I seem to always be thinking about a new way to do things, especially when talking about bear baiting. I've tried the standard 55 gallon drum w/ a large hole cut mid way down. I've tried snap-ring open top drums w/ a small feed trough welded at the bottom. I've tried 15 to 30 gallon s-r open tops, cut multiple smaller holes around it. One year I used a 6-7 gal open top suspended from a tree. Most recently I've gone to an 85 gallon steel overpack w/ the idea that I can bait it early and leave it longer.
I've used chain and straps to secure drums to trees. I've shoved them under heavy logs and wedged them. I've used heavy swivels on the bottom w/ a length of chain attached to a tree so they could be moved by the bears easily.
I've had some ideas that I have not put to use, partly cause that would require more energy on my part, partly cause I don't weld in some cases.
Ideas I'd share, silly or not:
1- Use a 1/4" cable and attach it horizontally to 2 trees up high enough that you could winch a drum up off the ground. Use a pulley in the middle, and a pulley at one tree. Mount a boat trailer hand winch on that tree at the base, and run the line through both pulleys. Set up the drum so it could be filled on the ground, then hoisted up. How high? My idea was high enough that ravens and other small creatures could not get a free meal. I'd put the bottom up about 3-4'.
2- Modify a drum into a food hopper similar to what they use for deer. Cut out the bottom and build an upside down cone w/ a system on the bottom like teh bottom of a bird feeder or water trough for rodents. You could not use this for doughnuts and such, but it might work for dog food, grain, and c.o.b. Either mount it high on a tree, or suspend it like I was describing earlier. I was thinking that suspending it might help the bears to keep knocking the food down if it got plugged up inside.
A positive about suspending a barrel is that the big boys would have a hard time destroying drums. Bad part is they might like swinging on them and tear them down.
There are a couple of ideas for you to mull over and discuss. I'm sure you all have some dandy ones. A guy like Iron Artist would make short work of a project like I'm describing w/ the food hopper.
What other crazy ideas have you simply just thought about, or actually tried? Here is a chance to see what people have thought of, tried, R&D, and been successful w/ or not. It is also a chance to maybe point out some modifications to another idea, or share that the idea was tried and failed for specific reasons.
And yes, in part I'm trying to hold off going wood cutting, it's cold out.