First off this was a recent bear hunt on the Mescalero Indian Reservation in New Mexico in August 2009.
My son and father had been hunting over bait for two days, and had not see anything but wildlife, coyotes, crows, deer, elk etc. The bait was fruit, cantaloupe and such. On the third day my brother in law and I left very early to get to bait that was deep in the forest before sun up. So I was not there when my son and his grandfather decided to make their own bait. We had a lot of leftovers from dinner from the previous nights and they decided to put it all to use. There was etouffee, chili, beans and the usual bread and things left over. They also added about a half a jar of peanut butter, crackers and whatever was handy. So far the only thing I have left out is the one thing that I intend to test again to see if it is what I think it is. I had smoked some spare ribs for the hunt and we had eaten them the night before. They added the left over ribs to their bait.
The story goes like this. We had just set out our bait, made it to our stand and was getting set up and ready to sit for a while. My father said he had just stood his gun against a tree and was getting ready to sit down, when my son said there is a bear. He looked across the canyon and at full stride was a black bear coming down the mountain on a string right to the bait. At about 150 yards the bear winded them instantly stopped and turned around. My son shot him running away and they bagged their bear.
To me this story is about smell. I have read post about different things that bears can smell. I tend to think that everything that was in that bait mix, those smoky ribs was definitely carried the most odors. Now I might find that that smoked meat odor does not effect on them but I will test to find out.