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Thread: Bear baiting (thoughts/ideas)

  1. #1

    Default Bear baiting (thoughts/ideas)

    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.

  2. #2
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I think the weather has alot to do with bear activity. When you get these warm spells like we are having in the valley the bears get sluggish.

    Nothing beats COB, molasses and marshmallows. All are fairly cheap for large quantities and most importantly, the bears like it! You can use molasses like grease, and it stinks 10X better. They can eat it, walk in it, and it's a great "call" lure as well. Not to say grease isn't effective.

    I use a beer keg with about a 4-4.5 inch hole cut in it, and it's perfect. They can get alot of food by working for it but the Browns seem to get frustrated.

    The big thing to remember is scent. I think that is a very critical element to have alot of, especially for guys with new bait sites (me). Use their biggest strength to their own disadvantage.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Great experinces Mike. Sounds like we both have "many" years of baiting under our belts(18 for me). I too bring in kids first, friends second. Just love being with them on their first. I too make grease as the base for my bait for the reason you listed. That and dog food is all I use. For scent I like to use an old tee shirt of mine, ripped up and soaked with anise and also a few with vanilla. I check every 3 days once hit and I always do a honey/bacon burn. A couple of things I do differently though is I always have and still use 5 gallon WHITE buckets. I have to hike right at 2 miles to reach my area and theres no way in with a wheeler so the buckets are much easier to haul in AND haul out. I have had people ask me many times if the bears will just take the bucket and run and my answer is very rarely. I usually set a perimid with the buckets and then lean light timber up against them. That way I can see from a distance while coming in that I have been hit by what kind of mess I have. In the previous 17 years I have only had 2 times where a grizz(that I know of) had come thru and your right, it seems after they dig a mound, their off and never back. One thing though is that we shoot any blackie that comes in that has no cubs, reguardless of size. First thing is that it's my part in dealing with preditor controll and second the small ones are great eaters. I have not noticed a decrease in big bears over the years as we take 2 or 3 honest 7 footers every year but I have seen a HUGE increase in moose and moose sign in the area...

  4. #4
    Member AK145's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    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.
    1. IMHO depends on what sows are in heat and what other food sources have come up...for instance those dang little fiddle head ferns offer a great food source that could pull bears from your bait.

    2. Bingo...Of course you could get blasted on here for actually telling people to shoot mature bears (I sure have)...but yea...you shoot the little ones you will never see a big one. Show a little restraint...let the little sows walk and shoot mature bears.

    3. Yup...exactly...

    4. Yuppers....they also have to eat it there and cannot carry it away in the bush.

    5. grease mixed with barley, oats...whatever in 55 gallon drums. 500 lbs and a pain to get into the woods....but it ain't going anywhere either. Supplement with dog food dums with a small hole as well...like a big salt shaker.

    Just MHO....

  5. #5
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Great stuff, fellas.

    Mike, you live in the BOONIES! Around here, unfortunately, if you want a bear for meat, you'd better shoot what comes in because the other baiters down the road will shoot it if you don't. OR the brownies, for goodness sake! Same as managing whitetails for antlers around a popular public hunting area.

    Good for you for the small amount of hunting pressure on the bears in your area. I wish it were that constructive, promotive and ideal around here!

    Guess I should move to Northway, but then I'd only get to Wiggy's about ONCE-A-YEAR like someone I know! ;-P

    Keep livin' the dream, Northway! Lord knows I try!

    Taylor

  6. #6

    Default Hey Marc!

    LOL! Yeah, I guess I am living it! Just sat on the stand with the kid. Had 3 bears in. One didn't cooperate for a shot, but she really didn't care as she was enjoying watching the bears! All three were shooters, but two were rubbed so bad they simply aren't shootable. That is why I usually quit baiting by June 1 here. Will give it another sit tomorrow and see if the bear cooperates a little better! Could have had her shoot it at it was laying straight away from us, but she said it just doesn't matter and would rather have a broad side shot. I'll stop by when I get into that big city!

  7. #7
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    Took my youngest daughter in last night too Mike but we had a sow and SMALL cub hogging up the bait all night.....

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