Upload & Sell: Off
Since I know that there are a good number of people who post here and who do bait and since I also know that many others have never personally witnessed what often happens in situations where baiting is done, I don't expect that this is going to be a popular opinion, but I also think that it needs to be said.
If it was ever possible to make a case for why baiting is okay, I think that the internet has changed that. While it might seem reasonable to think that a single photographer using a couple of pet store mice to bait an owl isn't likely to do harm to the bird, that is not the situation that is often happening in today's post-internet world. As soon as a species, such as various varieties of owls, shows up in an area where it is not often seen, that information gets posted on the internet, and it is likely that dozens (or more) of photographers are going to be showing up at the location on a daily basis, and a good number of them are going to be coming prepared to bait the bird. When this happens, it is likely that a number of other things are also going to happen.
I have witnessed situations where an owl became so used to having people provide it with those pet store mice multiple times a day and day after day for weeks that it would sit on the same fence post or utility pole every day and just wait for the cars to arrive. Then, as one mouse after another was released, it would behave like a trained circus seal and repeat the cycle of catching the mouse, eating it, returning to the fence post, and waiting for the next release.
The results of this repeated and constant baiting were many. First, there is no question that the bird had become much too trusting of humans. I've seen such baited owls allow people to walk virtually right up to them without being scared into flight. And, yes, often this type of baiting does occur in close proximity to roads. Those from raptor rehab centers will likely tell you that the number one cause of permanent disability (or worse) for raptors is being struck by vehicles after they have gone after prey that is eating scraps of food that have been littered in the roadway. Anything that makes a raptor feel more comfortable near roads is not doing it a favor.
Additionally, when a bird is baited every day, it is likely to stay in an area where the natural food supply is not sufficient, and it is likely to stay in that area for a longer period of time than what nature would dictate, none of which helps its survival chances. Further, I've read reports from the experts at raptor rehab facilities saying that bait, such as pet store mice, can have a higher likelihood of being toxic to a raptor than the natural prey that it is would otherwise be eating.
Even though it is not, to me, the worst consequence of baiting, photographers who do bait also often give photographers a bad name by trespassing onto private property.
While I don't expect that my thoughts are likely to have the least bit of influence on those who believe that they have a right to get their photos regardless of the means that they have to use to get them and regardless of the possible consequences of using those means, I would like to hope that some of these thoughts might have an effect on the thinking of a few others who may not have seen baiting for themselves. After personally witnessing the kind of baiting situations that I described above, I decided, a few years ago, that, whether it is an owl, a deer, an eagle, or any other bird/animal, if I have to resort to baiting to get certain types of pictures, I will be happy never to get them, and I also decided to avoid even going to locations where I know that baiting is likely to occur.
When I look at pictures, it isn't hard to guess with a high level of accuracy which pictures were taken as a result of baiting. While I have no ability to stop people from doing things that are not against the law, I do have the right to make judgments about the ethics of those who feel that they have the right to do whatever they need to do get their photographs, and those judgments are, to me, a lot more important than any judgments I might make about the quality of their photographs.