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Check your Utah regs. I'm pretty sure you can't bait bears in Utah. Unless I'm mistaken Alaska and Idaho are still the only states that allow bear baiting.
If I'm correct you can still spot and stalk whic is a very enjoyable way to hunt. I recommend south and west facing slopes with water and cover. These areas green up faster and early bears feed mostly on grass for the first two weeks out of the den.
Kodiak, Eric is right about checking your regs. You probably already know if baiting is legal or not. 13 years ago when I lived in Utah it was legal.
As far as baits the things to check is whether you are allowed to use processed foods or not. Here in Wyoming some of the areas allow it and some don`t.
If they allow processed food for baits hit all the grocery stores and make friends with the meat cutters and bakery people, and also the produce people. Usually a smile and appreciative attitude does wonders.
If not allowed call any ranchers you may know and some will let you take away there dead calves, and go catch a bunch of trash fish if available.
Try to find a out of the way place that has cover close by, water close by and not any disturbing traffic from hiker,mountain bikers etc. Get it out, get it stinking and see what happens.
I was very basic on this because I didn`t know how much you know. I hope there was something in all this that might help, plus what information others will give.
Good luck! WH
Here are a couple ideas that have worked for me. I will be running around 25-30 baits this spring and they are alot of work to say the least. Main concern when most people start a bait is cost. Go see your local restaurants and see what you can do about getting a pile of their old five gallon pickel/mayo/etc buckets. Most won't save table scraps for you because of health regulations. But they may dump their grease once or twice a week and you can get that if you come pick it up right away.
Take the buckets to the local butcher and ask him if he will start filling them for you if you come pick them up every day or every other day. Kentucky Fried Chicken joints have great grease so if someone is close and can get buckets it works great. If you can't get buckets go buy a few of the rubbermaid trash cans and you can have the butcher put the scraps in them but they can be hard to move. A 5 gallon bucket will weigh about 30 lbs so the 35's are 7 times that and are tough to move. If you are short on 5's it is also handy to dump your grease into a 55 gallon barrel, but you need some place sunny or warm to put it as the stuff will set up quick.
Grain is reasonable, cheaper than dog food and the bears will like it as much if ya dump a little grease or mollases on it. Cheap maple syrup is a hit too. Take your post hole digger out and dig a post hole about 30-40 inches deep and fill it with a mixture of maple syrup and popped popcorn or grain/oats. What this will do is keep a bear occupied if they come in and your barrel or bait is cleaned out.
Popcorn is a real cheap "filler" for your baits. You can go to Cosco and buy 5 lb bags for about $3.00 and they will pop out to fill about a 35 gallon trask can. Get in contact with your largest bakery and ask if you can come pick up two and three day old stuff. You will have some competition for this if there is bear hunters around or hog farmers.
What we do is this. Put a layer of about 3 inches thick of meat scraps in the bottom of the bucket, then dump a little grease/popcorn mix about six-eight inches thick over the meat scraps, put a six inch or so layer of donuts/bread and dump some mollases or syrup and grain mix on this. Two of these buckets a day will take care of most baits. The ticket here is the meat on the bottom will be heavier than the crap on top of it and will push the grease mix and mollases out and it will all come out without spending 10 minutes trying to dig it out with a stick. If the bait runs out during the night and a bear comes in he will dig to China trying to get at the last bit of syrup mix in your hole so it will keep him busy and coming back.
When we start baits we will use Knock-Out Bear Lure from James Valley scents. We also use the "Sow in Heat" from James Valley. The Knock Out and Bear Buster is RIPE! It works just like the rotten mink carcasses and rotten beaver carcasses with out all the lovely handling. It is in a paste and you glob it on a rag and hang it in a tree. A tube if it is around 12 bucks and will work to open about 8 baits. They also make some stuff called Sweet Tooth and works good to "burn" to put sweet smell and smoke in the air. What works good is take a coffee can and punch some vent holes along the bottom edge. Put a good layer of brickettes in the bottom and get them burning. Put some of this Sweet Tooth crap in a small tuna can and drop it on top of the hot coals and let it perk. It will smoke to beat heck and carry around real well. Pour a little on the coals too. Last plug for James Valley (no I don't have stock in the company!LOL) is their Sow in heat piss. Good stuff IF you have an active bait already, not real effective just squirting the stuff all over and waiting for a bear to come in.
Last little tid bit and I'll shut the hell up. A spray bottle with a teaspoon of anise oil, one cup of vanilla and about 3 cups of water and mist is around the area will leave a nice sweet smell and may help, can't hurt. Also we dump about 5 gallons of grease in front of the bait so the bears walk through it. Gets their feet full of grease and when they walk around other bears will cut their track and hopefully follow it in.
Good luck, baiting is a pain in the A$$ but alot of fun.
happy hunting, Casey
Eric in AK, you are largely mistaken. Bears can be baited in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah (although limited), Arizona (on the reservations), Wyoming, and Maine. There may be a couple more but those are the states that come to mind right off the top of my head.
Baiting is legal in Utah, but I will have to register one and only one station with the DRW.
Casey thanks… “Kodiak” AKA Scott
1 Pointer, I didn’t draw on any hunts this year except for the Bear. This is my 2nd year of the dedicated program so I will be hunting Dear during Archery, Muzzleloader and Rifle, plus my Archery Elk. With that and the bear I think I will be able to break in a new pair of boots.
Will they allow you to use calling scents or will they consider this a bait location. You might consider getting some stinky stuff and marking some trees to see if you can get a bear to come in and tear up the area a bit. One bait is pretty limitting, but depending on how much time you have to maintain it, one well maintained bait is better than three that you don't keep stocked. Look for somewhere close to water and heavy cover and you should have a great hunt. happy hunting, Casey
Good Luck!!! I recently found out that I'll be in state a little while longer so I plan on enrolling in the Dedicated Hunter program next year. Haven't decided what to try for this year, but will more than likely hunt Muley's with a rifle and possiblly elk.