I used a honey burn when I opened my bait sites. I put about a half inch of honey in a coffee can and put it on a single burner colman stove fueled by a one pound propane cylander. When the honey heats up it produces a thick yellow very aromatic smell that travels very far and also sticks to the trees and bushes downwind leaving the scent in the area even after the burn is done. I am a rookie bear baiter but from what I saw it worked. I did a honey burn everyday until the bait was opened. Then I only baited from that point on.
A honey burn would definitely be considered "baiting" in Colorado. Not sure about California, but my guess is that it would be the same there. I would certainly be careful about understanding the law before doing it, at least.
Just some advice. But eat breakfeast, dinner or supper on stand. I like bacon sandwicks anytime of the day. Fill a pan with bacon break out the single burner stove and cranker up. Eat bacon set greas in coffee can by your feet to cool and wait.
Hello all from northern Manitoba Canada, saw the question on honey burns and thought i'd offer some advice as a Black bear guide myself.
I have gotten a number of black bears into a bait using this method as the smoke created travels a long distance. I usually smoke just before sitting in a stand for the hunt.
Here's how: You will need a large metal coffee can ( do not use the small one's ) Fill the bottom with approx 1 cup of white sugar or brown ( Its cheaper then honey) Take a 1/4 teaspoon of anis oil and if you have some cloves mix in. Add about 2 teaspoons of water and a chopped up slice of bacon and mix up. Put the plastic lid on and take hunting with you. Once at your bait site place the can on the metal barrel so its hanging over a bit and take a small propane torch and heat the bottom of the can, in a few minutes it with bubble and huge billows of white smoke will come out, do this for 10 to 15 min while turning the can if the smoke disapates to start it up again. Then leave the can on the barrel and get in your stand and watch the fun unravel.
To avoid having to haul a Coleman stove or a propane torch with you to your stand, try this: Using a large tin can (the type you get canned peaches or spaghetti sauce in at Sam's Club) place a small or medium sized can of Sterno in the bottom of the can. About 3 inches above the top of the Sterno can, punch a few holes in the can large enough to slide a welding rod thru. Using 3 or 4 welding rods (available at any local hardware) make a shelf for your honey can to sit on above the Sterno by sliding the rods thru the holes. The honey can itself needs to be the size of a 1 lb coffee can or so. Pour in a couple inches of honey into the smaller can, light the Sterno and then place the honey can directly over the flaming Sterno on the welding rod shelf. A medium can of Sterno burns about 45-60 minutes. While it burns, you can either place the cans on the ground or hang them from a tree limb using wire to suspend it. In my opinion, its best to get the burn up off the ground where any breezes will catch the smoke and let it drift. But, if you decide to hang your burn, be sure to hang it with something non-flamable such as wire or chain. Once the honey heats up, rope, string, twine or anything burnable directly above the can may catch on fire and cause the whole thing to crash to the ground causing a potential fire danger but also creating a huge amount of noise at a time when you're trying to attract a bear. Good Luck!
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...