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Make bear hard candy for $6 a gallon

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  • Make bear hard candy for $6 a gallon

    The recipe in the attachment below, is one of the best hard candy recipes for bears I have encountered and have used it a lot.



    https://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1197261



    The problem is the cost, which is roughly $19 per USA gallon (prices based on Walmart Anchorage).


    25lb sugar $13.38
    One gallon of light corn syrup $33.66
    7- 3 oz of Jello 3.92


    Total $50.96 which should make approximately 2.7 USA gallons or $18.90 per gallon.


    After experimenting and research, I have come to the conclusion that the corn syrup is not required. Itís main purpose is to avoid crystallization which makes the candy glossy (pretty) and more like the candy you can buy in the store. I have found that the bears do not care if the candy is pretty or fit for sale, as long as it has thousands of calories.
    Having said that and not wanting to risk screwing up the recipe, I also researched and found out you can substitute 12 teaspoons of lemon juice (real lemons, approximately 2 medium lemons) and it will stop the crystallization. (You can also use cream de tartar but I never tried it) .


    In the batches (6-8 full) I have made with lemon, I have not run into any crystallization yet, (again, not that it matters to the bears), the candy is rock hard and my hunting partners have not noticed any difference.


    So cost is now
    25lb sugar $13.38
    7-3oz jello $6.92
    2 medium lemons 1.04


    Total $18.34 divided by 2.7 gal or $ 6.80 a gal.


    I was going to wait till I did some more testing before I posted this but I see that your bear season is approaching (I am in Canada) and I thought you might want to try this sooner and save some money. If you do get crystallization and it is a problem, I would like to know.



    Bearbob

  • #2
    Correction

    I typed in the second Jello cost as $6.92. it should read $3.92. The totals are correct



    25lb sugar $13.38
    7-3oz jello $3.92
    2 medium lemons 1.04
    Total $18.34 divided by 2.7 gal or $ 6.80 a gal.

    Bearbob

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    • #3
      I've made a "bear sucker" a few times and I like how it will last all season. When you make yours without corn syrup, are you still making a hard candy? If so, that would be nice to be able to make hard candy without buying that corn syrup.

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      • #4
        I like this idea, I might try it

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        • #5
          Looks like a fun spring time project. Add some heavy twin and make them easy to hang.


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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          • #6
            Originally posted by kobuk View Post
            I've made a "bear sucker" a few times and I like how it will last all season. When you make yours without corn syrup, are you still making a hard candy? If so, that would be nice to be able to make hard candy without buying that corn syrup.
            Yes hard candy (hard as a rock even after a year in storage).

            BEARBOB

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rob B View Post
              Looks like a fun spring time project. Add some heavy twin and make them easy to hang.


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


              I use chain so the bears don't steal the bucket, until they have licked all the candy.

              BEARBOB

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              • #8
                I hung mine up so it wouldn't get full of water and desolve. I laid a chain in the bottom of the metal pail and poured the candy mixture in to harden. Then tied the chain to the outlide bottom of the pail so when you held the chain the bucket tilted slighty downward and stays rainproof. Then I just wraped the chain around a tree using a small bolt/nut where it was about 5 feet off the ground. It was jun watching them lick on it. Some would wrap their paws around it to keep it still and just lick away. They would lick to the bottom but never get it all out. At the end of the season I would just fill it with water and rinse all of the candy out and start over the next season. I just figured that if I ran out of bait, this might keep them coming back.

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                • #9
                  Bearbob
                  So what is your actual recipe? So you are just using the sugar, water and lemon juice to make the hard candy then mixing in the flavoring after as usual? If so, what ratios for a single batch? It seems that if you aren't using the karo, what makes up for that quantity?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kobuk View Post
                    Bearbob
                    So what is your actual recipe? So you are just using the sugar, water and lemon juice to make the hard candy then mixing in the flavoring after as usual? If so, what ratios for a single batch? It seems that if you aren't using the karo, what makes up for that quantity?
                    Kobuk

                    Excellent point. His batch calls for 8 cups of sugar + 3 cups corn syrup + 2 cups of water and he does it 7 times (I think). If you remove the corn syrup, it will reduce the total amount of hard candy, a little but by how much I do not know, (since a lot of the corn syrup is boiled off like the water) and he does not state how many gallons he ends up with.


                    I do much larger batches than he does and if I break it down, I have added a little more water. The breakdown would be 8 cups of sugar + 0 syrup + 3 cups of water + 2 teaspoons lemon + 1 jello.

                    BEARBOB

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                    • #11
                      So I went ahead and made this yesterday. I used the original recipe from the link at the top of this thread. It was a lot easier and cheaper than I thought it would be. And that says a lot because I'm not very good in the kitchen and I can be a cheapskate some times. I'm gonna give it a shot this season and I'll tell ya how it goes afterwards. This is what mine looks like as a finished product. Oh, and I only used half the amount they recommended and it still made about 15 lbs. of bear crack.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Interesting...look forward to the reports. Also will check the morgue list at end of season and summer drug clinics stats for increased bear clients.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                          So I went ahead and made this yesterday. I used the original recipe from the link at the top of this thread. It was a lot easier and cheaper than I thought it would be. And that says a lot because I'm not very good in the kitchen and I can be a cheapskate some times. I'm gonna give it a shot this season and I'll tell ya how it goes afterwards. This is what mine looks like as a finished product. Oh, and I only used half the amount they recommended and it still made about 15 lbs. of bear crack.
                          So I tried it and it worked. I smoked this nice black bear while he was licking the lollipop. Made me a believe anyhow.
                          Attached Files

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