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Appropriate fuel for a honey burn/honey smoker

Last year, I pulled in two black bear with a honey smoker.  I used a sterno can as my fuel source.  They came within about 150 yards, but I couldn't get a good kill shot as they kept playing the "stand up, drop down" game.  When I was speaking with a friend recently and describing the scenario, I was told that the sterno fuel gives off a detectable odor, and that they probably tried to check me out from afar because of this.

Is there any truth to this?  I'm specifically wondering if animals can detect a scent from the sterno, and if so, what might be a good alternative fuel source to use?

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