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Thread: The Baiting with Popcorn Thread

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    Default The Baiting with Popcorn Thread

    I've searched the forums and while there are tid-bits scattered here and there in a number of threads, there isn't one thread on baiting with popcorn (unless I missed it). So here it is: "the baiting with popcorn thread"; hopefully this thread saves someone money, time and effort.

    After reading some of Jess's posts about the success Bait'em 907 has had with popcorn and later talking with her in person, i decided to try out popcorn for the first time last year. Unbeknownst to me, my hunting partner started using it to top off his bait barrel over a mixture of pastries and cob.

    I've baited in a few states and historically used the same baiting ingredients as most bear baiters: dog food, dough-nuts, day-old bread, cakes and pastries, marshmallows, cob, grain, etc. I've also used molasses, pancake syrup, bacon grease, white and brown sugar, Kool-aid, liquid smoke, peanut butter and vanilla. I've also used deep-fryer cooking oil, but I won't use it in Alaska as IMO it attracts to many brown bears. Each of these baits work, but they are heavy, consume both time and space, and generally prove to be expensive unless your one of the few who find a source that offers the items listed above at reduced rates or in some cases free.

    2011 brings a new year and I'm ready for popcorn. I figure buying a 50lb bag of popcorn for $15-$18 and using the one bag to fill a couple bait barrels is much better than spending $17-$20 (or more) per bag of cob and/or dog food. Besides being cheaper, my back will also last longer and allow me to venture farther from my vehicle and get away from other hunters.

    Last year I prepared popcorn on the stove and mixed it with Kool-Aid, vanilla, and pancake syrup in a plastic bag before adding it to my bait. I was hooked when I saw pictures of bears lying down eating popcorn one kernel at a time on my hunting partners bait stand. I don't know about you, but if popcorn keeps bears at the bait longer due to the time it takes them to fill their stomachs, I'm all in.

    Anyone care to share tips, tricks, or thoughts about the pro's and con's of baiting with popcorn? What kind do you use - mushroom style or butterfly style? If you use mushroom style, where is your source for it in Alaska? I've yet to find it. (Mushroom style has a larger, rounder kernel and doesn't have wings that can break off like movie theater popcorn). Lastly, does anyone use Kettle corn? If so, please post or send me a pm as I recently bought a kettle corn machine and plan to start working on baiting recipes in the next few weeks.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

  2. #2
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i tried the on the stove approach.. didnt care for it much a 19.00 air popper seemed to be the ticket, set over a 13 gallon trash can, 3-4 popper loads filled the can, 3 cans filled a large trash bag.. 4 trash bags filled a 55 gallon drum. I mixed the powerd sugar and jello as it popped and stuck to the hot corn.

    i too would like to try the kettle corn as it can be made in larger batches, just dont know how yet, and the flavor tends to stick on it better. never heard of the " mushroom style" got more info on that?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    AO post a picture. Going to fun this season. Sound like I'm buying lots of fuel for our boats since you got all the bait.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    I use an air popper too like Vince. I actually have TWO of them going, popping into a trash bag. Reason for two is that one of them usually overheats after extended us and turns off, its like jet having multi-engines lol. Its a bit of work but makes for cheap and easy to pack bait. I mix it with molassess and jello powder. Bears love it and I like how cheap it is. I use the popcorn from Sam's. Interested to see how your kettle corn works out. how much do one of those go for?

    Heres a bear at my site resting after enjoying a popcorn breakfast.

    bait3.jpg

  5. #5

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    I take the popcorn and oil and sugar in the raw out to the bait station and pop it there in a 33 gallon barrel cut open to shoot the corn out on the ground smells and tastes good and the bears pile in.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by blasterak View Post
    [...] Interested to see how your kettle corn works out. how much do one of those go for?
    Uh.. the cheapest I've seen them is $1800 new (commercial version) but you can buy cheap table top version for a few hundred dollars + shipping to Alaska. I looked into it and it wasn't worth it.. I was told they don't cover the popcorn all that well and your limited to the recipe's you can use so I broke down and finally found a used one here in the state. They don't come available all that often.. been watching Craigs list in both Alaska and Washington. Needless to say I got a good deal on mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    [...] never heard of the " mushroom style" got more info on that?
    Mushroom style popcorn is (generally) larger, rounder, more crunchy and I've been told it takes 'toppings' better than butterfly style. Act 3 popcorn and brands you'll find in the store are all butterfly style. It's larger to fill a bucket and easier to grab watching a movie but breaks down, melts quicker and is harder to coat. Here's a picture of Mushroom style on the left and butterfly style on the right:

    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
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    First year I used the stove top, pita. I used an air popper last year and it was much easier.

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    Works great for me. I was mixing it with dog food at first until I noticed they would sort through the dog food to get to the popcorn. Then I was just using plane popcorn. I save bacon grease through the year and use it to pop the corn. I just use a big pot to pop the corn. At first I was mixing Jello or sugar in it and then I got lazy and now I just use plane popcorn. Seems to work fine. I also use Bait'em 907 products and I never have a shortage of bears. I am going to cover up some of the holes so it takes longer for the barrel to dry up. I use a 16 gallon keg with three holes along the bottom edge and I was filling it up once a day. I am going to cover two of the holes up and hope it will slow the flow.


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    I've been using popcorn for 3 or 4 years it's cheaper and lighter than dog food or cob. I have a friend who get the left overs from a guy who makes kettle corn that stuff works great. I pop mine in a old canner using old fry grease or butter flavored shortening. Then I dump it into a 50# feed bag then mix the flavor of the day as I fill the bag. I use a lot of different flavors Tropical Punch Kool-aid or cinnamon are two of my favorites. Bears are opportunistic so as long as they have something to eat when they get to your site almost any food smell they pick up will get them there, the bait what ever you use will keep them there and coming back.
    Chuck

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    Member baitem907's Avatar
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    Here's an idea
    Melt down some of those marshmallows and make a popcorn ball. Stuff that in the barrel and put the lid on it. Boy they'd sure have to pick at that! Think of the opportunity to draw your bow or get your rifle up without your movement being detected.

    We have put garlic and onion powder on one batch and they absolutely loved it. It did smell a lot like propane (on another thread)

    Powdered sugar, ground cinnamon and vanilla.... mix in a bucket and pour on the popcorn

    Great thread to start AO!
    Jess
    Bait Em 907
    Bear Bait & Moose Lure Company
    www.baitem907.com
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    Member wolfkiller's Avatar
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    I put a cut down barrel on my turkey cooker and put my bigest tarp under it. Add a gal. of oil a few bags of popcorn and let it rip. It pops all over the place. The kids love it.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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    I love popcorn!!! I take in 2 55gallon drums both filled with popcorn. I use the drums with the open top/removable tops one with a hole cut in it. The other one dos not have a hole and when the first one is empty i just move the top to the other drum. The nice thing about it is a pop the popcorn right in to the drums and use good old trusty duck tap to close the hole till i get to the stand. I have seen browns in the bait and 10 min after they walk out blacks will come right in. Two years ago a friend set a stand about a mile from me and he used dog food. I had more bears in my stand then he did.PIC0022.jpgP1010220.jpg

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    Default Sold!

    Well now that I have read this post, I will be using popcorn this year. I do have a question, kinda a side bar if you will. Does anyone know where I can get 55 gal barrels with lids in the fairbanks area? PM if you so I can get some clean ones.
    Hunt until you don't like it any more

  14. #14

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    Craigslist has had a few this last week, here is a link for two polly drums. I'll be in Fairbanks this weekend, let me check on a source for metal drums (hopefully free); I'll send you a PM within a few days.

    Popcorn/Kettle Corn Baiting Tip: Want to get maximum flavor? When cooking popcorn/kettle corn use corn oil instead of other types of oil. Vegetable and peanut oil gives your final product a lighter (weaker) taste while corn oil makes your corn taste more 'corny'. Sam's Club has 1 gallon jugs of Mazola Corn Oil for about $10 or $11. For those of you that shop at Wally World, I've been told they have a generic brand of corn oil that is basically the same thing for a few dollars less.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    Have a quick question, when do you guys start popping the popcorn? I got the barrels, now I just need to pop the corn.
    Hunt until you don't like it any more

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    Last year was my first real effort into baiting, I got some great info from Blackbear and I was off and running, I cooked up a gallon of sugar water and threw in some cherry flavoring. I popped enough corn to fill two contractor size plastic bags. Now some may think this next part is a little extreme but hey I had the darn thing already so why not! And that is I got the concrete mixer out and used that to mix all the corn and sweet stuff together, worked great!! Well I stuffed that gooey mix into the two bait barrels I was to put out the next day. All went very well getting the barrels out chained up to the tree. Set the trail cam up and we came back in the following weekend to hunt and low and behold both barrels were TORN off the tree and one barrel totally GONE.
    Well we surmised that after searching through the pictures that Brownies like popcorn too, A very large bore had his way with my barrels and when he was done he kept coming back to check for more. Yes Pop Corn works great and is easy on the back, did get a nice 6' off the bait last year. I am looking forward to the next season, already maken bear lollipops for them. Good Luck All.

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    So quick question, who uses Jell-o and mixes it with there popcorn? I want to know how much Jell-o to use per 55 gallon barrel. Just how many boxes? Thanks
    Hunt until you don't like it any more

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    You cant use to much I use 4 or 5 of boxes but like I said cant use to much Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcorwin4278 View Post
    Well now that I have read this post, I will be using popcorn this year. I do have a question, kinda a side bar if you will. Does anyone know where I can get 55 gal barrels with lids in the fairbanks area? PM if you so I can get some clean ones.
    Sourdough Petroleum Sales on Minnie and Illinois street right next to the old Ace Hardware store has them with bolt on lids.

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    when you guys use jello do you just sprinkle it on dry? I used sugar last year and would sprinkle a quart sized bag over about 40 gal of popcorn and they seemed to love it. I figured mixing anything wet in would just make mush. I did empty about 30 galons of popcorn on the ground when my barrel was full and it got wet in the rain and they still cleaned it up.

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