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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I went up yesterday to check on three set-ups.

The first set-up I went too was just placed last weekend. The set-up is in a good area for bears but was not touched at all! There's still 6-7 garbage bages worth of donuts there. The donuts were covered in cherry pie filling and the area around the bait was covered in grease. The bait looked untouched and there was no visible signs of bear in the immediate area. I sound smell the sweets for 20' away. I left the spot alone and will hope for a hit this week.

The second set was hit relatively well, but only by two bears (one maybe 100lbs and the other maybe 175-200lbs). The larger bears that had been showing are no longer. The first week I would have guessed we had 5 different bears at this stand! I rebaited it heavy and drowned the donuts with peach and cherry pie filling.

The third set was hit well. A 55 gallon drum had been emptied of it's donuts and candy. However, the only day time activity was a sow and cubs. At night a larger boar did show a couple of times.

I think right now I have two things working against me. One, the berry crop was good this year and is still perty plentiful. Most all the scat I'm seeing is loaded up with berries. I can still find countless berries on the vines. Not sure if this problem with end before the 19th opener. The second problem is weekend baiting. Only at one of three stands is it possible to keep enough bait out there to last a week. While the un-hit bait didnt matter; the second set was empty within 4 days of baiting (trail camera evidence). Also, by baiting so much at once, theres no reason for bears to rush in prior to darkness.

Oh well, you play the hand your delt. For hunters from lower MI that cannot tend baits daily or even bi-weekly, that usally means working within these conditions (that or hireian guide to do the work for you). I personnaly like runnning baits and doing the work my self so I'll take a few days off before the season opens and start limiting what is available. Maybe I can change their patterns in two days!:dizzy:

It's still a lot of fun.;)
 

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You sure can imagine many things on why your bait suddenly went cold. It's before season so you know it hasn't been shot. My bait was getting hit real regular and then with less frequency. I cooked a pound of bacon and they came back and just pounded it. This time they left me calling cards, they moved off the bread and jelly to hit natural food. Pin cherries and wild plum seeds decorate the area around my bait site.

I feed mostly on private land so I drive my ATV right to where I bait. I leave it running the whole time so they know that I'm there. I made a mistake and turned it off one time and got busted by two bears shortly after noon o'clock. My bait went cold for almost 3 weeks but they did come back. Don't assume that you are doing something wrong, it may be as simple as you are not doing something right. ;)

Stink up the area with something new like a bacon or a honey burn. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You sure can imagine many things on why your bait suddenly went cold. It's before season so you know it hasn't been shot. My bait was getting hit real regular and then with less frequency. I cooked a pound of bacon and they came back and just pounded it. This time they left me calling cards, they moved off the bread and jelly to hit natural food. Pin cherries and wild plum seeds decorate the area around my bait site.

I feed mostly on private land so I drive my ATV right to where I bait. I leave it running the whole time so they know that I'm there. I made a mistake and turned it off one time and got busted by two bears shortly after noon o'clock. My bait went cold for almost 3 weeks but they did come back. Don't assume that you are doing something wrong, it may be as simple as you are not doing something right. ;)

Stink up the area with something new like a bacon or a honey burn. Good Luck.
I'll give it a try next time up. I have a crap load of bacon grease sitting in reserve.

Questions:
1) When you do a burn, what are you using as a heat source?
2) Do you dig a hole and put it in the hole or just clear away any existing debries and place a pan over your heat source?
3) What time do you start the burn and how long do you burn it?
4) Would you have a flame going on a bacon burn and expect a bear to walk upto the pan and flame?

Maybe I shoud start a post on burns as I personally have never did one and have lots to learn.
 

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I take a propane cook stove, the small ones and use a metal coffee can. I put about 4 inches in the metal can and start the burner. I let it boil for about 10 minutes thwe npour the hot grease over the logs. I then get about 1 gallon of grease and throw it in the trees and around the bait site, so if bears or coons or skunks come in, it will get on their fur and they will take it with them in hope of another bear smelling it and coming to investigate. I dont do a burn while i am hunting but do use vanilla and liquid smoke in a squirt bottle to cover up the hum,an scent. Everytime i bait i empty my 5 gallon bucket of bait then i take a stick and bang the bucket, hoping the bear hear that and associate it with the food.

Good lluck and i hope this helps.
 

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...Would you have a flame going on a bacon burn and expect a bear to walk upto the pan and flame?....
NO! Burn, extinquish, make sure everything is out (twice), then vacate the premisies. It's just a mechanism to alert the bears to your bait site.

Although during season it is an option to hunt immediately after the burn. Just remember you might smell like bacon or honey too! :yikes:
 

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I use a 20lb propane tank, a single burner and a cast iron fry pan. I usually cook the bacon and eat half of it myself. :) The other half I leave for the bears along with all the grease. The smell of the bacon sticks to the trees, weeds and brush. If you are not going in via ATV take a radio so alert the bears of your presents. I'm much more worried about getting busted by bears at the bait site than I am with the bears themselves.

For honey i use a coffee can and a torch. Heat till it gives off smoke then reduce the heat to maintain the smoke till it's gone. The laws have changed so you are legal to do this now. Before the change we would start a ground fire and just throw comb honey into it and let it burn. If you haven't noticed I almost always am baiting in a river bottom so water is available. The river is the travel corridor for bears plus it provides lush growth when the upland growth goes dormant in dry weather.

If you don't want to go with the extra work buy some attractant from www.bearscents.com The owner has always had time to talk bear hunting; pick is brain. Bacon scent has always worked well for me.
 

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Try using MEAT at one of your bait locations. When A bear starts on meat, they don't like to go back to sweets. Protein is what they are after before hibernation. When the scat turns gray-ish they've been eating meat. This really helps when the mast crop is good and drawing in bear is hard.

I still remember sitting in the back of a pickup chucking chickens every 50 yards or so to the side of the road...

"Why am I doing this?

Outfitter..'cause this is a dead site and needs a jump start.

Chicken Chucking...Ok, but why down the road and only 100 yards in each direction?

Outfitter..'cause I'm letting the wind do my work for me..the road funnels the scented air for miles.

Wont they just eat the meat on the road and just wonder off? The stand in about 40 or 50 yards in and it only has less than a bucket of meat in there..do you think that they will even be able to find the stand...?

Outfitter...turns and looks at me for several long awkward moments...Do you really think that I'd be wasting my time and reputation if it didn't work..Dont answer that..you can tell me tomorrow!

I did see a few Bear but noting that I wanted to shoot so I changed locations.

Find the largest grocery store up there and talk to the Butcher. Tell them what you are after and most often they are glad to give it away...I was surprised at how much waste there is!!

Contrary to popular belief, Bears like fresh over spoiled meat. Only take to the stand what you can comfortably carry in a 5 gallon bucket. Cover the bait with logs that should take 2 people to place. Boars will toss them all over while the sows will push them off just enough to get at it..a clue as to whats hitting the bait.

Info that I got from a Canadian with a lifetime of Bear guiding.

Mitch
 

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doesn't anyone use fish here in mi.?when i see a bear in alaska it's eating fish.
couple of 20 pound carp or a bucket of salmon guts,skins, and heads should bring em in
 

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meat and donuts at the same bait station, donuts eaten first every time. sometimes they dont touch the meat at all. it will lay there and stink unless the coons clean it up. if more donuts, cookies, dry bread with berry syrup become unavailable and no other baits in the same area have any better offerings, they will start on the meat, sugar beets,corn, carrots and everything else. although they seem to stay with the acorns, choke cherries and autum olive ect. this is just an observation of a 25 year bear baiter/hunter more a baiter than hunter as the red oak area takes 5-6 years to draw a tag. [ p.s. I have 2 hot baits with no hunters on private land]
 

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Sounds Like Mitchk2007 has the system down. I have been using baked goods and have had luck... But struck out with a spot I thought would be the productive bait.
 
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