Make em Hungry

The Beast’s of the North woods. Behaviors, Hunting Stories, Pictures, Tactics, Q&A.
Mike Foss
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Make em Hungry

Unread postby Mike Foss » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:46 pm

I don't care how long one has been a DIY bear hunter or one who Guides bear hunters etc, there is always something new to learn year after year about bears habits and behaviors. This past week was no exception for me and has extremely reinforced what I have believed in for years. Now Dan the Beast Infalt and I have had discussions about this very same topic many times and under certain circumstance's, as his, in his DIY bear hunts, the distance for travel time, etc ect ect it would make sense.

As a Bear Guide you start to develop your own strategies over the years, some work and some don't, its always a learning experience. When you look back over the years patterns start to develop and that's when you start to figure these animals out. I will get to the point of the story soon. I am very angry at myself for letting my guard down, for not following my set of bear rules that I live by, I feel I let down and cost this past bear hunter a bear of a life time. I ignored my theory of "Make em Hungry" don't over bait and they will come during legal shooting times.

This week one bait station called the "Big Cedar Bait" which was not hunted and has not been baited for a week and a half due to a logging operation going on near by. With other bait stations getting pounded I decided to fire it back up (Big Cedar Bait) and check the camera that was left there. With Two buckets (10 gallons full legal limit in WI) I once again made the long walk down into the cedar swamp. Mistake #1...I placed the bait and took the trail camera chip out without looking "Mistake #2" at it first and replaced it with a new one and walked out. When I got done baiting that day I reviewed the Cuddeback footage at home and was very surprised that every day this giant of a bear was checking the big cedar bait every day and during legal shooting time. I decided to place the hunter on this stand, I brought him in at 7:00 am and the bait was totally gone, I grabbed the trail camera chip re-baited, gave him the thumbs up with high expectations. He sat all day with No bear No show that night.

After reviewing the footage of the first day I fired it back up, the big bear showed up at 4:30 PM. If I would have reviewed the photos, which I normally do, before I baited I would have never baited the full 10 gallons, I would have only baited with about 3 gallons making it just enough to wet his appetite. While reviewing the photos that bear stayed at that bait until 5:03 AM eating off and on until finishing off all the bait. The big bear was full for the day and never came back that night until 9:30 PM.

With your committed bears I am a firm believer if you bait with to much bait in time they figure it out that they can go there anytime and feast, if you bait with less bait, enough to keep them satisfied but still hungry, they will come back often and in daylight hours. We have had great success and killed some giants using this strategy.

I have another hunter coming up on Tuesday, we will bait the Big Cedar tomorrow, Sunday and when I bring the hunter in on Tuesday but only enough not to make him full but make him come back more often. Will let everyone Know how it turns out.

Mike


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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:56 pm

Sounds like a great strategy. Hope it brings success to the hunter! 8-)

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Stanley
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Stanley » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:05 pm

I agree 100% a hungry bear, is a lurking bear.
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: Make em Hungry

Unread postby djl » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:56 am

Thanks for sharing that tip.
Best of luck to your next hunter.
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Bearman13 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:10 am

Mike,

One thing I've learned the hard way over the years. Never morning hunt. No matter what camera tells you. And I don't let clients sit all day. If I only had morning pics, that would be one thing. The patterns I see are, some early morning, mid afternoon, an the late evening an late at night. So we sit from 3 till dark thirty. I've found most hunters can only handle a 4 hour sit at most.

As far as baiting. I only put out more than 10-15 gallons of bait on the first baiting day. after that i scale way down. from 5 gallons all the way to 1-2 gallons an a few larger treats you could say. i want to keep them hungry. Loading up the site an by know they can eat when they want.

That's one of the reasons I hate cookie dough unless in small pieces. It fills them up fast. 19 years of baiting an I learn every season. I always do something different it never fails. If we stop N watch an listen the animals will teach us. Not saying I know better than he next guy. But I'm pretty darn successful with the methods I use.

If I hunt super remote if we need wheelers we bait every other day. Then we give them a little more. Maybe 8 gallons. This dumping 300 pounds out makes no sense to me. Yes it works once in awhile. I know is like to see Minnesota to to 10 or 5 gallon limit.

Jim

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PLB
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby PLB » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:10 am

Jim Wallner wrote:Mike,

One thing I've learned the hard way over the years. Never morning hunt. No matter what camera tells you. And I don't let clients sit all day. If I only had morning pics, that would be one thing. The patterns I see are, some early morning, mid afternoon, an the late evening an late at night. So we sit from 3 till dark thirty. I've found most hunters can only handle a 4 hour sit at most.

As far as baiting. I only put out more than 10-15 gallons of bait on the first baiting day. after that i scale way down. from 5 gallons all the way to 1-2 gallons an a few larger treats you could say. i want to keep them hungry. Loading up the site an by know they can eat when they want.

That's one of the reasons I hate cookie dough unless in small pieces. It fills them up fast. 19 years of baiting an I learn every season. I always do something different it never fails. If we stop N watch an listen the animals will teach us. Not saying I know better than he next guy. But I'm pretty darn successful with the methods I use.

If I hunt super remote if we need wheelers we bait every other day. Then we give them a little more. Maybe 8 gallons. This dumping 300 pounds out makes no sense to me. Yes it works once in awhile. I know is like to see Minnesota to to 10 or 5 gallon limit.

Jim

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Good post.. I agree!

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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby dan » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:41 am

Actually Jim,
I hunt the same area as you in MN and I do quite well using a lot of bait at some of my sites... I do use a variety though so if they want certain treats they need to get there 1st... I try to get lots of bears hitting each bait, then the bigger bears start guarding the baits and bed close by, The smaller bears start hitting midday to avoid the bigger bears and then the bigger bears start coming in midday. I don't have a lot of luck with this if my baits are "random" but if they are placed where bears normally call home it works quite well... I had a new bait this year that the bears were eating 100 pounds of bait a day and bears were there all day and night. 5 pounds of bait would of sent most of those bears packing looking elsewhere for food.
Bottom line is, every different bait site is different, has different bears, and different obstacles. Sometimes you need to bait less, sometimes more...
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Bearman13 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:49 am

Logistics I understand for DIY hunters. But I believe in routine. Constant routine. I know for a fact I pull bear away from DIY hunters baiting once a week. Not saying your way is wrong or doesn't work, it does.

I had an average of 3 different bears per bait site.
A year like we had for natural food a guy had to stay on top of them.

That placing large amounts of bait out once a week when the woods are barren of food, that baits gone I. A day or two. Then there gone, not that they won't be back but they will stumble upon other baits also.

I stick with a solid routine.

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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Bearman13 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:51 am

It's like the old saying, never leave fish to find fish!

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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Stanley » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:23 am

I kind of agree on hunting afternoon until dark. I think partly because I always baited in the mornings for one. I always made sure the same person ran the same bait stations. The bears know where the meal is coming from. They smell the same person and get used to that one guy. Always kept the bears hungry also. I always liked to use big cow bones, not much food and keeps them around looking for more.

I guess everyone has a technique. Seams like they all work. If you have bears hitting the baits all is good. If you don't it's not so good. It also make a difference spring or fall. In the spring the bears stomachs are smaller and they feed on grass a lot. So lots of bait would be unnecessary. In the fall the bears are stoking up for the winter and more bait will work.
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: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Bearman13 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:37 am

Baits are run between 10am an no later than 4pm. Period. Cameras are not checked on site they are pulled an replaced on the spot. In and out. No dinking around. Same sprays or whatever is used at the same sites never changed or mixed.

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Mike Foss
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Mike Foss » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:26 am

Unlike MN, being over hunted, to many tags (competition) being given out, they are getting better, Wisconsin has allot of bears, the bears have adapted too, if they don't get to the bait stations the food will be gone, my cameras have reassured me nice bears can be killed in the AM and that's why we hunt mornings. Always remember what happens in WI doesn't necessarily work in MN or else where.
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby BuckTrack81 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:25 am

Thanks for the post, makes sense to me....

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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby Schultzy » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:55 am

Its a great way to bait! I'd love to use the make em hungry style of baiting but it's almost impossible with the high number of baiters/hunters here where I hunt in Minnesota. Back in the day (25+ years ago) when the bear hunters were far less we used this strategy and it worked well with these pain in the but bears that would come in at night or every couple days. Now we just sit there and whine about these huge monster night hitters. lol!

Good luck Mike. Looking forward to the outcome!!
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Re: Make em Hungry

Unread postby john1984 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:55 pm

Good thread. Lots of good bear hunters divided on this competition thing. Clay Newcomb, Bernie Barringer and Dan Infalt all believe the more the merrier.

I would think weight matters also. 10 gallons of fruit loops or popcorn don't weigh hardly anything.


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