Bear bait questions?

  • Jason
    Posts: 627

    I plan on hunting bear for the first time this year on my relatives property inside the no-quota zone. Based on prior sightings I’m expecting to have 3-5 local bear on the property.
    Questions I have for now are-

    How often should you bait?
    Approx how much bait per day will it take to keep them in the area?
    Best way to place bait – stump, 1/2 barrel or ground,
    What kind of baits will keep in storage containers/drums without being refrigerated and or frozen?

    Just trying to get a game plan put together and figure out what and how much we might need.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Craig Thompson
    Roberts WI
    Posts: 31

    A couple of years ago my wife shot a bear, we went around to doughnut shops and asked for the ones they were going to throw away. We also went to restaurants and asked for old cooking oil. Her father checked the bait once a day and he used a hollowed out stump, make sure to place a sheet of ply wood under the stump or the coons will dig under and get the bait. Pour some cooking oil around the bait the coons and bears will get the grease on their feet and spread the smell around the woods.

    Posts: 750

    Never hunted bear. But the land I deer hunt on has several bear hunters each year. The owner told me about a method they use with used cooking oil. They put it in a 5 gallon bucket. And then hang it about 6′ off the ground. The theory is the bear will smell the oil and will investigate and when he messes with the bucket the oil spills on the bear and then it spreads the smell through the woods leading back to the bait.

    Hudson, Wi
    Posts: 3363

    Are you hunting WI or MN? I think the baiting rules are different in each state. I hunted WI and helped buddies in WI. How often? Depends how often they eat it all? Could be weekly or daily? You don’t want them to run out of food and go find someone elses bait. I was only putting out 3 – 5 gallons of cookies and other sweets. I put my bait in a hollow log. I used mainly cookies. They kept in drums for about 6 weeks and were fine. I bought my bait from a cookie factory in River Falls. I will hunt them again this year (my second time with a tag). I plan to buy my bait in bulk from one of the bait dealers.

    Here are the WI regs. Sorry for the poor formatting.

    REGULATIONS ON BAITING1. Bait may be placed and used for the purpose of hunting bear or training bear dogs statewide*, except that no person may place, use, or hunt over bait placed for bears:• Beginning the day after the bear season closes and continuing through the following April 14th.• In excess of 10 gallons of bait at any baiting site.• That is not totally enclosed in a hollow log, a hole in the ground, or stump, and is capped with logs, rocks, or other naturally occurring and unprocessed substances which prevent deer from accessing the material. Liquid scent used for hunting of bear or training bear dogs does not need to be enclosed, but is part of the 10 gallon limit.• Unless, when the bait site is checked or re-baited, all bait that has been uncovered is again enclosed and made inaccessible to deer.• *Note: Baiting of any sort is not allowed on lands managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.2. Additionally, no person may place, use, or hunt over bait that:• Contains or is contained within metal, paper, plastic, glass, processed wood, or other similar processed materials. A processed wood bottom may be affixed to a hollow log or stump using adhesive, nails, or screws for the purpose of containing bear bait or feed.• Contains any animal part or animal by-product.• Is located within 50 yards of any trail, road, or campsite used by the public, or within 100 yards of a roadway having a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour or more.• Is contained in or replenished or deposited by an automatic, mechanical, or gravity feeder.3. No person may hunt over bait material placed for bear without possessing a valid unused Class A bear license and carcass tag.4. No person may hunt or train dogs over bait that is in violation of these regulations, unless the area is completely free of bait or feed material for at least 10 consecutive days prior to hunting, pursuing animals, or dog training.Note: Removal of unlawfully placed bait or feed material does not preclude the issuance of a citation for the original placement of the unlawful baiting or feeding material.

    Posts: 627

    Sorry. I forgot to mention that I will be hunting in NW MN. Sounds like I need to start saving my deep fryer grease. My uncle will be onsite and doing the baiting since it’s only a 4 wheeler drive away for him. I was unsure if a few bears would clean up a 5 gallon pail in a day or a week??

    Posts: 340

    If you have cell service where you hunt, buy cell cameras and you’ll know when you need bait. I had one year when I baited daily and couldn’t get enough out. I had a year where I bought 1200 lbs and they never ate any, but I shot a 400 lb male. It was the first night they came to my bait. Personally I wouldn’t start baiting too early. They get full and loose interest before the season starts. That’s my experience the two times I’ve bear hunted.

    Park Rapids Mn.
    Posts: 157

    I,m a baker and a lot of bear hunters ask for the day old, one guy buys 100lbs of powder sugar and a pint of anise oil from me and mixes that up and spreads it over the day old , another guy stores all the day old in a drum and compresses it and says just the top layer has mold after a year another thing is most bakeries just put the old oil in a rendering vat but maybe some would put it in buckets for you another place to try to get cooking oil is the deli departments.

    cold spring mn
    Posts: 9018

    Never hunted bear. But the land I deer hunt on has several bear hunters each year. The owner told me about a method they use with used cooking oil. They put it in a 5 gallon bucket. And then hang it about 6′ off the ground. The theory is the bear will smell the oil and will investigate and when he messes with the bucket the oil spills on the bear and then it spreads the smell through the woods leading back to the bait.

    get one of those super soaker water guns. Put the grease in that and shoot it up in the trees. That will shoot it up 20 ft

    I’ve used bread, with grease and molasses rolled oats are good stuff to use.

    Posts: 114

    Not a bear hunter, but my son uses cheap dog food, grease and oil from cooking. He seems to have pretty good success.

    cold spring mn
    Posts: 9018

    Old smelly cooking oil and grease is good for attracting bear and that’s it’s main purpose. Nothing wrong with adding it to whatever bait your using but you don’t want to overdo it so the animal gets sick from in it and doesn’t return!!

    Red Eye
    Posts: 843

    There’s 2 theory’s.
    First one says don’t give them to much. You don’t want them to get full and not come back for a few days. And that it creates competition between bears to be the first one there.
    Second one says to feed them as much as they want. You never want a bear to come to a empty bait and not get rewarded.
    I guess I’m kinda somewhere in the middle. I usually bait every other day. Sometimes 1-5gal pail full, sometimes 2-6gal pails. Depends how many bears you’re feeding. Trail cam is a must. Doesn’t pay to keep feeding just sows and cubs. Without cam you’d never know.
    Big thing I find is get a Variety of bait. Not all bears like the same thing. Sometimes competition from someone else baiting can kill your site. Bears will travel a long way between baits, even in the same night. I use barrels chained to a tree with a volleyball size hole in it. Kees the bait dry and they have to work harder at it keeping them at the site longer.
    Check out Bow Hunting Road on YouTube. Bernie has lots of good tips and has killed and guided a lot of bears.

    (507) MN
    Posts: 119

    if you use meat hang in the tree high in burlap sack you can judge bear size from the height of the claw marks and avoid the wolves that way works much better running test sites rather than baiting!

    I also use the pit with log method but add big rocks to the pit with grease (takes them more time at the bait to lick all the rocks!) and cut all logs to 4′ long to accurately size the bear any bear longer than the logs is a shooter size bear that way you avoid new hunters shooting cubs/year old’s!

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