Fortunately, neither of those practices constitutes what most Minnesota hunters perceive as fair chase.
In the case of baiting, it is specifically illegal.
But the allure of wrapping one’s hands around the gleaming tines of a trophy-class whitetail is a powerful one.
Always has been, always will be.
But especially now, with outdoor television shows emphasizing trophies instead of experiences, it seems to have reached a fever pitch.
Watching one of those programs is like driving past a bad accident. While one would prefer not to look, it’s hard not to sneak a peek.
Big bucks are the rule. Apologies are made for killing an average buck or a doe. The moral high ground is claimed by celebrity hunters who choose to pass on less-than-trophy class animals and depart with an unfilled tag — an easy thing to do when you’re not the one paying for a costly, non-resident license.
Sure, it’s hunting. But it’s Hollywood hunting.
Every deer hunter hopes to bag trophy at some point in their hunting experience.
No doubt someone with a large bankroll and an ego to match will pony up the asking price for the opportunity to shoot Tarzan. The antlers will go on the wall.
Fortunately, no matter what it scores, because of the circumstances, it will never be recorded in the annals of Pope & Young or Boone & Crockett.
We can all wonder what kind of bragging rights come with shooting such a big buck.
Under the circumstances, probably not very many.
And thanks, but we can all do without seeing the video.
John Cross is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at 344-6376 or by e-mail at jcross@mankatofree press.com