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Thread: spring bear advise

  1. #1
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    Default spring bear advise

    hello everyone, hope all is well and everyone is safe

    this spring I'm gonna go and do a full spring set up for a bear, last 2 years I have been going on some else's camp and they did all the baiting for me, as well I could only hunt 1 maybe 2 days a week and could never get a bear when I was there, lots on the camera but never when I was in the stand. so this year I have another friend with a hunt camp that said I can do as I want to hunt. looking for advise on my plan as well as anything to add that I may be missing.

    WEEK1
    my plan is to get my 55 gallon medal drum up there and was thinking of doing a mixture of popcorn, and corn in the barrel potentially some syrup or molasses as well, chain it to the tree. I have about 15 jars of bacon grease i was gonna spread around the are on some trees and brushed, also have a 5 gallon bucket of my deep fryer grease was gonna spray the trees as high up as I can with the fryer oil, I have some ice tea mix at home that we don't plan on using so was thinking of spreading that around as well.

    at the same time as setting up the barrel I am gonna move my stand to a tree that will be good for this area, upon finishing of cutting branches down and clearing my view to get the stand up and food out I was gonna leave my cheap shirt ripped in half, one half will be close to the food barrel not on top of any of the grease or fryer oil I have put out. the second half of the shirt i was gonna tie to the ladder for my stand about 3/4 of the way up. during all this I'm gonna pee anywhere I can all over the place about 10-15 yards away from the food in as many directions as possible. set up camera with clean hands and leave set up for a week

    WEEK2
    hopefully the food is mostly all gone if not all gone. check camera and hope there's a bear and its not all racoons and skunks lol fill food barrel back up get more oil, bacon grease and juice crystals out make sure my stand didn't get destroyed and all that.

    WEEK3
    hopefully same as week 2 there is a bear around eating the food, fill food up with same as previous weeks and hunt for the week.

    I'm not planning on trying to mask my smell when I'm gonna be setting up and baiting, but the week I am hunting I'm gonna wash all my clothes without using strong smelling soap and cut some branches of cedar and put all my clothes in some zip lock bags to hopefully get my clothes to smell like the woods more than clean laundry.

    so that's my big plan now for the questions I have for more experienced bear hunters. what are your best advise for cheap bulk food, I know I can pick up a 35 or 50lbs box of kernels but my neighbor has a very small machine to pop it all do I just start now and fill up big garbage bags full and buy 2 bags of feed corn for each fill up? do you know somewhere where I can get pre popped popcorn for next to nothing? I am fortunate where I'm hunting I can pull up the truck feet away from set up so weight isn't really an issue for me worry about. don't mind spending a little bit of money to get the odds to work better in my favor but also don't want to spend an arm and a leg where if its not successful I spent way to much and if it does end up successful that I spend the same as buying regular meat. also I already have my thermocell with lots of refills every time the big packs go on sale at princess auto, Canadian tire or TCS I buy them.

    any advise or thoughts would be greatly appreciated my plan is to hunt May 28th-to June 6th that's the time off I will be getting for work.

    so far I have not spent a single dime yet as barrel was free would like to keep all expenses around the 200$ mark if anyone has any advise or help

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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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    $200 on your entire hunt? Including bait and driving up every couple of days to top up bait? You are setting yourself up for disappointment in my opinion. Hunting isn't just for meat as you could just spend the money on grocery store meat, it's about being out there and enjoying what nature has to offer. If you want a bunch of bears to come to your bait consistently so you get a chance at shooting one you have to top your bait up a lot. One sow with 2 cubs will empty your one barrel in one evening. If they come back and there is no food a couple of days in a row then they will leave. The only time I have had success with consistent bear activity is with lots of bait, topped up every couple of days, and in an area where the bears are traveling (ie between water and their den areas or near thick cedar bush). You can do it with one barrel but it has to be topped up consistently for them to associate your setup with a food source. The whole scent and pee thing....I have never done it and it seems like it would be more of a hindrance than an advantage. Let them associate the sounds you make with food, the sound of your truck/atv, your voice, your whistle or a cough. Bait the drum and let them know its dinner time, whistle at them or yell out come and get it. If they associate your noises with food you wont spook them when you come in to hunt. The scent wont matter as your stink will be all over the area and food anyway. If you do set a camera up, wear gloves, and spray some cover spray on or around it and set some fresh cedar boughs around it. If they catch a scent of you on the camera they will try and eat it, trust me on this one. You should be baiting early and often for them to establish an eating routine. As for cheap bait, you just have to keep an eye out. Sweet is best. Anise, jello powder, molasses, butterscotch (my favorite smell as it carries quite a distance). My staple for bait is corn and fryer oil, fills the drum and its cheap. If you have a butcher in your area get to know him and tell him you will take all his scraps, fat and guts. They will gladly set it out for you to take. If you give them your phone number they can let you know when they are setting it out and you gotta pick it up asap and dont let it sit too long as they will get pissed and wont set it aside for you anymore. Get yourself a used deep freeze for bait alone, start loading up well before the season starts and you will have a freezer full of free bait before the season starts. That way every time you go up to bait you can take a box or bag with you. The day you hunt, bring bait, load it up and let them know you were there. Try and keep your bait times consistent, as soon as you tell them its dinner time, climb into your stand as quiet as you can and do not move around, movement is what they key in on. If your baiting times and dinner bell was consistent they will start moving in within an hour or so. Try not to make any strange noises and keep movement to a minimum. Be patient, bait a lot and often, take your time and make sure the bear you shoot at does not have cubs.
    Rethink your budget, hunting ain't cheap and baiting is even more expensive.

    Sent from my SM-G986W using Tapatalk

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryklimczuk View Post
    $200 on your entire hunt? Including bait and driving up every couple of days to top up bait? You are setting yourself up for disappointment in my opinion. Hunting isn't just for meat as you could just spend the money on grocery store meat, it's about being out there and enjoying what nature has to offer. If you want a bunch of bears to come to your bait consistently so you get a chance at shooting one you have to top your bait up a lot. One sow with 2 cubs will empty your one barrel in one evening. If they come back and there is no food a couple of days in a row then they will leave. The only time I have had success with consistent bear activity is with lots of bait, topped up every couple of days, and in an area where the bears are traveling (ie between water and their den areas or near thick cedar bush). You can do it with one barrel but it has to be topped up consistently for them to associate your setup with a food source. The whole scent and pee thing....I have never done it and it seems like it would be more of a hindrance than an advantage. Let them associate the sounds you make with food, the sound of your truck/atv, your voice, your whistle or a cough. Bait the drum and let them know its dinner time, whistle at them or yell out come and get it. If they associate your noises with food you wont spook them when you come in to hunt. The scent wont matter as your stink will be all over the area and food anyway. If you do set a camera up, wear gloves, and spray some cover spray on or around it and set some fresh cedar boughs around it. If they catch a scent of you on the camera they will try and eat it, trust me on this one. You should be baiting early and often for them to establish an eating routine. As for cheap bait, you just have to keep an eye out. Sweet is best. Anise, jello powder, molasses, butterscotch (my favorite smell as it carries quite a distance). My staple for bait is corn and fryer oil, fills the drum and its cheap. If you have a butcher in your area get to know him and tell him you will take all his scraps, fat and guts. They will gladly set it out for you to take. If you give them your phone number they can let you know when they are setting it out and you gotta pick it up asap and dont let it sit too long as they will get pissed and wont set it aside for you anymore. Get yourself a used deep freeze for bait alone, start loading up well before the season starts and you will have a freezer full of free bait before the season starts. That way every time you go up to bait you can take a box or bag with you. The day you hunt, bring bait, load it up and let them know you were there. Try and keep your bait times consistent, as soon as you tell them its dinner time, climb into your stand as quiet as you can and do not move around, movement is what they key in on. If your baiting times and dinner bell was consistent they will start moving in within an hour or so. Try not to make any strange noises and keep movement to a minimum. Be patient, bait a lot and often, take your time and make sure the bear you shoot at does not have cubs.
    Rethink your budget, hunting ain't cheap and baiting is even more expensive.

    Sent from my SM-G986W using Tapatalk
    Was trying to keep just the bait at around 200$ gas going up and everything is not part of that budget and as I mentioned i can only bait once a week due to the distance and work schedule

  6. #5
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    Plastic barrels are better/safer, Make sure you round all the edges on the hole you cut. Also cut a rectangular hole, not round. Bears can get their head stuck in a round hole. If you can only go up once a week maybe try and fill two barrels? I use corn, used cooking oil, molasses, spaghetti and some grape jello powder to top it all off. Make sure you spread some of the cooking oil and molasses around the bait so it gets on the paws of critters and spreads the smell farther.

    Life doesn't always provide you with the best set up possible due to life constraints like work and family obligations. Don't let that stop you. Yogi only has to slip up once and come to the bait site while your there. Get up and get after it buddy, you won't regret it.

  7. #6
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    I always saturate just the ground right in front of the barrel with all my bacon grease and oil. Bears will lay in it, walk in it.


    I always went to the local feed store and bought bulk cattle rations and 4gal jugs of molasses. 50lb bags are 17.99$ and cheaper the more I bought. I think they gave deals on 500lbs or more. If ya got somewhere to store it, that be cheap feed.


    I figure it's good bait and it's really great feed for bears, My dad always jokes the bears eat better than his cattle does, I said that's why they taste better too (fighting words in my family hahaha)

    Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk
    "If guns cause crime, all of mine are defective."

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  8. #7
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    Baiting once a week will be difficult. I would consider a multiple barrel setup then. Last season I baited every day I could. Thankfully I have a very generous work schedule. Also due to the fact that I don't use a ATV and I don't take my truck in.
    As for bait ( and trying to do it cheaply ) you have to think outside of the box. For example I have established a contact with a local grocery store bakery manager and they provide me with alllll the bakery goods they would normally throw out. Start searching the internet for small companies in your area who produce the products you want to use. I recently established a contact with a popcorn manufacturer and I currently have a full sized pickup full ( and I mean FULL ) of waste butter and caramel popcorn ( all free ). It can be done but it takes some leg work.
    Bears coming out of the den will need to bulk up. Start the early season with sweets. Transition to protein based items ( beef fat, scraps or what have you ). Come June the bigger boars will be focusing on mating season. I would suggest a trip to Cdn Tire and pick up some of the commercial bear scents they have for that specific time.
    You can also message me if you need more info ( goes for anybody ).

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SongDog View Post
    I always saturate just the ground right in front of the barrel with all my bacon grease and oil. Bears will lay in it, walk in it.


    I always went to the local feed store and bought bulk cattle rations and 4gal jugs of molasses. 50lb bags are 17.99$ and cheaper the more I bought. I think they gave deals on 500lbs or more. If ya got somewhere to store it, that be cheap feed.


    I figure it's good bait and it's really great feed for bears, My dad always jokes the bears eat better than his cattle does, I said that's why they taste better too (fighting words in my family hahaha)

    Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk
    called a local feed place and they can get me a 500kg tote of dairy rations (molasses, corn, barely and all that) I can get that to my house, not great storage at the property so don't want it to happen where his shed getting destroyed. so i could get some totes and bring 4 or 5 totes full of food in the back of the truck and 5 gallon pail some food out to the barrel 50 yards from where the truck is parked. thanks for the advise doing some last minute planning to see if can get it done this year, had bad luck the last 3 years and want to give an honest hard try this year

  10. #9
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    I do a two barrel setup and was refilling every 2-3 days when I had a bunch of bears coming in. The barrels would be empty by that time.
    Good luck
    Go where you feel most alive

  11. #10
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    if you stack a couple of logs infront of the barrels hole it will keep out the other critters but the bears will be able to move the logs and go to town on the bait. watched a guide do it on tv said they save a bunch of money not having to top it up every so often because the whole forest tends to help themselves when nothing is blocking the feeding hole.

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