Deer Baiting

New Avon Arms


Well-Known Member
I have read various articles about baiting a ride or a spot in the woods to attract deer but does that defy actually stalking. I find it much more enjoyable stalking through the woods if I come across a deer that has been a difficult stalk it’s a bonus but if I don’t that’s all apart of stalking and the experience has still been educational I can understand if you have many deer damaging a area and are unable to get on top of the problem,
Deer stalking is a art handed down from generation to generation is this art of baiting being made easier or even a lazy way of stalking as you know exactly where they are going to be and for me personally boring
Surly baiting would have a significant affect on the deer movement and their behaviour and a constant supply of artificial food alters their natural foraging behaviour
I have found that around pheasant hoppers in the wood which I shoot that deer would come to feed and after taking a few deer out in that area the mature bucks would learn to avoid these sites during the daylight hours
I have read on various websites that this very popular across the pond but there is a lot of controversy between bait hunters and non bait hunters

Andy L

Well-Known Member
I use salt lick and alfalfa feed on a farm that I stalk. This is to try to hold the fallow that pass through the farm but rarely stay long. I find that, even though they have been on the feed, they are rarely on it when I am there so I still need to find them and stalk them. It just means that there is slightly more chance of them being on my land and not the neighbours!


Well-Known Member
I did try one of those horse salt licks once whilst in Essex. Coated it in thick syrup and hung from a tree next to a well used deer path.

The farmer wanted them eradicated and didn't care how. I'd hardly call it stalking but i could basically wander along the pathway and quarantee a few on an evening.

Not sporting but efficient.

Offroad Gary

Well-Known Member
i have been on an estate where the deer manager uses some sort or beans (not Heinz!), he puts them on the rides to slow the muntys down for long enough for you to get a shot from a suitably positioned high seat.

it was not productive the time i sat out, although i could have nailed a few squirrells who were taking advantage of the free meal, but alas, i was overgunned!


Well-Known Member
Hi Lady Stalker,
I guess for me the answer depends on the quarry. I could shoot muntys by the dozen on one bit I stalk, so baiting is not even thought of. On another patch neer home I might see one every fith or sixth time out. If I want one I would and do use a salt lick to encourage them to stay awhile. I should mention that shooting them at the lick is a bad move IMO as they soon associate the salt lick with danger. Better to shoot them comming in or leaving the area. Wild boar are as far as I know rarely stalked without some kind of bait, either that or they are driven past the guns. So far as I'm concerned if the stalker is happy that he has EARNED his shot no problem.
Good question raised, thanks L.S. it has made me think.


Distinguished Member

I would think that a shot deer/dead deer is very unlikley to associate a salk lick with being shot, therefor a shot while at the salt lick would not be associated with danger. I would be surprised if you got more than one deer at a time at a lick therefor, would be a good position for a highseat. I would also imagine that deer on the approach to a lick would be within 100m or there abouts of a highseat so again would not associate the lick with danger but would associate the immediate area with danger.

Just my opinion, not out to cause arguments about the ethics/positioning/shooting of etc.....

:D :D :D :D


Well-Known Member
No worries just worked. An old boy suggested it and it never failed.
I never did bother to find out if it was the syrup, the lick or the combination of both that attracted them. You could keep going back provided you didn't get too greedy and the farmer was happy to see a steady decrease in the deer population.


Well-Known Member
I use bait for the sole reason that my ground is only 50 acres and very densely covered in many areas. Its all muntjac and they are a bugger to nail. For the purpose of observing the deer numbers and health and to achieve my cull numbers, I see no problem in managing deer in this way. Afterall for thousands of years deer in this country were driven towards a cull ground or deer haye and then slaughtered. Thank fully this doesn't happen anymore.

However getting your deer into the place you want them has many benefits, safety for one, easy carcass recovery for another. I don't worry about being sporting because I don't like deer being used as sport. I deer manage and in doing so I like to keep an eye on likely candidates for my cull. Another example, with I shoot a muntjac on a patch of Blue Bells or a area of fresh coppice, am I not baiting the deer? I say yes because I know that at certain times of the year as the land is managed and with seasonal changes I know where to best achieve a result. Just a thought Lady Stalker, a very good post! :D


Well-Known Member
i must confess i hav tried feeding fallow in on my ground and to one extent it worked, as the farmer was complaining of the damage to his crops in one paticular field , so i fed it heavy with casts off from the greengrocer and then one night i sat out with the farmer and over thirty came in one bunch, i managed to shoot 3 , from this the farmer left me alone to carry on , but the fallow hav never come back to any feed i hav put out since
but i do use pig nuts and beans to try and encourage the munties to feed as they are a little quick on the hoof at times and on one place i shoot the rides between the trees are only 3-4 metres wide


Thats an interesting post Mr B because my ground is about 150 acres and I dont know how it is possible to manage. Around my wood is mainly grass with the odd copse but the fact is that from my observations the deer I see are on the move and are not based within my wood. I could understand how i might manage in collaboration with neighboring stalkers over a larger area that would have a resident population but I cant see how it would be possible on such small acreage as ours to manage a deer population. Have you any suggestions as to how I might go about it and with what aims.

I think the idea of an attractant is an interesting one and personally i would use them. The reason is (and this has come up before on other topics) that I am three and a half hours away from my ground and whether I like it or not this results in a different set of applied ethics.


Well-Known Member
Hi Grant,
I have no stalking neighbours so I have got permission from neighbouring land owners to observe deer on there land. I'm hoping to get the stalking in time for all the area. My muntjac are very territorial, so I can watch what is moving around and what is new very easily. I don't bait just one area I bait various deer territories in order to watch the individual deer and their off spring. Last month I was watching a very pregnant doe, this month I'm watching a very concerned new mother and hoping to see a new born soon.

I have used salt licks and molassis, apples, parsnips and I'm in the process of getting hold of pheasant feeders and using them in conjunction with aniseed.

I like to watch the deer and check their health, for some I even have names, such as 'Black Bob' I call him that because from a distance his antlers look very dark. He is my biggest buck but infortunately he is on the land I haven't yet got premission on. I'll get the ground before he just too old hopefully.

If I was you I'd take a good long walk around your land to find the natural seasonal foods - Blue Bells, Oxlips, Orchids, Bramble, Guelder Rose, Sallow. You can even make a record of your observations and times that the deer are present at these various food sources. It works for me! Right now the muntjac are on the young Blue Bell growth and the Oxlip leaves, in the summer it will be Honey Suckle, Devils Bit Scabious and wild Orchids.

I hope this is a help to you. :D
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