TRACT Optics

Maryland Agricultural Secretary Charged With Baiting Migratory Birds.

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  • JohnnyE

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 18, 2013
    5,587
    MoCo
    A few years back my brother was approached by a warden about corn spread on his land. He doesn't even hunt. It was the work of trespassers.
     

    Afrikeber

    Active Member
    Jan 14, 2013
    4,146
    Urbana, Md.
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into remote areas with corn strewn about or a feeder set up during active deer hunting seasons.
     

    fabsroman

    Active Member
    Mar 14, 2009
    33,037
    Winfield/Taylorsville in Carroll
    When I was charged with this, it was a strict liability crime. No knowledge was needed.

    The law has since been changed in Maryland to require some sort of mens rea. That is, the hunter knew or reasonably should have known that the area was baited. When I was charged, that was not the case and the millet could barely be seen in the gravel/grass. DNR knew exactly what to look for though, and since millet was not planted on the farm we all got a nice $255 citation.

    Hogan signed the bill that changed the law.


    So, did he know, or should he have reasonably known, that the farm was baited?
     

    Doco Overboard

    Active Member
    When I was charged with this, it was a strict liability crime. No knowledge was needed.

    The law has since been changed in Maryland to require some sort of mens rea. That is, the hunter knew or reasonably should have known that the area was baited. When I was charged, that was not the case and the millet could barely be seen in the gravel/grass. DNR knew exactly what to look for though, and since millet was not planted on the farm we all got a nice $255 citation.

    Hogan signed the bill that changed the law.


    So, did he know, or should he have reasonably known, that the farm was baited?
    I dont know. He's a farmer and farms in Hurlock as well as being the Ag Secretary.
    Would it be reasonable to think he didn't know?
    If there was a corn field involved, why would it be planted with any sort of seeds unless it was turned over for cover crop.
    If they said bean field, it should have been wheat in it already right? If they were late beans, and it was just planted over in cover however, it wouldn't be unreasonable to find seeds on the ground.
    Then it shouldn't have been hunted. Maybe the Lancaster paper calls everything a corn field? Who in the hell knows.
    I tell you what I really cant figure out, is why would the Ag Secretary have a hard time finding a good place to duck hunt in the first place?
    Should be an open blind site over to Church Creek or somewhere else one would think if they really thought about it.
     

    fabsroman

    Active Member
    Mar 14, 2009
    33,037
    Winfield/Taylorsville in Carroll
    I dont know. He's a farmer and farms in Hurlock as well as being the Ag Secretary.
    Would it be reasonable to think he didn't know?
    If there was a corn field involved, why would it be planted with any sort of seeds unless it was turned over for cover crop.
    If they said bean field, it should have been wheat in it already right? If they were late beans, and it was just planted over in cover however, it wouldn't be unreasonable to find seeds on the ground.
    Then it shouldn't have been hunted. Maybe the Lancaster paper calls everything a corn field? Who in the hell knows.
    I tell you what I really cant figure out, is why would the Ag Secretary have a hard time finding a good place to duck hunt in the first place?
    Should be an open blind site over to Church Creek or somewhere else one would think if they really thought about it.
    That is the part that I find hard to believe. I am pretty sure that a guy like that is connected both in the farming/hunting community and the political community, and he could get a seat in an awesome blind almost any time the birds are around. Lowly ole me had three invites for opening day deer on Saturday and I took none of them up on it because I just don't have the time. Why would somebody of that stature risk hunting over bait when he can just go down to game farm and have pheasants, quail, chukar, etc. planted all over a field for him?

    Thing is, the level of reporting is pretty sad too. Guess we would have to sit in on the trial to actually hear the facts. I sure have some stories about DNR officers being far from honorable.
     

    Doco Overboard

    Active Member
    That is the part that I find hard to believe. I am pretty sure that a guy like that is connected both in the farming/hunting community and the political community, and he could get a seat in an awesome blind almost any time the birds are around. Lowly ole me had three invites for opening day deer on Saturday and I took none of them up on it because I just don't have the time. Why would somebody of that stature risk hunting over bait when he can just go down to game farm and have pheasants, quail, chukar, etc. planted all over a field for him?

    Thing is, the level of reporting is pretty sad too. Guess we would have to sit in on the trial to actually hear the facts. I sure have some stories about DNR officers being far from honorable.
    Sorry to hear that you had negative experiences with them. I cant really say Ive had a problem with them to any great extent.
    You see I think just the opposite. Way way honorable for a game agent to write him up in my estimation.
    Some Oldway farmers and their friends around here have been getting away with worse things for way too long.
    Its high time some of these pukes get looked into for more than shooting some damn birds near an irrigation pond. Criminality to a shocking extent.
    Period.
     

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    3,677
    Pasadena
    Y'all are missing the point. The corn field has nothing to do with this. Having standing corn in a field is ok to hunt on. No one seeds a corn field by sprinkling seeds around.

    They were hunting over a pond for Ducks. Goose season hasn't started yet and ducks never land in fields. They had corn in the pond they were hunting on to attract ducks. No waterfowl stamps, and no plug in one of the guns.

    Ignore the corn field as it really has nothing to do with anything regardless of it's proximity to the hunters, not sure why that's even relevant to the story, the author probably thought it sounded worse so added that in. Read the article.

    Whether you knew there was corn there or not, if your hunting over a baited pond it's a no go. You can bait a pond but you better not hunt over it until the corn is gone, not even a kernel left.
     

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    3,677
    Pasadena
    He was hunting NEAR a field that had corn on it. You'll never know if he knew the field was seeded but him knowing or not knowing are both plausible given the physical separation. If he was in the field I'd say it's a slam dunk.

    One guy without a plug. Could've been a legitimate accident but if you're a regular hunter there's little excuse. Check your gear.

    Sometimes the difference between a hunter and a poacher is just an opinion.
    What would they be "seeding" In november? Winter wheat? That should have already been done.
     

    DaveP

    Member
    Jan 27, 2013
    528
    St. Marys county
    He was hunting NEAR a field that had corn on it. You'll never know if he knew the field was seeded but him knowing or not knowing are both plausible given the physical separation. If he was in the field I'd say it's a slam dunk.

    One guy without a plug. Could've been a legitimate accident but if you're a regular hunter there's little excuse. Check your gear.

    Sometimes the difference between a hunter and a poacher is just an opinion.

    Yup.
    Few years back there was college kid charged with hunting over bait.
    Except he had NO IDEA, as the bait was across the river, over 1/4 mile away.

    But birds were " influenced" by it.
    Kids was in danger of losing his college scholarship.

    Used to hunt a farm that dove hunting got shut down on, for 10 days, I recall.

    Warden found bait; corn pile about under a deer stand on the edge of a field.
     

    DaveP

    Member
    Jan 27, 2013
    528
    St. Marys county
    Yup.
    Few years back there was college kid charged with hunting over bait.
    Except he had NO IDEA, as the bait was across the river, over 1/4 mile away.

    But birds were " influenced" by it.
    Kids was in danger of losing his college scholarship.

    Used to hunt a farm that dove hunting got shut down on, for 10 days, I recall.

    Warden found bait; corn pile about under a deer stand on the edge of a field.
    Also know a NRP who repeatedly had someone dump corn around HIS blind on the Patuxent.
     

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    3,677
    Pasadena
    Yup.
    Few years back there was college kid charged with hunting over bait.
    Except he had NO IDEA, as the bait was across the river, over 1/4 mile away.

    But birds were " influenced" by it.
    Kids was in danger of losing his college scholarship.

    Used to hunt a farm that dove hunting got shut down on, for 10 days, I recall.

    Warden found bait; corn pile about under a deer stand on the edge of a field.
    1/4 of a mile away? That's BS. How could they charge him for baiting? That's like saying somewhere in the world there is corn in the water so everyone is hunting over bait. When we bait (but don't hunt) it's right where we are going to hunt in a few weeks, not across the Choptank, that's ridiculous.
     

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    3,677
    Pasadena
    Pretty vague, but seems to be where you are hunting not in another field or a quarter mile away.

    Baited area means any area on which salt, grain, or other feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, if that salt, grain, or other feed could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them. Any such area will remain a baited area for ten days following the complete removal of all such salt, grain, or other feed.

    Baiting means the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.
     

    DaveP

    Member
    Jan 27, 2013
    528
    St. Marys county
    1/4 of a mile away? That's BS. How could they charge him for baiting? That's like saying somewhere in the world there is corn in the water so everyone is hunting over bait. When we bait (but don't hunt) it's right where we are going to hunt in a few weeks, not across the Choptank, that's ridiculous.
    Under the law, migratory bird hunters are liable for baiting even if they know nothing about it. If you hunt a baited area, even if bait was put out a week ago by someone unknown to you and is no longer visible, you're guilty. Worse, the outfitter or landowner who put it there could go scot-free.

    "It's unconstitutional," howls George Reiger, conservation editor of Field & Stream magazine and a proponent of change. "Strict liability is one of the most ruinous things in waterfowling. If someone put down bait 2,000 yards from where you are a week ago and it affects the flight of birds you hunt, you're stuck."
     

    outrider58

    Pronouns: It, That
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    41,221
    Y'all are missing the point. The corn field has nothing to do with this. Having standing corn in a field is ok to hunt on. No one seeds a corn field by sprinkling seeds around.
    I don't think seed is cast in any farming manor. As far as I know, everything is drilled and compacted.
     

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    3,677
    Pasadena
    I don't think seed is cast in any farming manor. As far as I know, everything is drilled and compacted.
    Yeah that depends on the level of farming. When we seed alfalfa, clover, or sorghum we use a spreader. The actual farmer when he grows soy or corn uses a machine to insert the seeds into the ground. True.
     

    Bountied

    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    3,677
    Pasadena
    Under the law, migratory bird hunters are liable for baiting even if they know nothing about it. If you hunt a baited area, even if bait was put out a week ago by someone unknown to you and is no longer visible, you're guilty. Worse, the outfitter or landowner who put it there could go scot-free.

    "It's unconstitutional," howls George Reiger, conservation editor of Field & Stream magazine and a proponent of change. "Strict liability is one of the most ruinous things in waterfowling. If someone put down bait 2,000 yards from where you are a week ago and it affects the flight of birds you hunt, you're stuck."
    Yeah but what defines a baited area? What proximity to the hunter does it have to be? If you're hunting a blind and have corn in your spread I get that. If you are being charged for what your neighbor does a 1/4 of a mile away on another property that's something else.
     
    Oct 5, 2009
    853
    Under the law, migratory bird hunters are liable for baiting even if they know nothing about it. If you hunt a baited area, even if bait was put out a week ago by someone unknown to you and is no longer visible, you're guilty. Worse, the outfitter or landowner who put it there could go scot-free.

    "It's unconstitutional," howls George Reiger, conservation editor of Field & Stream magazine and a proponent of change. "Strict liability is one of the most ruinous things in waterfowling. If someone put down bait 2,000 yards from where you are a week ago and it affects the flight of birds you hunt, you're stuck."
    Strict liability was done away with years ago. Now someone must know or “reasonably should have known” the area was baited
     

    outrider58

    Pronouns: It, That
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    41,221
    How does the state look at turkey hunting in a field that was just drilled for corn. I've done it. The farmer calls me and says the turkey are digging up all his seed.
     

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