Caribou Gear

Not exactly a Master "Baiter"

Erik in AK

New member
Mar 28, 2002
not killing a ram
Happy Spring to all!

Its friday afternoon and my weeks' work is done but I can't leave just yet so I thought I'd share this season's progress on "experiments in bear-baiting".

Last year was a total flop--not one single hit. But, I'm pretty sure I know why--I didn't put out enough smell. Period. I relocated to the Fairbanks area (via a 3 year stint in Mt Home ID) after 8 years in Anchorage. I baited for 3 years while living down south in an area with good populations of both Blackies and Grizbies. When I decided to try my hand at baiting I sought out the advice of a few experienced guys whose judgement I trusted. While their advice on technique varied, they all had the same warning--meat and fish smells will bring in grizzlies. I took them seriously and stuck to sweet stuff and I had bears coming in regularly the first year but they were small. In fact the only "shootin' size" bears I saw that first year were wet sows. I hauled over 300lbs of sweet grain and maple syrup during the season just to feed cubs and two year olds because my ground bait was open to everything that walked or crawled.

Over the following winter, between bear hunting books, videos, magazine articles and a bear hunting seminar I managed to pick up a few pointers about how bears relate to bait. Mainly that once conditioned to find food at a particular spot they will continue to return until the food is gone or they're driven away. The guy at the seminar stressed the importance of not letting your spot lay without bait for more than a day or two or the bears will leave and not return.
Since my chosen spot was 127 miles away, I knew I would only be able to go out twice a week. All this gave me an idea for year two(in the same spot). I rigged up a hanging bait barrel set high enough so that only a mature bear would be able to get at the bait. I wanted to conserve bait for the larger bears while simultaneously frustrating the small immature bears into moving on. Well it worked...sort of. I only got to hunt it 3 times because work got crazy, but two budies of mine killed 6 footers in consecutive nights off my stand.

I went in ten days after initial set up to check and rebait if needed. I walked the 1/2 mile into the bait and Wow! It'd been nailed by a big bear. I hurried back to the truck to get the rest of the bait and my bow. I rebaited and was about to start up the tree to my stand when I heard something moving in from the far side of the bait. I just got situated when out of the semi-darkness of the May woods in Alaska, walks a big glossy black, honest 6 footer...and I forgot to bring my quiver. I watched him for 2 hours until he moved off. I went out 3 days later only to watch some small bears not get any bait. At least that part of the theory was working out. The big boy didn't come back for me. My two bud's offered to rebait my site if they could hunt it one weekend. I said OK and they killed two good bears. I went out again one last time and saw three decent bears but they were all rubbed around the haunches. Year three was a total loss--I got deployed to Saudi two weeks after setting out my bait. My same two friends kept the site up "for me" and killed more bears.

So after all that I'm trying baiting again. Last year I stuck to tried and true and got nada! Apparently, I was being too cautious. I talked to guys baiting in the same general area as me and they all had hits and they all had ripe, foul baits.

So...I'm stinkin it up this year. I relocated a little further in and closer to water. A guy gave me 100lbs of dog food so I'm starting with that and a lot of freezer burned meat that was allowed to ripen in plastic bags for a few days first. And, since its time to get new oil for the turkey fryer I put the old "flavored" stuff on the bait along with a couple of bottles of sesame oil and vanilla.

I'm going out tomorrow so I'll let the board know how it goes.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 04-25-2003 17:10: Message edited by: Erik in AK ]</font>
Those are some excellent ideas, to bad we can't bait here..
But maybe Moosie could use a few pointers on this...Great story!!!
Erik, good Pointers... I don't know what the Magic secret is, But Those are some Good points !!! I still think the WORSE the smell the Better.... KEEP the stink a STINKING !!!!

Going up tomorrow for some Stink Refreshening

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