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Location: MAINE
Joined: 08/18/2008
Posts: 29
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

I'm having trouble getting bears to come to my bait. I've been using the typical bait such as molasses, pastries,vanilla, anise and mostly almond butter granola with beef fat mixed in. There are plenty of sign close to my bait...scat, tracks and even fresh claw marks on a few apple trees. The site is 50 yards from the edge of a field in dark and cool evergreens. Could it be the site location? Is anyone else having the same issues this year?

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Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

I'm sure there is alot of opinions surrounding this, but I've read a few times that if the natural food sources are available nearby, a bear might choose this exclusively until it is exhausted. Personally I don't feel a bear would give up a free snack, so try something else. (Maybe it hasn't been there long enough for them to be comfortable with it?) Try attracting them in with some sweet smelling attractants.
You mention that there is fresh sign in the immediate area? I don't bait, but if I did, I would probably want to be cautious about leaving human scent behind. Not to mention that your newly arrived presence may have made any local bruins a little cautious.

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Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

Hey, I meant to ask you... Are you muzzleloading for bear?

Location: MAINE
Joined: 08/18/2008
Posts: 29
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

Thanks for the insight. Those thoughts have crossed my mind more than once. I had been visiting the site once each day to check for sign but have since limited myself to once every 3 days. I made that decision 2 days ago. I'll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully this will solve the problem. All the wild berries in the area are nearly gone and that may force them to hit my bait. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. And yes, I hunt muzzleloader only and with a bow during the maine archery deer season.

Location: MAINE
Joined: 08/18/2008
Posts: 29
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

thanks for the tip, Bust. I have actually taken a few nice bears in the past with the spot and stalk method. This season is a bit different for me. I shattered my leg in 8 places while on an elk hunt in NM in 2007. I now have 4 plates and 32 screws in my leg. I spent 8 months on crutches. I still have plenty of trouble walking to the mailbox, let alone hunched over in the woods trying to stalk a bear. This is my first season using bait. I have lived in Maine my entire life and have never baited until now. I understand some people have different views on baiting bear and even I have mixed feelings about it. I decided to try it and see for myself. Thanks.

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

Bustbigking and broadhead, I have split your posts into a new thread. They don't have anything to do with baiting black bear.

Note that there is nothing wrong with baiting if its legal in your area. If you prefer stalking and calling that's great, but not everyone hunts in the same way.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

Why not go to fresh meat scraps? Sounds like they already have enough sweets to eat. I've often had bears pass lush blueberry crops and go straight to my hunters' meat bait 20 feet away.

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Location: Muskoka Ontario
Joined: 09/04/2007
Posts: 351
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

If you know a trapper in the area see if he will give you some beaver carcases
they are rich in protine and fat and are a natural food for bears.
I have one hanging like a pinyata right now it was to high and the claw markes on the tree were impresive. I just lowered it so he should be able to get at it now.
F.K.

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Location: NH
Joined: 08/10/2008
Posts: 40
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!
Fisher King wrote:
If you know a trapper in the area see if he will give you some beaver carcases
they are rich in protine and fat and are a natural food for bears.
I have one hanging like a pinyata right now it was to high and the claw markes on the tree were impresive. I just lowered it so he should be able to get at it now.
F.K.

Just make sure that is legal in your state. I believe here in NH we cannot use any type of game animal or game fish as bait.

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Location: novascotia
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 682
Bear bating

Cotton candy perfume and fryer grease with some beef scraps should do the job for ya

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Location: Newfoundland
Joined: 07/30/2008
Posts: 29
HAving trouble getting bears to my bait!

I hear the old fellas and quite experienced bear hunters say that bears are harder to bait in the fall hunt. Apparently, like jfrench referred to, bears tend to stick almost exclusively to their natural food source(s) in fall, until it is depleted before they hit baits and the like. For my area, blueberry patches are a good place to spot bears, or at the very least set up a bait site next to.
I can't confirm this from my own experience, but sounds likely to be the issue you're experiencing. Sounds like you're doing it right, though. Just keep the sweets and smelly items on the menu, and in a couple weeks I'm sure you'll have a hit at your "restaurant".

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