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Joined: 08/24/2013
Posts: 2
Appropriate Fuel for a Honey Burn/Honey Smoker

Last year, I pulled in two black bear with a honey smoker.  I used a sterno can as my fuel source.  They came within about 150 yards, but I couldn't get a good kill shot as they kept playing the "stand up, drop down" game.  When I was speaking with a friend recently and describing the scenario, I was told that the sterno fuel gives off a detectable odor, and that they probably tried to check me out from afar because of this.

Is there any truth to this?  I'm specifically wondering if animals can detect a scent from the sterno, and if so, what might be a good alternative fuel source to use?

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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
Welcome to the site!

Hi Flanker, I made up a honey burn using a propane torch, a tin can and apiece of 1"x 16" flat stock. I used large pipe clamps to attach the tin can and the propane tank to the stock. I straightened out the torch head so it would be under the can. When I go to use it I dig a little hole and stand the propane tank in it so it doesn't fall over. When you start it up you can turn the torch on high to get it smoking in less than a minute then turn it down. Then get in your blind or tree and wait. I've used a sterno and it usually takes the better part of an hour to get the honey smoking. To answer your original question, I really don't know of any really appropriate fuels. I don't think the bear you mentioned in your post was "spooked" by the smell of the sterno though. Good Luck. Kevin

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