One more slam on hunting over corn feeders and I’m going to lose my lunch. One must ask: “Feeder scorn, feeder ignorance, or feeder envy?” I find it no odd coincidence those forbidden to partake, more often than not, are those who decry the practice. Before my gurgling gut goes to town, let’s examine this “unfair” activity.
The first manmade projectile capable of out-running its target made hunting unfair, not the corn feeder. The repeating rifle, hunting optics, trail cams and the climbing tree stand then piled on until the four-legged entrée didn’t “stand a chance.” If the corn feeder has made things any less fair, during my thirty years of hunting, I’ve yet to figure out how.
The main advantage gained hunting over a feeder is time. A feeding target provides time to judge an animal for maturity and to avoid snap decisions and snap shots. Time to control buck fever, time to decide whether to shoot or pass, time to wait for a broadside target and time to execute a calculated, well-placed shot to dispatch quickly and ethically. Unfair what?
Yes, corn feeders do lure animals to the gun – there’s no denying that. However, last time I checked, oat patches, cornfields, food plots, watering holes, attractant scents, rattling horns, and mouth calls did pretty much the same thing. Texas corn feeder bad! Minnesota bean field good! Unfair how?
Feeders also ensure the hunter a near-stationary target. With which are you more confident of a quick kill – a still or moving target? For those undecided, ever trailed a poorly hit buck through a half-mile of cactus, briars and fire ants? Think it might be painful? Newsflash – it’s more so for the trackee than the tracker. Unfair when?
“Corn feeders shouldn’t be allowed. Animals must eat – feeders give an unfair advantage.” Okay, let’s follow that logic: Deer have to drink so hunting over water is unfair. Deer have to walk so trail hunting is unfair. Deer have little reason to look up so hunting from tree, ladder and tripod stands is unfair. Deer are unaccustomed to human-shaped trees so camouflage is unfair. Unfair why?
“It’s just like shooting fish in a barrel!” Sorry. As anyone who’s hunted over a feeder will attest, trophy bucks don’t get that way sauntering up to corn in broad daylight. Odds are your desired bruiser will hit the Niblet buffet after hours, making sure your “sure kill” will take patience, perseverance, and no fewer hours on-stand than your feeder-less critics’.
Those who must curse the corn slinger – don’t take my word for it, come to feeder country and do it your way. If you can find a mesquite or live oak tall enough or straight enough to hang a tree stand (telephone poles do nicely in a pinch), stalk through machete-thick brush without spooking the next county, or locate deer in country where they rarely move beyond dawn or dusk, you’re better than most.
Just don’t pass on the first split-second chance you get for an off-hand shot at the fleeting unjudged. We wouldn’t want you coming all this way to go home without the head mount or memories and grip-n-grin photos of you and an underage, coyote-gnawed forkhorn, gut shot and tracked two days through eighty-degree heat. It would just be… unfair.
Tripp Holmgrain is an avid outdoorsman not bothered by corny hunters. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.