Bear Bait Site Selection

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Mnbearbaiter
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Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby Mnbearbaiter » Wed May 15, 2019 6:18 am

So I've scoured over GE and my OnX app of area I plan to bait. I do have a couple spots for winds that aren't out of the primarily southerly direction that north central MN usually experiences in Sept with our other 4 sites basically catered to some sort of southerly winds or crosswind based on where I "believe" the bears will travel? Most access to/from baits is from a paralleling southerly or eastern direction. Most baits are setup to basically catch bears on their normal travel routes like thick timbered ridges between low swampy wetlands. With this however I realize that the wind really won't be in my favour as much to broadcast scent of my bait compared to when I'm hunting. Plan is to bait heavy and on weekends with the 5hr run I have from where i live. I'm a lil concerned about the prevailing winds not really helping advertise my baits, but then again winds aren't going to be the same for those 2wks of baiting prior to hunting either? Cold fronts, etc will have northerly or easterly winds that drift scent to different areas on those days vs the normal southerly drift that occurs thus opening doors to other bear areas. So with all that...setup for hunting/egress on likely travel routes or to broadcast to thicker/larger timber patches? I will do a burn, hang stink lure, spray scent, used fryer oil, etc and usually like an opening or some sort of barrier behind stand to deter bear circling downwind while I'm on stand. Thoughts guys???


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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby homelessadam » Wed May 15, 2019 10:42 am

Not sure where you’re hunting in Minnesota but the areas I’ve Hunted in 24 and 31 it really doesn’t matter hunting pressure is so light and the bear populations are so high that if you bait one week and come back a week later your baits will get hit. Can’t remember ever having one go untouched in a weeks time. I’ve baited on a Saturday in a new spot and checked them on a Sunday to find them hit.

My drive is a bit longer than yours and the problem becomes keeping bait there for the bears as they come to the site between the weekends. We put out way more bait than most guys and it still is cleaned out on active sites in a weeks time. But they don’t abandon a bait site if they have a variety of good bait the majority of time they come there so if it’s empty just fill it back up and the bears won’t skip a beat.

For me I worry more about sites that bears will be comfortable coming to in daylight. And to me that means think cover on the edge of even thicker cover. We hunt off the ground and a 30 yard shot is very long.

Ideally I like a wind in my face with me sitting between the bait and the road and the thickest cover around on the other side of the bait.
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby dan » Wed May 15, 2019 11:04 am

I put my baits on the edges of the swamps where I suspect bear bedding rather than in the woods between areas. If your down low near the swamp your scent will pull down into the swamps with the dropping thermals no matter what way the winds normally blow.
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby 218er » Wed May 15, 2019 12:30 pm

Based on the thermals, at the end of the day your scent will mostly drift towards the swamp- water. Depending how far you are off of a logging or access road you can drag a scent or spray trees as you go to advertise scent trails to your site. I hunt off dirt roads that are sometimes gated and drag dripping syrup bottles, fling frosting in trees, drip grease, throw trail mix into the woods sporadically, or spray oil based scents on trees as I go. At your actual site the higher you get things up a tree the further the scents will travel. The closer you are to so thick you can’t walk and nearly need to crawl the better your chances for daylight action. Avoid open areas where you can see further. The more work you put into building a crib with more layers the better chance your bait will last between refills. Set up under a full canopy to avoid crows raiding your bait pile.
Persistence is undefeated.
Mnbearbaiter
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby Mnbearbaiter » Wed May 15, 2019 2:45 pm

Baited/hunted bears several times in the past, but was more novice than I knew and we still did pretty well. Be hunting in 28 this year. Most of my sites ive decided to investigate through escouting are higher ground between low lying areas or saddles where I expect all animals would walk through? Cover appears to be very thick via satellite views? Most sites are a 250-300yd or so walk off of nearest road or trail as crow flies. Last time I hunted I did implement the open backdrop downwind of my stand to try and reduce bear winding me and I honestly believe it helped me as wind switched slightly from a west to a southwest wind right at 7:30pm. Open area 20yds behind stand was ">" shaped with my stand right inside of the point. I saw bear walk north of me out of range in thick cover, but he instantly stopped the minute he was about to bust out into the open cover. He then walked directly to bait from that northern arm of the open cover and right to my 50cal ml.
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby dan » Wed May 15, 2019 9:37 pm

Mnbearbaiter wrote:Baited/hunted bears several times in the past, but was more novice than I knew and we still did pretty well. Be hunting in 28 this year. Most of my sites ive decided to investigate through escouting are higher ground between low lying areas or saddles where I expect all animals would walk through? Cover appears to be very thick via satellite views? Most sites are a 250-300yd or so walk off of nearest road or trail as crow flies. Last time I hunted I did implement the open backdrop downwind of my stand to try and reduce bear winding me and I honestly believe it helped me as wind switched slightly from a west to a southwest wind right at 7:30pm. Open area 20yds behind stand was ">" shaped with my stand right inside of the point. I saw bear walk north of me out of range in thick cover, but he instantly stopped the minute he was about to bust out into the open cover. He then walked directly to bait from that northern arm of the open cover and right to my 50cal ml.

Yep the open area tactic is one that has worked well for me many times... You gotta look at it like this: You can kill bears anywhere... But your not going to kill giant old bores everywhere. If you want to up your game the way to do it is to not put the baitys where the bears have to travel to them, thick or not... But rather you pick locations where the bear would want to lay down close to the bait and gaurd it from smaller bears eating it... My baits have big bears come in all day long. A lot of the time I will have my baits getting pounded by a lot of bears at 1st, then you will see it slow down when a big bore takes it over and scares off a lot of the other bears. In early September when its hot out they prefer dense thick, cool swamp edges, on the edge of hardwoods. Thick areas that were logged not many years ago to the edge of a swamp can be increadable... Can you still kill a bear 500 yards from there? Sure... If thats the kind of bear you want to shoot. I have seen baits doulble and or triple the number of hits or the amount of daylight hits just by relocating them 50 to 100 yards. Placment is critical if you want to step up to shooting giants. Especially in areas that have a short baiting window and don't have established bait spots used year after year.
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Thu May 16, 2019 4:27 am

Some good advice in the comments above particularly regarding choosing a place where the mature boars will be comfortable moving about in the daylight, and the importance of having water nearby. Here's a couple videos that offer suggestions.


https://youtu.be/lwGhtZyHtZA

https://youtu.be/PKUiAef8BOw
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby Bearman13 » Sat May 18, 2019 2:41 pm

I run a lot of baits. I try to set up the majority of my baits for some sort of West and southerly wind system. We do get some wind out of the east in the fall so I always have a few baits set up for east wind. I’ve had some baits that are 20-30 years old and draw lots of bears that’s a big difference.
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby dan » Sat May 18, 2019 11:06 pm

Jim Wallner wrote:I run a lot of baits. I try to set up the majority of my baits for some sort of West and southerly wind system. We do get some wind out of the east in the fall so I always have a few baits set up for east wind. I’ve had some baits that are 20-30 years old and draw lots of bears that’s a big difference.

Its amazing to see the way bears remember bait sites... It has always been interesting and somewhat surprising to see the same bears hitting my MN bait sites when they don't get baited for several years... Especially when the baiting window is so short.
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Re: Bear Bait Site Selection

Unread postby Bearman13 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm

Dan, you’d be surprised if you hung a camera how many of those same bears visit those sites on and off through the course of the summer.


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