the devil is in the details

The Beast’s of the North woods. Behaviors, Hunting Stories, Pictures, Tactics, Q&A.
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etanderson21
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the devil is in the details

Unread postby etanderson21 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:01 pm

Blue jeans Infalt does a great job providing free knowledge & tactics to hunt down mature bucks hands down and I am eternally grateful.

Here is the but statement concerning bears for this 1st time chaser...

After consuming all the youtube videos from the serial killer and also Beringer, supplemented with their bear DVDs - I am scratching my head concerning general areas to hone in on aerial maps, then put boots on the ground, and then determine if I will bait or not.

Infalt says, " bear lay down little sign" but he still scouts in April as seen with Bighunt on his 1st hunt. Beringer says to look for 4 key elements with equal importance 1) water 2) terrain features (clear cuts, lake, swamp shoreline) 3) natural foods (white oaks, raspberries, blue berries 4) access 5) if we counting a fifth, then competition/pressure.

I can look at a 30,000 acres of public land and scratch off 90% of it, find secluded oaks, find waist high rubs in the off season, and hunt down hot sign & find that mature buck but it seems like less importance is spent on aerial scouting/boots on ground and showing the DIY hunter how to determine if an area is a good spot to drop $500+ to bear bait for a season. Perhaps I am spoiled with Squires, Mario, Rentmeester, and Dan showing so many examples of areas where typical/overlook mature bucks are bedded, I am having a harder time for bear.

Considering a DIY by myself 2021 non quota bear (public) hunt in central MN or may draw area 51(public) with a 3rd pref. point this year. But all in all, my goal is to get close to a bear's bedding area so he has a short distance to walk in daylight hours for my cutthroat to penetrate both lungs.

Once this is done and I have areas to focus on, then I can worry about baiting tactics/setups which both Infalt & Beringer go into great detail which I believe I better understand as it correlates to beast hunting.

Can you guys get this hunter in the right mindset?!


"you just have to PAY your dues" Stanley Schmidt :dance:
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:55 pm

If your hunting no quota public, the first thing I'd scout is other hunters sign, hard to find a good spot without existing baits. Also run 3 baits don't settle on just one. There is alot of competition on no quota public, but if you do your homework it can be done!
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby 218er » Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:00 pm

I hunt the same areas and I can tell you the no quota is extremely competitive with baiters. 50/50 on public land there will be another bait site within 300-500 yards. The most important thing is to get your bait site in an area where bears feel comfortable in daylight. Oak points that protrude into swampy wetland areas with scrub brush and dogwood fit the bill. It needs to near water. Start with as many sites as your can handle and go by trial and error. Honestly there are a lot of bears around. Getting them on the site in daylight and not having somebody else on top of you are the keys.
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Mike Foss » Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:57 am

etanderson.... a bear's bedding area will change drastically once bait stations hit the ground, bears will eventually decide what bait stations over others they will commit to on a regular basis. Public land baiting can be frustrating but don't back out just because someone else is near, let your trail cameras do the talking for you, your bait station set up might be favorable over others for that specific mature bear you are hunting. Scouting in the spring can be very misleading, especially when there is no foliage out yet, so keep an open mind and visualize what it will look like during August. I believe your tree stand set up is the most important part of your hunt, you can be in the best bear hunting area ever but if the setup isn't almost perfect (wind directions, human concealment, etc) you could be just be wasting your time. I don't know what the rules and regulations are for Minnesota but have at least 3 bait stations and don't hesitate to during the season to start a new one or move the existing one a few yards away, sometimes those new bait stations are the best. Good Luck
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby headgear » Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:59 am

Not a bear hunter but every now and then I find some bears marking up trees next to big swamps, usually 4-7 feet off the ground. Something to keep any eye out for, some seem to get scratched up more than one year. I have also found a few bear beds over the years, big use 10-12 food circles of matted down grass on a swamp edge, much harder to find but you never know.
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby etanderson21 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:19 am

thanks guys!
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:23 am

Great question. I think I can help you see the issue of bear's bedding area a little more clearly. It's really a different notion than the way deer choose bedding areas. A deer can be quite predictable where they bed, but a bear can travel widely, and his food sources can change a lot more often. Rather than have a defined bedding area for the long term, a bear is likely to bed near a food source and that can change from day to day. Think of it this way, a bear is feeding on say, acorns, and it gets daylight and he has his belly full. He's likely to just look around and seek out some suitable cover, usually a dark, damp and cool area. He'll just lay up there rather than head back to a place he has felt secure in the past as a deer is more likely to do.

It's always a good idea to keep in mind the significant differences between the overall mindset between a predator like a bear, who generally has little to fear as he goes about his daily routine, versus a deer who basically lives on the edge of panic all the time. Bears tend to bed for comfort, while deer prioritize security.

So the good news in all this is that you don't really have to find sign, you just need to find those habitat features mentioned earlier. Factor in the hunting pressure and where others are baiting. Pick a spot where good water and cool bedding is nearby the bait site and they'll use it once they find your bait, even if they have never used it before. So it sounds like you are putting too much weight onto current bedding cover, rather than locating the bait where the bears can utilize suitable cover near your bait.

Hope this makes sense.
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Nolte » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:38 pm

Have hunted bears with dogs for 25 years and Dad before he passed away started in the first years the season was open. In that time we also guided hunters that wanted to bait sit before the dog season opened up. To find bears you just need to find whatever food source they prefer at that time of year. In tines of more sparce food they will pattern to and hit baits like clockwork. And the more routinely you bait them the better they visit. Now when the mast crops hit in the fall or corn,, doesn't matter how much you've baited or what you're using they will drop off significantly.
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Bearman13 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:45 am

Make the bears come to you.
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Bearman13 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:46 am

Find the right habitat and make the bears come to you.
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby etanderson21 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:35 am

Much appreciated, thank you!


Freelance Bowhunter wrote:Great question. I think I can help you see the issue of bear's bedding area a little more clearly. It's really a different notion than the way deer choose bedding areas. A deer can be quite predictable where they bed, but a bear can travel widely, and his food sources can change a lot more often. Rather than have a defined bedding area for the long term, a bear is likely to bed near a food source and that can change from day to day. Think of it this way, a bear is feeding on say, acorns, and it gets daylight and he has his belly full. He's likely to just look around and seek out some suitable cover, usually a dark, damp and cool area. He'll just lay up there rather than head back to a place he has felt secure in the past as a deer is more likely to do.

It's always a good idea to keep in mind the significant differences between the overall mindset between a predator like a bear, who generally has little to fear as he goes about his daily routine, versus a deer who basically lives on the edge of panic all the time. Bears tend to bed for comfort, while deer prioritize security.

So the good news in all this is that you don't really have to find sign, you just need to find those habitat features mentioned earlier. Factor in the hunting pressure and where others are baiting. Pick a spot where good water and cool bedding is nearby the bait site and they'll use it once they find your bait, even if they have never used it before. So it sounds like you are putting too much weight onto current bedding cover, rather than locating the bait where the bears can utilize suitable cover near your bait.

Hope this makes sense.
"you just have to PAY your dues" Stanley Schmidt :dance:
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Re: the devil is in the details

Unread postby Mike Foss » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:32 am

Jim Wallner wrote:Make the bears come to you.
Spot on Jim!


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