Provoking daytime hits...

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Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby dan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:50 am

A lot of hunters talk about putting bait out in smaller amounts to get the bears to race to the bait in daylight... While it sounds good in theory, in the upper midwest I think the bear hunting pressure is to high, and there are plenty of other baits to hit. So in retaliation we put out enough bait that they don't run out... This helps ensure nocturnal bears that don't hit in daylight. Besides the obvious of putting the bait site where bears feel safer moving in daylight, I try to keep plenty of good bait at the site so the bear gets some every time he comes in, but I also mix in a lot of special treats in small quantities to provoke "the daylight race"...
What do you guys do?


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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Schultzy » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:47 am

Agree with what you said Dan. Where I hunt the hunting pressure Is absolutely crazy with people. It's nothing to have a bait every 3 to 4 tenths. We go off the road at least a good 1/4 to 1/2 mile on foot while the others go maybe 100 yards with some using their 4 wheelers. Up till about 3 years ago we didn't stoke the baits up much. We normally through out 60 to 70 pounds per bait a weekend and off back home we went for the week. We did this every weekend until hunting opened. We now throw out right around 150lbs per bait. I'd like to up that even more but the man power Isn't there.

I got thinking about this 3 years ago and thought why not load these baits up so there's plenty of food there for them hoping they won't wonder off to the next bait 1/4 mile down the road. Another thought hit me then while thinking about this. The more bait you put out, the better chances of bringing more bear Into the bait site. More bear at a bait site makes more competition for the food. More competition means more appearances by the bear and most likely more day light shows. Since we started doing this we've had bear come Into the baits at all hours of the day allot before the hunting season and some during the hunting season. Allot of the times they just came waltzing In to see If any other bear Is around and off they would go and not even touch the bait. I'm sure allot of times they didn't even come to the bait but Instead went down wind of the bait and winded It checking to see If any other bear were there.

When hunting season roles around though our day time hits do take a hit but this did help allot with that. Every year our hope Is to have at least 2 to 3 different bear per bait hitting our baits. Usually when someone gets a bear It's usually from a bait that has multiple bear hitting It. I know one other thing though that would help us allot Is getting a better variety of bait. More bakery goods and candy stuff would help our odds Immensely I believe. I know for a fact that If I hunted an area that didn't have much for hunting pressure and poured the bait on like I do now we'd be picking out which bear to shoot. This philosophy does work.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Weasel Walker » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:13 am

We are only allowed 10 gallons by volume in Wisconsin. I am trying different baits in indivdual logs per site. Figure out which they want and then load up on it. I hoping placment is going to help as it gets closer to season. The areas are close to water in the thickest cover in proximatey to oaks. Looks good on paper I just have to let the bear know.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby dan » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:10 pm

I hoping placment is going to help as it gets closer to season. The areas are close to water in the thickest cover in proximatey to oaks.

I agree.... Placment of the bait, or proximity to the bears bedding area is probably the main ingrediant to provoking daytime hits....
I noticed when hunting with Mike his baits were placed very close to bedding and his cameras were full of big daytime bears...
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby dan » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:59 am

* VARIETY IN BAIT
* NOT OUT IN THE OPEN, NEAR THICK COVER
* AWAY FROM TRAILS, ROADS, AND PLACES HUMANS FREQUENT
* Bait midday and consistently around the same time
*Use the same trail to get to the bait and don't wander around the bait area.

I think the last one is more important than a lot of folks give credit. I have seen baits go dead or nocturnal just from a camera being placed on the back side of a bait where the hunter never walked before...

Anybody else?
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Stanley » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:59 am

I would also add to the list, the hunter if at all possible should do the baiting. Keep the same smell for the bear to get used to. I agree on using the same route to the bait and not wandering.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby dan » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:19 am

Stanley wrote:I would also add to the list, the hunter if at all possible should do the baiting. Keep the same smell for the bear to get used to. I agree on using the same route to the bait and not wandering.

I agree.. Its not always possible like in a guided situation but just like dogs bears can smell the difference between two different people.

I had the unfortunate experience of hunting bears with a guide once in Northern MN who was from Southern MN (That should of been my red flag) and his 1st order of business was to walk every client into every bait and show them every bait.... all 12 clients. Needless to say in 10 days of hunting no bears were shot.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:07 am

Hunting near secure bear bedding / dens not only promotes daytime movement but gets some age on the bears. I've never found a better example than a cedar swamp with beaver ponds and it is beyond me why more people do not target them. Whether its heavily pressured lower Michigan or the wilds of Ontario, cedar swamps keep people and dogs out... at least for the most part. They also let the bears get some age. If you take me to a decent cedar swamp that I have never been to before, I will quickly locate bear sign / trails / dens. With bedding located I set up to put things in my favor for hunting, and the bears in the cedar swamps respond. The security of these hellish swamps gets a lot of daytime movement from bears with some age and every little bit helps.

I hunt cedar swamps for deer also and it isn't uncommon for me to see bears while deer hunting, these locations are that good. Last year I had a stupid bear come in while bowhunting for whitetail after he cut my entry trail. He walked up to my tree and stared at me while prime time approached. I had to give him a little, "go on, GIT!!" before he would leave. Any bear hunter in that area would have been glad to put an arrow into him, and there was no bear bait in the area.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby dan » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:53 am

Singing Bridge wrote:Hunting near secure bear bedding / dens not only promotes daytime movement but gets some age on the bears. I've never found a better example than a cedar swamp with beaver ponds and it is beyond me why more people do not target them. Whether its heavily pressured lower Michigan or the wilds of Ontario, cedar swamps keep people and dogs out... at least for the most part. They also let the bears get some age. If you take me to a decent cedar swamp that I have never been to before, I will quickly locate bear sign / trails / dens. With bedding located I set up to put things in my favor for hunting, and the bears in the cedar swamps respond. The security of these hellish swamps gets a lot of daytime movement from bears with some age and every little bit helps.

I hunt cedar swamps for deer also and it isn't uncommon for me to see bears while deer hunting, these locations are that good. Last year I had a stupid bear come in while bowhunting for whitetail after he cut my entry trail. He walked up to my tree and stared at me while prime time approached. I had to give him a little, "go on, GIT!!" before he would leave. Any bear hunter in that area would have been glad to put an arrow into him, and there was no bear bait in the area.

I like those thick swamps that have the spongy moss bottom that when you walk into the swamp it gets dark despite the sun and the temperature drops 15 degrees... always seems to be a good bear hiding there... And what your hitting on is not that different than our deer hunting tactics. The bear will come out of there, but how far will he get in daylight? Much like the whitetails we hunt the farther we get from his living room the less your going to see him in daylight.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:53 pm

Now there is a great bump and added discussion. I am just sponging up the bear info right now, Aug 10 til I start baiting.

Thanks dan , bridge, schultzy, Stanley, and weasel walker
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Jim Wallner » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:02 pm

I load up the baits right away. See what's coming in and start picking and choosing. Then 5 gallon pail a time. Few days before openor 2-3 gallons of real good treats.

On my ATV hunts I load the baits heavy and run every 4-5 days.
Biggest thing is switching baits bears get sick of certain baits fast.
Cedar swamps, spruce swamps, beaver flows, thick alder pine choked creek and river bottoms are all bear hotspots. Anyplace DARK. I mean where it's dark 30 minutes before it's dark.

You're gonna kill bigger bears baiting heavy 1-3 times a week. No human presence is a big thing. Bears are like people they have different personalities. No two bears are the same. You can't hunt bear like deer. It's weird my biggest client kill was on a county road in a block of timber bordered by houses. And the lady called and told me there's a bigger one moved in now.

The longer your stations are sites are established the better they are. I have sites that are as old as me and the bears check them year round. Gonna be lots of food again in the woods this fall.

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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:27 am

Jim Wallner wrote:
Cedar swamps, spruce swamps, beaver flows, thick alder pine choked creek and river bottoms are all bear hotspots. Anyplace DARK. I mean where it's dark 30 minutes before it's dark.
[ Post made via iPhone ] Image


Those are excellent locations for bear and what I look for as well. Topo's and aerials can get you pointed in the right direction, followed by you hitting the ground and running with it. 8-)
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby ihookem » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:00 pm

W e have very few cedar swamps where I hunt. We do have tagelder and I think they might be better yet. Noone walks through tagelder swamps when it s wet. Bear will lay right in the water. Keeps em cool and bugs off them. I know of good spots I won't use cause it's so far back in the woods. The sout east side of a big tagelder swamp is a very good spot if the bait is still in reall thick under brush. Like , so thick it is dark before closing. Iv'e seen many bait sights in the last 25 yrs in Price and Sawyer co. Almost all of them are in BAD SPOTS! Mostly open hardwoods not even close to water. These spots work real well,,,,, til opening day. If you have a guy inside 1/2 mi. with good baits and near a swamp or " crick with a beaver pond and high grass, tag elder, and tamerack he will get the bear on the trail cam that you are praying for, or at least has much better chances than you . This is why you hear guys say ,, " they were comng in real good ,,, then one little guy on opening evening ,,,, then they shut down completely""" Last time we hunted bear was 2 yrs ago. Opening day was Sept. 5. The leaves were already falling like crazy. The woods were opening up with light to some degree. Bears like dark , swampy tangled messes and if the leaves come off from a hard rain or wind and your only spot is in a bare hardwood stand you will be lucky to see a 100 lb bear. I have made this mistake.
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Re: Provoking daytime hits...

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:47 am

great point, ihookem. The darker the better it seems.


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