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Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: 03/24/2011
Posts: 5
Spring 2011 Bear Baiting

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!







hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Welcome to the forum and

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your informative post. It sounds like you have ben doing this for awhile as you certainly have your program figured out for bringing them in and keeping them there. I had heard of the lollipop thing but never a descripyion on how to make them. And wow 10 bucks apiece for beaver a beaver carcass? That's a business all by itself.

I have not yet taken a bear but do look forward to it someday. We are not allowed to bait here in Colorado so I will either have to spot and stalk them or head to someplace like where you are to up my odds.

Thanks again for the post and good luck this spring.

Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: 03/24/2011
Posts: 5

Thanks for the welcome Hunter25.

I have tried honey burns in the fall, but I have not had much success with them other than making a mess and getting honey or bear crack residue on everything. It can pretty much consume a stove for just that purpose, but in the right conditions has a very potent effect to get a strong sweet smell through the woods.

Take an old stove and a metal coffee can and place it in a spot where the wind will get at it. Don't put it in your stand so you can tend to it, that's just dangerous. Mix in whatever you feel will get a strong sweet smoke burning. Honey, Sugar, Marshmallows, Peanut butter, Jello Powder, Molasses anything sweet is the key. Keep in mind sugar is flammable, so it can boil over and catch fire. Keep that in mind before you set your can to burn, and retreat to your stand or blind. I suggest you keep it off of stumps, moss or any kind of tinder. Dirt is best.

If you can find fryer oil from a fish and chips place, that is better than pub fryer oil. The bears seem to love that fishy oil, and will devour as much of it as they can.

Another way to get a strong scent trail from your bait site is to set a stink bucket high in the canopy. Find two of the tallest trees in your site that are side by side, and with tree spurs or just ingenuity, climb up as high as you can up one of the trees and anchor a length of rope to the trunk of the tree. Carefully toss the rope to the other tree, and climb down. Again, get yourself up the second tree and retrieve the rope you threw over to it. Climb to about the same height as the anchored rope on the first tree, and anchor a small pulley to accommodate the size of rope you are using to the second tree. You will need at least 100ft of rope if you anchor it 25 feet up the tree. Then, in the middle section between your two trees, clip on a strong 5 gallon pail with a lid and a metal handle. The plastic handles snap after a few years from sun baking. You will need to cut a few holes just below the ridges in your pail to allow proper air flow through the bucket. This way you can lower your pail to re-bait with ease. Bears don't like yellow nylon rope as much as a cotton or hemp, it seems to bother their mouth. Be careful not to get any bait or stink on the rope or the bears will chew through it and you have to do the entire process again. Stock your stink pail with cabbage, liquid smoke, herring, mackerel, fish guts, or pieces of beaver. Anything that will stink a lot is ideal. Put some oil of anise and water in there to speed up the rot. Cabbage works well because it REEKS once it rots but the maggots will leave it alone. The more meat you put in there, the more maggots you are likely to breed and unless you are trying on collecting bait for fishing, it gets annoying feeding maggots.


A few photos:

This boar was a good size, there's a 55 gallon drum that his body is obstructing from the camera view.

P&Y Boar

Here is the same bear just two minutes earlier:

I didn't end up harvesting the boar in the pics above, but a friend who set up his stand near mine did. 19 1/4 Skull with 7 foot square hide.


jaybe's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 832
I'll second the motion and

I'll second the motion and welcom you to the site! Hello

It sounds and looks like you have quite a bit of experience baiting bears. I had a question about the barrel with the oats and popcorn, etc. with the holes in it. Do you fasten it to a tree and let the bears roll it around so the food comes out the holes a little at a time? In my mind, that's all I can think of happening, since the holes are obviously not large enough for them to get their tongue or paws into.

You have some really good recipes there. I especially like the bear "lolipop" haning from a chain - that's really sweet (pun intended). lol

Thanks for this report and also the great pictures. Those game cameras are really something, aren't they? They are making them with more and more capabilities these days.

Hope to hear more reports and see more pictures of your bear baiting and hunting episodes. Thumbs up


Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: 03/24/2011
Posts: 5

jaybe wrote:
Do you fasten it to a tree and let the bears roll it around so the food comes out the holes a little at a time? In my mind, that's all I can think of happening, since the holes are obviously not large enough for them to get their tongue or paws into.

Thank you Jaybe, I like the layout of this site. Plenty of great resources, tips and field photos to keep a guy dreaming of that next hunt.

To answer your question; I do cut some holes in my barrels. I prefer to use plastic barrels, as they don't corrode or mark up the claws as bears scratch away trying to get into the bait barrel. The plastic holds up well, and can be used for multiple seasons without having to risk "rust cuts".

I cut three half inch holes in the barrel in 33 degree increments. I run steel cable in one of the holes from the outside of the barrel, out the second hole, a third of the way around the outer circumfrence and back into the barrel to come out the same hole the cable went in. I crimp the cable together and I have not had a barrel ripped away yet since I have been doing it that way.


Here is a bait cage that a good friend built up for me, and gifted it to me this last Christmas. The orange top can be removed and filled with fish heads or guts, bear lollipops, or any other kind of slow release bait. The cage can be lag bolted or strapped to the trunk of a tree, and as the rain falls and the bait melts through the expanded metal and drips down and should coat up the trunk pretty well. This will be it's first season, so I am keen to see how it performs. I am heading out to the bait sites in a weeks time to download the trail camera images, if I have anything worth posting I will do just that. **Notice the tag soup on my deep freeze ;)  

Thanks for posting your burn strategy Alaska, I would like to refine my own strategy and I will definitely employ your suggestions.


Chuck-n-Alaska's picture
Location: Southcentral Alaska
Joined: 04/26/2007
Posts: 222
I like to use popcorn and

I like to use popcorn and kool-aid I avoid meat because I bait in an area with both black bears and brown bears. I also do a kool-aid or jello burn before I start to do any baiting they work well and aren't as messy as honey. I also use sterno so I'm not destroying a camp stove. My favorite burns are tropical punch kool-aid or cherry jello. I use an old 5 gallon kerosene can with a lid for my burns. I bed the sterno in some sand then put some kind of a rack to hold a coffee can with jello and water. I punch several holes in the kerosene can and hang it off the ground 8 or 10 feet so the smell drifts over a large area. I make the jello or kool-aid real thick, boil it until it starts to smoke then let it smoke until it quits. After it qiuts smoking I take out the sterno then hang the can back in the air it will smell like what ever you burned for a long time.

If I don't have time to do a burn I use large scent balls for Baitem 907. They last all season which is  great when I can't bait every day.

Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: 04/03/2011
Posts: 1
Hi, The Fisherman Guy Glad to

Hi, The Fisherman Guy

Glad to hear the bear baiting is going good for you. Do you have any pics of the lolipops?

Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: 03/24/2011
Posts: 5
Lollipop Lollipop, o - lolli BANG!

Here is a picture of the first batch of this year.

numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Very cool thread, You have

Very cool thread, You have some great info here, To bad i cant bait here in oegon, i like tha lollipop idea. Thanks for sharing. And welcome to the site!!!

Joined: 04/21/2011
Posts: 1
TFG...I'm located in southern

TFG...I'm located in southern N.B. and our season opened 4 days ago.With luck I'll be able to access my baitsites this weekend and get started for this year.The hunting here really doesn't get good until about the 3rd week in May and our season ends the end of June.i took a nice 342 pound boar last September in the archery only season.










Joined: 04/22/2011
Posts: 2
New York

New York needs to open its spring Bear season and also allow for baiting.  I have been hunting 7 years and have never seen a bear in the woods and trust me I put my time in when hunting bucks.


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