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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
sooo, bear season in Idaho opens tomorrow, and I have had a few requests for this recipe so here it is, lots of pics that i dont want to remote host so it will be in multiple posts.....

So this is basically a huge piece of hard candy in a bucket!

What it will do is force a bear to stay on your bait, my experience is that they prefer the sucker to the rest of the bait, and they just cannot grab it and go. therefore they will become way comfortable with your bait site. This will also save your butt if you let the bait run dry, as the bears will still make the trip to the bait for the sucker even if everything else is dry.

However it needs to be used as part of a bait, not the whole thing, i dont think it smells enough to attract bears, and im pretty sure it would be too hit and miss without some stinky stuff.

So below is a how-to, this is the cheapest easiest way i have found to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What you need

You will need;

-a steel container; its important to put it in something that you can leave in the woods, that will force the bears to lick it and not gnaw on it, it wont last a day without something sturdy to put it in. I like 3 gal steel buckets.

-25lb bag of sugar.
-a gallon of Karo light corn syrup
-7 3oz packages of jello - avoid citrus flavors
-some imatation vanilla flavor - real would work better but would double the cost
-a 5 ft piece of chain
-a large stock pot, the bigger the better, but the one in the pic is about the biggest a home stove can handle, if you were using a propane turkey fryer or camp chef you could do lots bigger
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
starting the candy

Step one; (remember these measurements are for what the pot will handle, dont go doubling unless you have double the size pot, or are planning on cleaning sticky stuff off of everything for months)

Mix:

8 Cups sugar
3 Cups Karo syrup
2 Cups of water

into the stock pot and put on the burner at High

Stir, stir, stir, stir!

at first the mixture will be milky as the sugar has not gone into suspension yet.

Keep stiring, you HAVE to babysit the mixture until it boils!

Warning! as the candy comes to a boil it will try to boil over, doesnt matter how little you make it will make it out of the pot, you have to be actively stiring until it comes to a rolling boil. it helps to drop the burner temp about half way just as it starts to boil. then return it to HIGH as soon as the mix settles into a good boil.

Once the candy is at boil it will turn clear, at this point QUIT stiring, dont stir any more till its time to add flavor. you can go on the step two while it boils down.

Just one more warning, if this does boil over the candy mixture is VERY flammable, some may remember my thread last year about starting a kitchen fire..... :embara:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mix the flavor

Ok so this flavor recipe is just what has worked for me, and its super cheap, you could use any kind of candy flavoring you wanted but it would be expensive.

Mix:

one package of jello
1/2 cup HOT water (i put it in the microwave for a bit, helps dissolve the jello)
a couple of splashes of vanilla flavor

into another container and stir till all the jello has disolved

mixing this stuff beforehand will insure that you will have clear, hard candy and not milky, crumbly candy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now back to the candy pot

by now your candy will have cooked down some.. but this takes a while, about 15 min on my stove/pot

the goal here is to boil the candy down to whats called "Hard Ball" stage, or if you have a candy thermometer cook till its 310-325 deg F (although if you actually have one of these, and didnt buy it to make bear bait... Man card please!)

what "Hard Ball" stage means is that when you drip some of the candy into cold water it will form hard, brittle strings. it is very important that you cook long enough, better too much than not enough. the strings must be brittle, very easy to break, if they are soft, or pliable at all.. cook longer!

you will notice the longer it cooks the thicker and more of an amber color it will become.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now add the flavor.

now once you are darn good and sure its cooked long enough remove it from the heat and slowly pour your flavor mixture in.

Be careful, this is a violent process as the water will boil out immediately and there is lots of steam.

STIR!! you will see that it foams up again, stir till all of the air bubbles work themselves back out of the candy, you should have thick (warm honey) clear candy when your done

Note: you really dont have too much time after you take it off the heat, it needs to be stirred down quickly or it will start to harden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Last step

ok, now put the length of chain into the bucket and and pour the mixture into your bucket, but remember its 300 deg and make sure on the first pour that the bucket is not sitting on your carpet or table, as the bottom of the bucket will soon be 300 deg as well!

this will be your first pour, of seven total, let the candy harden before making another batch, if you have a chest freezer you can speed up this process.

pic shows my sucker after 4 pours. (and my kiddo dunking the chain into a soft pour)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
cleanup and go kill a bear!

now the only way i have found to clean the pot, and it is imperative that the pot be totally clean before starting another batch, is to just fill it up with water, and let it sit, this will take about as long as it takes your first pour to harden up.

this takes some time but will make a HUGE difference, well worth the time and effort. One sucker will last a bait all season, had one bait site with 13 different bears on it, couldnt keep food in the barrel for more than one night, sucker lasted the whole time.

:darkbeer::darkbeer::darkbeer::darkbeer: now have some FUN!

bring on the questions, will be glad to help any way i can!
 

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Cool idea! My season is starting may 1st, so that gives me a couple weeks to experiment with stuff like this. Plus, its still dumping snow and has snowed about 6" today! I cant wait any longer, bear baiting is so much fun!!! Good luck this year, and thanks for the instruction. Oh yea, really nice bear too.
 

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No bears here in IL where I hunt but I went to canada and the guides up there said that a bear is a sucker for strawberry jelatin and cinnamon, I believe it my bait site was hit hard the first 2 days there and day 2 was just at the right time :D
 

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great idea
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What general area do you bait?
still kind of up in the air this year, i just moved to pocatello, probably somewhere in 66A unless someone guides me elsewhere or wants to do a joint effort
 

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still kind of up in the air this year, i just moved to pocatello, probably somewhere in 66A unless someone guides me elsewhere or wants to do a joint effort
I have never been on a bear hunt but would love to give it a try. I elk hunt 49 and know there are bears there as we have them on trailcam. I understand that tex creek has its share of decent bears. Any where north from there should have good bears as well.
 

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A friend of my brother inlaws was walking in to a bait site packing two bags of dog food on his shoulders. He was the 3rd of 4 guys going down the trail. Out of no where a bear comes tearing through the trees does a full body tackle takes the bag of dog food and runs off into the trees, leaving the guy sitting there looking very confused as to what had just happened.

After telling me this story they could not understand why I was a little nervous packing two 40lb bags of dog food in on my shoulders while I was alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
that would be something i would have to see!
 

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A friend of my brother inlaws was walking in to a bait site packing two bags of dog food on his shoulders. He was the 3rd of 4 guys going down the trail. Out of no where a bear comes tearing through the trees does a full body tackle takes the bag of dog food and runs off into the trees, leaving the guy sitting there looking very confused as to what had just happened.

After telling me this story they could not understand why I was a little nervous packing two 40lb bags of dog food in on my shoulders while I was alone.
They definitely don't hate dog food. Worked well for us.

Thanks for the tip on the sucker. Here in Minnesota we can't have buckets left out in the woods. Do you think a rope or two running through the sucker would work. Maybe a couple knots in the center of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
yeah, i imagine it would work fine, however i dont know if a bear would just chew it up quickly or not...
 
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