It's that time of year for our spring Bear hunt, our season opens on April 1 and runs until the end of May. This past winter has been a heavy one, with plenty of snow so we will most likely not see much Bear activity until the last three weeks of the season as most of the bears will be denned up until then.
I offer with a variety of bait selections: Popcorn, oats and molasses works well in a 55 gallon drum with five 3/4 inch holes. That seems to keep the barrels from getting emptied too quickly. We also use beavers, a lot of bear hunters including outfitters swear that this is the secret that will keep the bears coming back. We buy them from trappers for a price between 5-10 bucks a piece.
This year I am building bear lollipops, and so far I am happy with how they turned out. Basically it is: white and brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, jello/drink/hot chocolate powder, vanilla, and Oil of Anise extract all boiled down so that the mixture does not show signs of sugar grains. Pour the mix into a ice cream pail with a length of heavy chain hanging out (to hang from a tree). Let the mixture cool to a giant hard candy for the big bruins. The idea is this lollipop will keep the bears coming back if the bait site is cleaned out of all other food source. Hang the lollipop from a tree, or anchor it to the top of a 7 foot pine with about 10 feet of steel cable. That way the bear cannot leverage tearing it away from the bait site.
I like how the fryer oil trick works. Scrape up the ground around your bait site, and pour as much of the fryer oil onto the ground and cover it with moss, then soak it with fryer oil again. This trick works wonders for spreading a scent trail through the forest as a bear walks through it to inspect the bait, and subsequently tracks it through the forest when he leaves.
Care to share some of your bait recipes? I have a bunch more that I am willing to share if you are!