The shelves upon shelves of deer, elk, and big game attractants grows continually inside every sporting goods store you venture into these days. Bags of corn with special scents to attract deer, mineral salt licks to help encourage antler growth, and automatic feeders with every bell and whistle you can imagine line each aisle and offer increased harvest opportunity for the eager hunter. However, these baits are not legal in every state and hunting over them can land you in serious trouble.
Hunting over bait in Colorado for big game such as deer and elk is prohibited by law. Colorado Regulation 2 CCR 406-0-XI-021 makes it illegal to use hay, grain, minerals, salt, or other foods to lure or entice big game for any reason. This section does not apply strictly to hunting, and makes it illegal to feed big game animals in general. The general exception to this rule is for hay or grain used for normal agricultural purposes, such as feeding cattle or the waste grain after harvesting a field. Hunting over farmed hay, corn, alfalfa, or sorghum that has not been placed or altered specifically for hunting is not illegal in Colorado.
If you are accused of baiting deer or elk or big game in Colorado, or receive a Colorado hunting violation for baiting of big game, you should consult with an attorney about possible defenses available to you. Nate Gilbert, attorney in Colorado and Kansas, has defended Colorado big game violations and is intimately familiar with the process. A consultation with Nate can help determine your best options when facing a charge of baiting in Colorado.