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Thread: Baiting - What did I do wrong?

  1. #1

    Default Baiting - What did I do wrong?

    I just got back from a 12 day bowhunt on Prince of Wales where my partner and I set two bait stations on the first day and then hunted spot and stalk while the baits heated up. By day 4 both baits were hit. We replenished on that day and checked it two days later and everything was devoured and our trail cams showed 2-4 different bears were hitting each bait.

    Since we still had 6 days to hunt we replenished again and waited another 2 days before sitting the bait. The baits were getting hit all throughout daylight hours.

    From the very minute we climbed into treestands over each bait, the baits were never even touched again. We hunted the baits 3 straight days and nothing. We set our stands for the best wind direction but the winds did swirl a little bit. We also hung dirty clothes in the trees beforehand to try to get them accustomed to our scent.

    I didn't figure baiting would be easy but we thought it was a slam dunk once we saw how hot our baits were. Not the case. What else could have I done?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    This might seem like a ridiculous question, but do you smoke? Crazy as it sounds, I've heard a similar experience from someone who chain smoked cigarettes in the stand.

  3. #3
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default why did you bait?

    I just want to know why you made a bait station? That island has great hunting off the road system.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  4. #4

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    Pike Palace - That's what I thought too. Maybe I'm a bad hunter but my partner and I have put in a combined 38 days of spot and stalk bowhunting on that island over two different hunts and got a grand total of two shot opportunities, neither of them good ones. Found it real tough for a bowhunter to stalk those clearcuts and seeing 2-3 bears a day while cruising shorelines just doesn't cut it. Those bears are so skittish I've had better luck stalking pronghorns and whitetails.

  5. #5

    Default

    No, I don't smoke. I definitely wasn't as scent free as when I hunt deer here in OH but I did take some precautions. I wasn't sure if it takes weeks or even years of running a bait site for the bears to finally get used to human presence or what.

  6. #6

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    My best guess is that bears were not staying to far from the bait site and knew when you were coming into the area. A little trick you might want to try next time is to have your partner leave the bait after a short time which might convince the bear that you guys have left. I've done this before and it worked real well on a bear that we hunted for over a week. We accessed the area using a wheeler and about 10 minutes after my buddy left the sight on the wheeler the bear came in and I shot him. Bears are smarter than people give them credit for but they can be tricked. Also, when posting scents near your bait station you should use stink or food related scents and carry a bottle of anise oil mixed with a little water to spray after you get to your bait site, makes a real good cover scent.

  7. #7
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default Pick me, Pick me!

    Oooo Ooo Ooo. Pick Me... My hand's up!

    Nothing. Probably did nothing wrong.
    As previously stated... you might have a couple of 'smart' bears that are watchin you. Try the two go in... one comes out trick.

    I agree with your concept of being scent conscious, but leaving human scented things around. Just be sure to be as scent free as possible when you are sitting in the tree... when the concentrations of scent go whacky... the bear might hide on ya.

    I assume baited areas are infrequent where you are hunting (based upon someones Question - why bait there?). If they ran out of food, they're going to move on... that where the 'seasoned bait station' can help.

    Good luck!

  8. #8

    Default Where??

    Quote Originally Posted by BR Stinger View Post
    No, I don't smoke. I definitely wasn't as scent free as when I hunt deer here in OH but I did take some precautions. I wasn't sure if it takes weeks or even years of running a bait site for the bears to finally get used to human presence or what.
    Do you live in Ohio?? Go Buck's!!!

  9. #9
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    I know it pays to be scent free but this spring I had to put my cigarette out so I can shoulder my rifle when I shot my bear. I've also had them walk out on us after we had one down and we are laughing and making all kind of noise (I'm sure I had a smoke going a time or 2). didnt seem to bother them. Maybe its the whole "curiosity killed the cat..." type of thing

    2 years ago my dad almost ran over the bear he shot with a 6 wheeler and the bear never moved.

    I am beginning to feel the IQ level isnt that high for the bears in unit 12.

    Bears are like women (no offense intended), if someone can prove they figured out how a bear thinks, post it here.

    that being said, I agree with John. they knew you were there. I've seen a few times on ft rich. a hummer would leave and the bears would come out to scavange.

  10. #10

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    I personaly believe that *cover* scents don't cover anything. They only add more scent. There's a lot of evidence to support that. Bears have an extrodanary scense of smell and they smell and know humans in any bait situation. Bears are also fairly intelligent and somehow they seem to know when you are in the stand and when you are not.

    I remember setting up tree stand over a whitetail highway and shooting a buck with a bow. Dressed him out right there and dragged him out the next day. Never saw another deer under that stand for over a year and never went back to that location afterwards. Somehow they know and it seems they communicate.

    I was in a situation this spring where I was close enough to bow shoot a bear, which turned out to be a sow with cubs. The way it developed was a little unusual, bear traveling downwind and I stalking it upwind.

    Hope you figure out this mystery.

  11. #11
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Tree stands?

    When did you set the stands? My dad put up a new one this season after the bears were starting to hit. He wanted and couple other guys wanted a chance with a bow. So they set up the stand and sit for a day and half and nothing. I took one guy in and dropped him off, usually I walk in to the bait and then leave, giving the guy time to get the climber up and noise settled, then I walk out. Usually about a hour later, BANG. But that time I just dropped him off on the beach and rowed out. Last weekend the bear trail was next to the new stand in the snow. I think now they are used to it weather someone is in it or not. Will see this weekend. Last chance to hunt and two of us might sit. I still want my dog to try and tree one so not sure, yes I have a permit.
    So if you set the stands right before you hunted that might have been it too. Bigger bears are smarter though.

  12. #12

    Default Don't be sneaky

    at the bait stand. Rattle your buckets, if you smoke, smoke at the bait stand and throw a butt in with the dog food. It's all about acclimation. If they associate cigarette smoke with getting fed, you can make it work for you. The rattling of buckets can be like a dinner bell.

    They also know than when your wheeler drives away that it's time to eat. Bears are smart, but fortunately they can't count. We always use the "two go in, one goes out" method. You don't get a bear every day, but everything helps.

  13. #13

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    Thanks guys. I came in and installed tree steps and set up my Tree Saddle the first time I sat the bait. It was pretty quiet but they may have been watching me scale the tree. We thought about having both of us go in and then the one guy baits and leaves while the other climbs the tree, but it didn't work out w/ the distance between baits.

    akseakayaker - yes, I live in NW OH, near Findlay

  14. #14

    Default

    [

    I remember setting up tree stand over a whitetail highway and shooting a buck with a bow. Dressed him out right there and dragged him out the next day. Never saw another deer under that stand for over a year and never went back to that location afterwards. Somehow they know and it seems they communicate.


    Whitetail can smell blood of their own. Know the danger and will re-route the area for sometime. We have learned that down here in Texas. Always drag it to another location to field dress. We even kill pig and cut the throat to bleed out and drag it behind our 4-wheelers around a food plot to keep the pigs out so it can grow. Most animals want cross their own blood.

  15. #15

    Default BR

    I grew up in C-Bus....welcome to this site, and sorry to hear about the luck on POW - you'll just have to come back up here again, won't ya'?

  16. #16
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    Default Smarter than the average bear.....hey boo boo

    Did you do anything wrong, probably not because all you really need to be is lucky and it all works out.

    Is there more you can do, absolutely, will it guarantee a bear or the bear you after definitely not.
    1. Rule of six - for the big bears (wiser bears do to age) be in your stand 6 hours before you expect the bear to show on the bait. Old sent on the ground makes them more comfortable.
    2. Use two stands on one bait. My partner and I have been made by a bears when we were in are stand, at least we believe they made one of us. We left that stand there, put up a second stand the opposite direction from the pit and little further away, the bears started showing up for him to see - looking at the old stand. FYI our stands are fairly close 8 – 15 yards because we are bow hunting.
    3. 2 in/1 out is worth the effort, we have done that in conjunction with the rule of six. Within 15 minutes after leaving my partner (making noise, talking to myself) a bear moved to within about 30 yards of the pit in the brush and stayed there until dusk, then it came into the bait - about 6 hours after I had left.
    4. Consider going to a ground blind if you are comfortable with that scenario, I love being on the ground now, doubt I would do that where there are grizzlies hitting the bait.
    I have been lucky and seen bears on my pit an hour after I showed up, I have also been frustrated having trail camera pictures of a bear we nicked named Java the Hut. That bear would show up within 5 minutes of the same time every evening, when we showed up even doing all of the above he would show up and hour after we left. Some bears are just smarter and/or wearier; they are the rewarding ones for me, more time in the woods, more time thinking about being in the woods, more time spent learning about their behavior, etc.

    Let me know when you get it figure out…..

    Don

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    Default POW

    How big was the tree you hunted out of ? I've had problems with using a small tree and not getting high enough for the terrian, running water for cover noise can help.

  18. #18
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Default Smoke

    On the flip side I knew a guy that used to smoe cigars on stand, and killed bears on the regular. I think they were either used to the smell or liked it!

  19. #19

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    You guys are forgetting one thing, Ty (BRstinger) had trail cameras set up NO BEARS EVER CAME TO THE BAIT AGAIN. Not once, not middle of night, not when they left, never again. Bottom line is bears were coming, until second they sat, then bears never came again. This is 2 different guys at 2 different baits, and I can say they set them smart and were carefull.

    Just wanted to add that fact. I also think 2 baits per person would have helped - doubled your odds, and I suspect the 2 in 1 out trick would work, have seen some cagey deer fall to it. I have never baited so who knows.

    The guy I went to POW with had the same thing happen to his bait with a trail camera.

    I also think maybe making a "dummy hunter" in the stand might have worked. Then sneak in quite, no boat nearby etc.

  20. #20
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    After reading this about the tree saddle I think the bear probably knew you as a man not a clump in a tree .

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