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What affect does a bear gut pile have on a bait station?

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  • What affect does a bear gut pile have on a bait station?

    The subject is pretty self-exclamatory, but I was just curious what everyone else's experience has been with hunting baits after you've already shot a bear at your bait station and you've left the gut pile there at the bait station. My assumption would be that other bears would be attracted to the gut pile, but I'm not sure. My hunting partner is still trying to shoot a bear so I'm curious what affect the gut pile will have. Anybody ever had any personal experience with this?
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 05-29-2020, 11:46.

  • #2
    We have shot bears eating on the carcass of another bear. They have no morals.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SmokeRoss View Post
      We have shot bears eating on the carcass of another bear. They have no morals.
      Ha, that's hilarious. Darn cannibals. I figured as much. I just wondered if perhaps they got spooked if they smelled another dead bear at the site. Thanks for the input.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
        I'm curious what affect the gut pile will have. Anybody ever had any personal experience with this?
        My experience with this is that the accurate conclusion is........totally unclear. Often yes and often no. Have watched twenty bears a day walk right past a large brown bear carcass (un-gutted) on the beach that a hunter harvested the first ten minutes of season open, and for the next two weeks not one bear touched it. But it is impressive to watch 30-40 eagles make a half ton of bear turn into white bird poop.

        Sometimes bear will eat or at least bury the carcass for later consumption. I remember 50 years ago we laboriously hauled a bear carcass up a fair ways up a tree, in early spring, and for a month it hung there and in the hot sun grease melted off of it, and nothing touched it, not even birds.


        "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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        • #5
          It might depend on how large the bear was that the gut pile is from. I watched a couple of small brownies test the wind and finally detour around the gut pile/carcass of a larger brownie killed a couple of days previous.
          It probably won't matter; if a bear has been feeding at a bait station, more food will probably be its primary concern.

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          • #6
            It has never mattered but we remove the required meat and hide at the stand leaving the bones and the guts. I have gone back in the next day and the bears have moved everything. Last year one dragged the remains up above the bait station on a ridge and set up home. Meat and desert, meat and desert. He stayed there over a week according to the game camera.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Daveinthebush View Post
              It has never mattered but we remove the required meat and hide at the stand leaving the bones and the guts. I have gone back in the next day and the bears have moved everything. Last year one dragged the remains up above the bait station on a ridge and set up home. Meat and desert, meat and desert. He stayed there over a week according to the game camera.
              Thanks Dave, that's kind of what I was thinking. That's why I left the guts there at the bait. But one of my hunting partners wants to hunt my stand and I wasn't sure so your advice is appreciated.

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              • #8
                I've had both cases where it kills off all activity for several weeks and others where it don't matter or maybe even helped with bear activity. Most of the negative experiences were with grizzly carcasses. Case by case I suppose, but I try to drag bear away from direct area or if average size black bears I drag to my boat and process on a gravel bar elsewhere.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by blasterak View Post
                  I've had both cases where it kills off all activity for several weeks and others where it don't matter or maybe even helped with bear activity. Most of the negative experiences were with grizzly carcasses. Case by case I suppose, but I try to drag bear away from direct area or if average size black bears I drag to my boat and process on a gravel bar elsewhere.
                  Same here.
                  Last brownbear we got, we left the carcass about 80yds from the bait. As per the cameras still posted, activity on that bait literally died for 7 weeks.
                  Now with that being said, same year, different bait site 10 miles away, my friends shot 5 brownbears off 1 bait within 1 weeks time. FULLY removing the entire bear after each kill.
                  So, go figure....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by swampdonkey View Post

                    Same here.
                    Last brownbear we got, we left the carcass about 80yds from the bait. As per the cameras still posted, activity on that bait literally died for 7 weeks.
                    Now with that being said, same year, different bait site 10 miles away, my friends shot 5 brownbears off 1 bait within 1 weeks time. FULLY removing the entire bear after each kill.
                    So, go figure....
                    Yep, I'm a firm believer in getting carcass out of bait area if at all possible, last year I killed my grizz solo so had to leave carcass where it was. This year I setup a 2nd baitsite and its only 120yd from barrel to my boat so should be able to drag out a bear...I need to invest in a capstan winch not only for unsticking my boat but for dragging bears to my boat with ease lol.

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                    • #11
                      In my experience it seems to very greatly from bear to bear. I have seen smaller bears run away or skirt around carcasses of bigger bears. I also seen smaller bears walk right past bodies of larger ones. I have see black bears horrified of dead brownies but I have also seen them munching dog food right next to a 9' brown carcass. Bears are like humans in the way we have personalities it seems.

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                      • #12
                        So, I'm obviously not giving out specifics on where I bear bait, but I can give a little bit of info on my observations after reviewing camera footage from the season after I removed my bait a few days ago. I bait and hunt fairly close to my home in the Mat-Su. This is a brief summary of my findings.

                        First bear to show up was a lone, decent sized black bear on May 18th
                        A couple grizzlies showed up on the bait 2 days later on May 20
                        A decent sized black bear showed up later that day twice on May 20
                        A decent sized black bear (possibly the same bear) showed up on May 21
                        A decent sized black bear showed up again 3 times on May 22
                        The third time he showed up on May 22 I shot him at approximate 11:47 PM
                        The bear died approximately 5 yards away from the bait barrel and I gutted, skinned, and quartered his carcass right there. I left the entrails, the spinal column and the pelvic girdle. Everything else was salvaged.
                        No bears showed up at the bait again until 5 days later a brown bear with cubs showed up on May 27
                        Then a decent sized black bear finally showed back up again on May 29th. I decided to not pursue this bear because I'm hoping he'll stick around until next year. In other words, I didn't want to get greedy.
                        The brown bear sow w/cubs showed back up again on May 30th
                        A small to medium sized black bear showed up on June 4th
                        A decent black showed up on June 7th
                        2 small juvenile grizzlies showed up on June 8th
                        A small to medium sized black showed up on June 13th and again on June 16th and then apparently the batteries on the camera died.

                        So, in conclusion, to answer my own initial question, does a carcass have an affect on bear activity, I would say yes and no. It seemed like I had very consistent (daily) activity before I shot the bear and left the carcass, and after shooting the bear there was no activity for almost a week. After that, then bear activity increased again but the activity was only sporadic and visitation only occurred every few days.

                        Take it for what it's worth, just observations. Lots of factors to play here like season timing, abundance of bears, competition with other hunters in the area etc. but that is just my observations.



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                        • #13
                          Any other baits in the area within a mile? I have seen that when my bait ran out in one spot, they went over to my other bait 1/2 mile away. They just keep going back and forth between the two baits depending on food availability. If someone else is serving cheese burgers and you are dishing up tofu that could be an issue.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Daveinthebush View Post
                            Any other baits in the area within a mile? I have seen that when my bait ran out in one spot, they went over to my other bait 1/2 mile away. They just keep going back and forth between the two baits depending on food availability. If someone else is serving cheese burgers and you are dishing up tofu that could be an issue.
                            Yes, most definitely there are actually lots of other baiters in my area but I am pretty far away from others. I have to hike/pack everything in about a 1.5-2 miles.

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                            • #15
                              Try getting some of the Jelly Doughnut stuff they sell for baiting. Water it down enough so that it can be sprayed from a spray bottle. When you come out, spray your trail down. Any bear crossing your path will hopefully follow it to your bait. Just an idea.

                              Patriot Life Member NRA
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                              Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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