousands of pro-gun, pro-freedom, pro-American interviews in major media worldwide. Nugent is a New York Times best-selling author whose works include “Ted, White & Blue —The Nugent Manifesto;” “God, Guns & Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Kill It & Grill It.” This year, his award-winning Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV show celebrates its 500th episode! For allthings Nuge, visit


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From Deer & Deer Hunting magazine, the 2017 Whitetails Calendar is your top deer hunting resource! Whether in print or digital format, use this deer moon phase calendar to find out which days the deer will be seeking and chasing, so you can time the rut for the best time to hunt.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>