Well, been baiting for a lot of years now and wanted to post some thoughts and hopefully get some ideas/thoughts about it.
1. How long do your bears stay away from the bait after it being hit? I have had bears hitting bait hard and then disappear for a few days. Do any of you see this? I just had this happen this past weekend. Bears on 3 baits, then sat for last three nights and nothing.
2. Shooting small bears off of bait. After years of baiting, I find this both counter productive in 2 ways. First, if you shoot small bears, you will never get big bears. Second, this time of the year, a majority of the small bears are sows that will be breeding. In my mind, they are actually better than the bait. If you have sows eating, you will have boars in the area. If those sows leave, so will your boars. While I will not judge anyone who shoots small bears or sows, it is just food for thought if you are planning on baiting the area for years to come, if not, not a big deal. I am "managing" two of my baits for big bears. I try to identify the sows coming in and make them off limits to anyone hunting on my baits. They are simply not going to be shot if you plan on hunting with me. I no longer will let bears less than 5 1/2 foot shot. And this will only be for kids of my friends that are hunting with me. If your an adult, you will have to be selective.
3. Grizz, tend to come and then go. They stay around for a day or two and then head on to bigger things, checking out their territory, looking for sows, heading to the calving grounds. Have never had one "set" up residence at a bait.
4. Grease. I would not bait without it. Nothing works better as a "trail" scent than grease.
5. Foods. What works best? Dog food, popcorn, barley, oats, cob, fish parts, etc.
6. Different types of barrels and the size of holes. I have gravitated towards 55 gallon barrels with removable lids and only a 4" x 4" hole. The bears can rolls it around to get the food out making them work at it a bit versus them eating at will.