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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The proclomation is a little vague. Is it legal to shoot an unharvested field (swathed, but not combined) if you have permission from the landowner? Some I've talked to say it's fine, as long as you have the permission, some say it still constitues baiting.

So, if that's considered baiting, how about some of these heavily hail-damaged fields that are not going be harvested, but just burnt (resulting in many heads and lots of grain still on the ground since mainly just the straw burns) - is that baiting or is it ok. Does it make a difference if it's been cultivated or not?
 

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http://www.le.fws.gov/waterfowl_baiting.htm
http://www.le.fws.gov/waterfowl_hunt_agri_lands.htm
and mostly
http://www.le.fws.gov/waterfowl_planting_havesting.htm

It's illegal, although some quibble about what "normal harvest" means.
Some quibble about what "standing crops" means too. Swathed ain't standing to me. YMMV.

Hail/rust damaged crops have been an issue the last few years. The office of the federal prosecutor issued a statement 2 or 3 years ago saying that hunting on such hail/infested/burned fields was illegal/improper etc but that they would not seek complaint/prosecution in such cases that year because of how many acres involved, and confusion about the issue, etc

I didn't see such a statement last year. As I understand it, the federal prosecutor a few years ago was a hunter and understood what was happening. The new guy is supposedly not a hunter. The advice I received (from a judge who hunts) is not to hunt on such fields if there is any indication something is out of the ordinary (like a tornado of ducks decending to eat wheat heads lying everywhere.)

I don't know of anyone getting written up, and I know people hunt such fields and do extraordinarily well. Ain't worth it to me.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, just as a check however, I called the North Dakota Game and Fish office and talked to one of their "enforcement agents" (not sure if that's a warden or not). He said that it is NOT BAITING as long as the field was swathed and planted with the intent to be combined. In other words, if a field is swathed, gets rained on and will not be combined it's ok to hunt it. It's also ok to hunt the field if it is still going to be combined. IN both cases, the hunter does need permission from the landowner of course, even if it isn't posted. The only way he said it is illegal is if for some reason someone was to, say plant some barley, then swath it and never combine it - all with the intent of attracting waterfowl.

On the other hand, after reading the link MRN provided, I would say that you may not get the same answer from every warden so it's a tough call.

Thought this might be of interest to many of you since we've had so much heavy rain lately and there are a lot of barley/wheat fields that have been laying there getting wet for 2 weeks that are loaded with waterfowl.
 

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Yes, I think there are lots of different opinions and you may never have a problem. This sentence is enough to pursuade me not to hunt swathed fields:

" You should be aware that although you can hunt doves over manipulated agricultural crops, you cannot hunt waterfowl over manipulated agricultural crops except after the field has been subject to a normal harvest and removal of grain (i.e., post-harvest manipulation)."

The G&F LE guys here can probably give us a better idea of what the reality in ND is, or if they even care about these "less than blatant" issues. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

M.
 

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MRN -

Thanks for posting the links. They look like very informative reading. I will check them out tomorrow when I have more time.
 
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