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Joined: 05/28/2012
Posts: 3
Bears Left Bait!!!!

So this is my first year hunting bears. I have one bait station. I am hunting in Eastern Idaho. Here is my dilemma, we set our bait and then had 1 grizzly and 1 or 2 black bears hit the bait 4 days later. The grizzly came in first at 2am and was there for about 20 minutes. He has not be back since. The black bear hit it for 3 days almost every morning and evening. The bears have not been back for about 2 weeks. I have not had any bears! We did go buy some tree stands and set them up 2 days after the last bear came in. Since then we have brought more bait up and had nothing come in.

We have a 55 gallon barrel chained to a tree and its about half full of barley rolled in molasses. Then I put some Boarmaster's Raspberry Donut mix in with it. This is all we had when the first bears came in. Since then we have used more boarmaster products. I have used their syrup and their blueberry spray. I have done a honey burn while hunting it and light bacon scented candles. We have also added real meat and bacon grease, along with about 5 gallons of cooking oil from a restaurant. Still no bears. I am having alot of crows come eat my meat though. Last night I have 60 pics on my camera in 4 days. All were crows.

I need some help. What should I do?

Here are some pics of our baiting station. What do you all think. Is there enough cover for the bears? I think that could be my problem? Our tree stands are set up 25 yards from the barrel.

Thanks!!!

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elkslayer's picture
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Location: Idaho
Joined: 04/27/2011
Posts: 23
baiting bears

A friend and I have been baiting bears in Idaho for 4 years (He has killed 3 bears I have killed 2 bears) and here is what we have learned, glean what you can from it.

My initial reaction is that your bait site is way too open.  In my experience, bears prefer thick cover.  I have had success with small (10-15 yard wide) clearings surounded by thick brush and in thicker areas with just one or two shooting lanes.  Another thing is that I always try to set up everything before the bears come in, treestands and all.  This is to minimize my footprint once bears are in the area although I do not use scent control while baiting because I want them to be used to my smell (I do use scent control when I hunt the bait). 

Proximity to water is another consideration.  I recommend setting your bait as close to water as is legal, here in Idaho we have to be 200 feet away from water.  pictures I got this year showed wet bears, they like playing in water. 

Your bait sounds like the right kind of stuff so I wouldn't change that.  I once had bears coming consistently but I wasn't able to keep the bait barrell full,  after just one day of no bait the bears left and never came back.  If you ran out of bait at any time, then this may be why they left.  Another good attractor is to mix vanilla with sugar water and spray it all over the overhanging branches I also do this with maple syrup.  I also spread bacon grease on overhanging braches in small globs letting the wind carry the scent.

Depending on which unit you're hunting in eastern Idaho you have until June 7 or June 30 to kill your bear.  If your season runs til June 30, then I recommend moving the bait somewhere nearer water and thick cover, basically starting over but you can stay in the general area or scout for fresh sign and set up nearby.  If June 7 is your deadline then either keep hoping or try calling from your stand.

Send a PM if you want to get more specific.

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Joined: 05/28/2012
Posts: 3
Thanks!

Hey thanks for the reply. I am hunting Unit 61. I would say that I am pretty close to water. I have to agree that I think our problem is that we are not in thick enough cover. So you think that we would have a better chance moving, even if it is only 50-100 yards into think cover. Out tree stands are set up on the edge of some thick cover. I was thinking about leaving the stands where they are at then baiting just behind us. The way the stands are positioned I can see make an easy shot with my bow. My unit is until the 30th.

 

Thanks, again.

elkslayer's picture
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Location: Idaho
Joined: 04/27/2011
Posts: 23
look around and try to find

look around and try to find fresh sign in the area around your bait (maybe even as far as a mile radius)  if there is sign then move your bait into the thicker cover.  We had a site one year that was too open and my friend got a bear but after that they wouldn't come back to give me a chance, we moved the bait 200 yards into the brush and the bears were on it again.  If something scared your bears they might not want to be in the open again but still be nearby.  moving into the cover will make it more comfortable for them.

If it were me and I couldn't find any fresh sign I would probably look until I found some and move to that area.  But in the past I have stuck out long empty spells because I was sure the bears were still around even though I couldn't find proof and bears did eventually come back. 

Bears will come to bait but it is better if you find a spot where they already want to be and put your bait there.

I hope whatever you do works out.

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Joined: 05/28/2012
Posts: 3
Bear again

Well we checked our cameras last night and we knew we had something big in there. Out barrell was almost knocked over. Its chained up pretty tight to a tree. We had 160 pics on one camera and 70 on the other. Both are set up right at the barrell. All but 5 pics were of freaking crows!!! I hate them stupid things. Anyway we have one bear hitting it know. The only problem is its a Griz, a good size one at that. Do you think this would be a problem for the black bears. He has been in once and we think a second time about 6 hours later. He has a bear at 12:30am but its hard to tell what kind, he is sitting down and is hunched over into a ball.

Here is a pic. Let me know what you think. I also included a picture of the little black bear that we had at the beginning of the season. You can see the difference in size there. They are both standing up.

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elkslayer's picture
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Location: Idaho
Joined: 04/27/2011
Posts: 23
I can't answer the question

I can't answer the question of if the grizzly has run off the black bears, since I have never baited an area that was likely to have grizzlies.  I have done a lot of spot and stalk hunting for black bears in places where grizzlies had a large presence and have often found black bear and grizzly tracks and scat along all the same trails so I wouldn't think that the presence alone of a grizzly would force the blackies out.  But like I said I really don't have an adequate answer for you on this one.

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