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Joined: 09/17/2006
Posts: 4
Please help novice!

Here is my situation:
I'm a new bear hunter in the state of michigan, I've got a permit and season opens Friday the 22nd.
I started my bait station a little over a week ago (I know, I should have started sooner, I got some bad advise). Nothing has been to it, someone told me it was because I used Salmon (meat and remains from fishing this season). Here's what I have set up.

-Barell with 12" hole cut in the side attached to a tree filled with Dounts, bread, and cat food.

-12" pit dug about 15' away filled with salmon and then covered with logs and branches to keep out smaller critters.

-2 nearly whole salmon hanging from a branch 15' the other way about 7' off the ground. And they SMELL! DO THEY EVER SMELL!

Here's my question, should I set up a new station? Or just trust my set up and hope they find it in time. Also I KNOW there are bear on the property, they have been spotted several times, and bear signs in the woods are abundant.

Please advise your input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Ryan

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Location: novascotia
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 682
black bear

Ryan , I have never hunted bear but I have snared them for a lon time . Why the hole in the barrel ?. When I baited for them which I found a waste of time I would half fill the barrel with doughnuts and place a pallet on top to keep out the unwanted supper guests . The bear will be the only thing able enough to upset the barrel . All U realy need is the barrel and keep the bait all in one place where U want the bear to be for the shot .I had no luck with fish but Beef scraps are excellent bait I fact my son and I were out yesterday to check his snare site and found that the bear was there for a visit He had a small bait bag on the tree beside his set and the bag was gone he emptyed a bucket of used cooking oil and left the bucket there for the bear to play with and he did .There was teeth holes in the side of it and the lid had some in it to of coarse the bucket was opened and licked clean When we set the snare all that will be there is the bait bag inside the cubby .He has to walk on the snare to get at the bait If there is bears on the property where U hunt then they'll be back it may take a little time but they will be back
Good hunting ! thenail

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Joined: 09/17/2006
Posts: 4
Please help novice!

I have seen the hole used by many others. It's my understanding that it does a few things, and anyone can feel free to correct me.

#1. Forces the bear to a particular side of the barell, to force a desired shot.

#2. Leads the bear to either stick it's head or front leg in, both stretching it out exposing vital kill zones.

#3. Makes it more difficult for crows and other un-desired critters to get to your bait.

The fish was only added because I had it, and I guessed it's strong smell would be a good way to advertise. (Why I hung two in the tree).

Thanks for the confidence.
Ryan

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Please help novice!

There's nothing wrong with what you've done. Fish is a great attractant which is needed to start a new bait. But bears won't eat rotten flesh if they can help it. They'd rather have fresh meat so you need both at a new baitsite. For new baitsites, you can also try a burn, honey or I prefer bacon grease--probably because I just happen to like the smell of bacon a lot more than I like honey. You should also include some sweets at your site--donuts, pie fillings, that sorta thing.

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

I certainly could see why U want the bear at the proper side of the barrel but the hole 15 feet away won't be close to the barrel . But i'm not into the hunting bears but I sure can snare them . My son and I will pos t some pics to any body that would like to see the critter in the snare I put on the fourm that if any one would like to see it I Would PM it to them
thenail

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Joined: 09/17/2006
Posts: 4
Please help novice!

I added some fresh fish last saturday when I went to check the site. Here's the question:
Should I take down the hanging (now very very putrid smelling) fish? Are they detering bear? I was under the idea that the stong smell of the rotting fish would be a great attractant...
Thanks again for everyone's input. It's very reasuring to get a least a round about idea that I havn't done anything wrong except not leaving enough time for patience.
Ryan

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

U certainly havent done anything wrong . If there was siteings in the area they will be back again . The best bait That I found was beef scraps . The smellier the better . I would keep the bait all in one spot . Like bating for deer U don't want the bait 15 or 20 feet from your shot . Stick with what U have The Critter will be back U might want to check the moon phases. About 3 years in a row I caught a bear on my daughter's B.D. the 25th of Oct . last year I caught my bear on the18th of Oct and got my 8 pointer on the 18th of Nov . I'm a firm beliver on the moon . The moon affects every thing

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Please help novice!

Getting the late start that you did may be a problem especially if you've got someone else in the neighborhood baiting as well. Usually bears will check out a bait within a week if they're in the area but right now you may be trying to pull them away from some other food source, natural or otherwise. Ripening grain crops are a great draw for bears at this time of year. A bear may have already visited your site, found no edible food and moved on. Changing your rank fish with some other stink might bring him back to investigate. Its not that easy a call to make not knowing your exact situation.

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Joined: 09/17/2006
Posts: 4
Please help novice!

Well there is plenty of edible bait. A barell full of donuts, bread, and cat food. The fish was supposed to be just an attracter. I was thinking I may take down the fish as well.
Also, grain crops should not be an issue. Where I am hunting is VERY VERY rural, several miles between homes and tens of thousands of acres of state land around. Other bait stations my be a problem however. I'm sure I'm not the only guy out there. Oh well, I'm learing. I just hope I get to see some bears.
Ryan

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