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Thread: Bear Baiting

  1. #1
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    Bear Baiting

    Hey Guys I have a question that may be hard to answer..



    I got my first WI bear tag for this upcoming fall. I helped bait a few sites last year but really have never bought bait and baited by myself so this year will be a first for me but Im having issues trying to figure out how much bait I will be needing and the frequency of baiting. This is the info I am factoring into this;

    I will be running bear baits at 3 differant sites,
    Per law you can put 10 gallons at each site

    So with this information I understand I will be going through about 30 gallons of bait everyone time I bait but I guess I really dont know how far ahead of time I should start baiting and how often I should bait? If anyone has any opinions I would appreciate it! Also, if you ahve any tips on what to buy for a majority of my bait I would appreciate any tips!

    Thanks!
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI


  2. #2
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    I use a horse feed mix. Its 60/30/10 corn/oats/barley then rolled in mollasses. This year to fill a 45 gal drum we used 1 bag of horse feed and 2 equal sized bags of old donuts.

    As to how fast you will got through the bait it all depends. Can you use barrels? How big a hole will you have in the barrel and is the barrel chained to a tree. If you want the bait to last use small holes. You may want to use a roll barrel..... take a 6' piece of re-bar and put a loop in the top. Now use a 10' chain and attach it to the re-bar that you pound in to the ground and the other end to the barrel. A 1-2" hole will do. Plenty of used fryer grease all over the ground as well. The bears will roll the barrel around to get the food out. I wouldn't use donuts if you use the roll barrel
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  3. #3
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    Start with smaller amounts... half a bucket. As soon as the bait is hit, increase the amount and when it is being hit regularly, bait as much as possible every day unless they do not eat it all. Not sure on Wisconsin law but if there is not pre-bait date then start at least three weeks ahead. You are going to need A LOT OF BAIT for three baits. Pastries are the best if you can get them. Start filling a freezer NOW! Do a serach for bear bait. Lucky 7 bear bait is a good one. There are a couple in Wisconsin. Good luck post your results.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. In WI you cannot leave a drum out so you can carry out your 10 gallons dump it and cover it and thats about it. There is no pre date baiting laws so my plan as of now is;

    Start baiting 3-4 weeks before the season
    I may only get to bait it about 3 days a week due to work/travel

    Do you guys think this will be sufficient? Any other ideas on what to use as the "main ingredient" in my bear bait? I will be mixing half of it with fryer grease and the other half with liquid sugar.
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  5. #5
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    If you can't use a barrel then I would bait like a friend of mine in MN does. Just cover the bait with big logs.

    Knowing what I know now of your laws. I would find a good site and dump my bait, personally I would choose a spot next to a decaying stump. Put the bait out and cover with logs. Then I would dump the grease over the logs and the stump..... the stump would soak up the grease and may even get eaten as the season goes on. The logs would serve as a strike indicator and also slow the food being eaten by little critters.

    10 gal isn't much bait..... it may be eaten in one evening. Thats why I would use as much grease as you can get in there. They will eat the dirt to get the grease.
    2008 Ross Cardiac 70Lbs, QAD pro HD, Sims modular stab, Copper john dead nutz 2 sight, Scott Sabertooth release, G5 Meta peep, beman arrows with ONESTRINGER arrow wraps topped with Slick Tricks or GT2's and RIDGERUNNER sling

  6. #6
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    Guys I know who bait successfully do so starting in the spring, and do it every year. So, you are not too early to get a bear used to your bait site. That is all i can add.

  7. #7
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    Popcorn is good because it's cheap and light.

  8. #8
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    how i do it is i make my own bait stations by taking a log and hollowing it out make a lid and put a rock on top
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  9. #9
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    If you can take a full size tire without the rim and lay on the ground. Now put your bait in the center. Next, take a full size tire with the rim and put over the rimless tire and put a good size rock in the hole of the rim......completely vermin proof.
    Here in MN we're not allowed to use anything like that. What I do is dig a hole put bait in and throw good size logs over top.
    As far as bait is concerned, I think the sweeter the better for the most part. In 2010, I used a mixture of m&m's, corn chips, licorice, gum drops, hard candies. I also use used restaurant grease the first baiting. I don't pour it on the bait, but pour it around the bait. The bears get the stuff on their pads and track it where ever they go leaving a scent trail back to the bait.
    I use around 5 gals of bait or less. I think it's better to not feed too much. It keeps the bears interested and creates competition so that the bears come in earlier to try to beat each other to the bait. I also try to bait the same time everyday too.
    One other thing, make sure to put a backstop on one side of the bait. This helps keep the bear broadside at the bait. Without the backstop the bear could come and feed head on to the hunter never offering a shot! With a backstop you greatly improve your chances of getting a good broadside shot. I've killed a total of 4 bears myself and baited several others for friends that were successful getting bears...not that I'm an expert by any means. However, I'm a firm believer in the grease, the sweeter the better on bait, and good backstop to control where the bear feeds at the bait. Good luck!! Post some pics if you kill one! And hopefully I'll do the same.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12ARROWS View Post
    If you can take a full size tire without the rim and lay on the ground. Now put your bait in the center. Next, take a full size tire with the rim and put over the rimless tire and put a good size rock in the hole of the rim......completely vermin proof.
    Here in MN we're not allowed to use anything like that. What I do is dig a hole put bait in and throw good size logs over top.
    As far as bait is concerned, I think the sweeter the better for the most part. In 2010, I used a mixture of m&m's, corn chips, licorice, gum drops, hard candies. I also use used restaurant grease the first baiting. I don't pour it on the bait, but pour it around the bait. The bears get the stuff on their pads and track it where ever they go leaving a scent trail back to the bait.

    T
    I use around 5 gals of bait or less. I think it's better to not feed too much. It keeps the bears interested and creates competition so that the bears come in earlier to try to beat each other to the bait. I also try to bait the same time everyday too.
    One other thing, make sure to put a backstop on one side of the bait. This helps keep the bear broadside at the bait. Without the backstop the bear could come and feed head on to the hunter never offering a shot! With a backstop you greatly improve your chances of getting a good broadside shot. I've killed a total of 4 bears myself and baited several others for friends that were successful getting bears...not that I'm an expert by any means. However, I'm a firm believer in the grease, the sweeter the better on bait, and good backstop to control where the bear feeds at the bait. Good luck!! Post some pics if you kill one! And hopefully I'll do the same.
    Thanks that helps! I planned on digging a hole and covering with heavy logs but I will make sure to put in a backstop, thats a good idea that I never thought of. I just wish there was a way I knew how much bait I needed. I dont want to go bonkers and buy too much but I dont want to run out either. How do you figure out how much bait to get?
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  11. #11
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    Here's your basic rule of thumb... if a bear comes back and finds the bait empty, he will just go somewhere else and may not be back for days. Make sure you have enough bait for multiple bears. You do not want them going off a couple miles and finding someone else's bait. You want them to lay up nearby with a full belly.

    Make sure you put your bait near water; within a 1/4 mile at the most.
    AKA "The Freelance Bowhunter"

  12. #12
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    A hollowed out stump or you need to dig a hole for bait placement. The bait needs to be covered (rock on hollow stump, logs on a hole). The amount of bait depends on the number of bear hitting and how many other bear hunters will be baiting in the area. I only put out 5 gals at a time until you have consistant hits. For getting bait, look in the adds and you can find it on caigslist. The bears will hit the best bait, so keep that until you get closer to the opener. What zone are you in. Dogs are first this year in all zones except C which dogs are not allowed.
    Good luck and son't be afraid of the bees.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIhoytarcher1 View Post
    Thanks that helps! I planned on digging a hole and covering with heavy logs but I will make sure to put in a backstop, thats a good idea that I never thought of. I just wish there was a way I knew how much bait I needed. I dont want to go bonkers and buy too much but I dont want to run out either. How do you figure out how much bait to get?
    I usually buy a 50 gal cardboard drum full of the mixture I described in the earlier post and that's for one bait during the baiting season and well into the hunting season with a little left over. I would think you should be able to run three bait sights with two 50 gal barrels pretty easy. Remember, I think it's very important not to over feed!! If you over feed, the bears will come whenever they feel like it...usually after dark. Feed just enough to keep em coming back....create competition among the bears to beat each other to the bait.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joesandi View Post
    A hollowed out stump or you need to dig a hole for bait placement. The bait needs to be covered (rock on hollow stump, logs on a hole). The amount of bait depends on the number of bear hitting and how many other bear hunters will be baiting in the area. I only put out 5 gals at a time until you have consistant hits. For getting bait, look in the adds and you can find it on caigslist. The bears will hit the best bait, so keep that until you get closer to the opener. What zone are you in. Dogs are first this year in all zones except C which dogs are not allowed.
    Good luck and son't be afraid of the bees.

    Thanks! Im actually in zone C so I dont need to worry about any dog hunters and it is mostly private property and I havent heard of anyone hunting in the area so Im hoping that helps me! I just have to worry about all the agriculture in the area.
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12ARROWS View Post
    I usually buy a 50 gal cardboard drum full of the mixture I described in the earlier post and that's for one bait during the baiting season and well into the hunting season with a little left over. I would think you should be able to run three bait sights with two 50 gal barrels pretty easy. Remember, I think it's very important not to over feed!! If you over feed, the bears will come whenever they feel like it...usually after dark. Feed just enough to keep em coming back....create competition among the bears to beat each other to the bait.
    Ok that helps maybe Ill start out with 2 drums and go from there! Thanks again and if you have any other tips let me know!
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  16. #16
    A little food, a LOT of grease. The more grease the better. Splash it in everything. Bears love it. They'll roll in it. They can't grab a big chunk and run away. They get it on their paws and fur and leave scent trails back to your bait wherever they go.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearkiller1 View Post
    A little food, a LOT of grease. The more grease the better. Splash it in everything. Bears love it. They'll roll in it. They can't grab a big chunk and run away. They get it on their paws and fur and leave scent trails back to your bait wherever they go.
    Thanks I will definetely be using grease this year, have one or two places lined up to get it from.
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  18. #18
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    People disagree on this point but I think it is important. I did a survey of 860 bear hunting outfitters and guides for a book I wrote called "the bear baiter's manual" (which will be published later this year.) Of those outfitters who were asked how much bait should be put out, the number one response was to put out enough so that there is always bait there when they come back. If 860 outfitters across the US and Canada agree, then I would not put out a small amount of bait in hopes of increasing competition. IT DOES NOT WORK. The bears simply go elsewhere. If bear #2 shows up and there is no food, he is not going to come in earlier!!!!!!! He is not going to come back, until he is in that area again and he may check it out again. Too risky because he will probably find another food source and stay there.

    That strategy is assuming that bears can think and reason which they cannot. The can only learn. What they learned is that there was no food there. If you want multiple bears you have to bait as much as is legal as long as it doesn't spoil. Always have fresh bait available.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whack/Stack View Post
    People disagree on this point but I think it is important. I did a survey of 860 bear hunting outfitters and guides for a book I wrote called "the bear baiter's manual" (which will be published later this year.) Of those outfitters who were asked how much bait should be put out, the number one response was to put out enough so that there is always bait there when they come back. If 860 outfitters across the US and Canada agree, then I would not put out a small amount of bait in hopes of increasing competition. IT DOES NOT WORK. The bears simply go elsewhere. If bear #2 shows up and there is no food, he is not going to come in earlier!!!!!!! He is not going to come back, until he is in that area again and he may check it out again. Too risky because he will probably find another food source and stay there.

    That strategy is assuming that bears can think and reason which they cannot. The can only learn. What they learned is that there was no food there. If you want multiple bears you have to bait as much as is legal as long as it doesn't spoil. Always have fresh bait available.
    Ok thanks for the information. I think I am going to plan on baiting as much as I can but I think that will only be about 3 times a week, wish I could more, but I just cant due to work/travel time etc. If I were to go up during the week I wouldnt get out baiting until about 6 and it gets dark about 8 so Im assuming I shouldnt be baiting then becuase thats when the bait will be getting hit a majority of the time.
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  20. #20
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    We use a hollowed out log and packed it full of bread and doughnuts then would throw old frying grease everywhere and liquid smoke, I'll post a pic of what our bait looked like.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by glock-cop View Post
    We use a hollowed out log and packed it full of bread and doughnuts then would throw old frying grease everywhere and liquid smoke, I'll post a pic of what our bait looked like.
    Thatd be awesome thanks. If you dont mind me asking where did you get your bait from? Ive callled a few local bakeries to see what they do with their extras and everyone gives it away to local pantries so im not sure where to turn to next?
    Hunt 80 acres in Oconto County, WI

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whack/Stack View Post
    People disagree on this point but I think it is important. I did a survey of 860 bear hunting outfitters and guides for a book I wrote called "the bear baiter's manual" (which will be published later this year.) Of those outfitters who were asked how much bait should be put out, the number one response was to put out enough so that there is always bait there when they come back. If 860 outfitters across the US and Canada agree, then I would not put out a small amount of bait in hopes of increasing competition. IT DOES NOT WORK. The bears simply go elsewhere. If bear #2 shows up and there is no food, he is not going to come in earlier!!!!!!! He is not going to come back, until he is in that area again and he may check it out again. Too risky because he will probably find another food source and stay there.

    That strategy is assuming that bears can think and reason which they cannot. The can only learn. What they learned is that there was no food there. If you want multiple bears you have to bait as much as is legal as long as it doesn't spoil. Always have fresh bait available.
    I guess I've been lucky over the years. In 2010, I watched a sow and three cubs come into the bait early in the evening and pretty much clean it out. The next bear (a loan adult) showed up an hour later and stuck around for 15 mins trying to get crumbs out of the hole. The third bear a 200 lb(field dressed) boar showed up a half hour after the second bear left. I ended up shooting him....thats how I know he weighed in at 200 lbs. I shot that bear at around 5 pm with a lot of daylight left and I wish I would have waited to see what else came in. I really don't know if you can manipulate baiting to create competition among bears, but it sure seems like it to me. If you bait the same time everyday, walk in the same way, ride your wheeler up to it, bang on the pail when you leave...your conditioning bears to come in to bait. I hate to say it but it's no different than feeding your cows a pail of corn everyday! After a while all they have to see is the pail and the whole herd comes running. So when you bang on your pail when leaving the bear bait, your ringing the dinner bell. I've had bears come in to a bait as I was leaving. I think the keys are not having any baiting competition too close to your bait! And be in good bear area to start with...in other words, bait where they live...not just in the woods somewhere. Edges of swamps are my personal favorite! Bear hunting takes more effort and commitment than anything else! And as with any kind of hunting it never hurts to have a little luck!
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12ARROWS View Post
    I guess I've been lucky over the years. In 2010, I watched a sow and three cubs come into the bait early in the evening and pretty much clean it out. The next bear (a loan adult) showed up an hour later and stuck around for 15 mins trying to get crumbs out of the hole. The third bear a 200 lb(field dressed) boar showed up a half hour after the second bear left. I ended up shooting him....thats how I know he weighed in at 200 lbs. I shot that bear at around 5 pm with a lot of daylight left and I wish I would have waited to see what else came in. I really don't know if you can manipulate baiting to create competition among bears, but it sure seems like it to me. If you bait the same time everyday, walk in the same way, ride your wheeler up to it, bang on the pail when you leave...your conditioning bears to come in to bait. I hate to say it but it's no different than feeding your cows a pail of corn everyday! After a while all they have to see is the pail and the whole herd comes running. So when you bang on your pail when leaving the bear bait, your ringing the dinner bell. I've had bears come in to a bait as I was leaving. I think the keys are not having any baiting competition too close to your bait! And be in good bear area to start with...in other words, bait where they live...not just in the woods somewhere. Edges of swamps are my personal favorite! Bear hunting takes more effort and commitment than anything else! And as with any kind of hunting it never hurts to have a little luck!
    I've seen much the same scenario several times. The key to that situation is that the bait is on location to a tee and the bears feel comfortable there in the daylight, so both general and specific location are right on. Which was the dominant bear? Probably the one you shot. So it is hard to say if there is competition or not. There could be, but my assertion that reducing the amount of bait to make them come in earlier is not going to work. Good discussion though, we have all seen things that make us shake our heads in wonder. I've been doing this a long time and have shot 8 bears over bait and about the time I think I am really getting it figured out I find out I really don't know that much. Bears will be bears and sometimes they are just plain RANDOM!
    AKA "The Freelance Bowhunter"

  24. #24
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    By the way, the calling of a bear by banging on the bucket supports my assertion that the best thing is to fill up the bear and have him laying up nearby.
    AKA "The Freelance Bowhunter"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIhoytarcher1 View Post
    Thatd be awesome thanks. If you dont mind me asking where did you get your bait from? Ive callled a few local bakeries to see what they do with their extras and everyone gives it away to local pantries so im not sure where to turn to next?
    The hostess store in Eau Claire, we our truck packed full and It filled 2 big chest freezers. We got a huge discount because it was just about to expire. Then we get all our granola from some guy in Caddot, WI. I did all my hunting in zone C. Send me a pm if you have any questions, and having a hard time getting the pictures on here.
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