Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

selecting a bait site


Dec 17, 2000
Bountiful, Utah
Could some of you experienced bear hunters advise a newcomer to different methods of selecting a bait site? Here in WY it is illegal to hunt with hounds (which is what I would rather do), so baiting it will be. What types of terrain do you look for, what types of sign are left behind, etc. I have a couple of general areas picked out, but I want to narrow it down a bit.

Thanks in advance
Wyoming Tim
Tim, like with any baiting of game animals, the key is starting your bait where there already is good bear sign! Much easier to pattern them where they are, rather than trying to "pull" them into an area!
I will Have to Agree W/ D.S. As of Any Game, There must be some in that location. If there is It isn't any in the Area then You are wasting your time. A good Way to find out is Look for random Overturned rocks, broken rotten logs and of course bear droppings (SCAT). Scat can look different at different times of the year but basically looks like Human Fesis but usually bigger and if there diet has a bunch of grass/berries then it could be more of a "pile".

That being said And you know Bear are in the AREA, I would also check out a couple of other things. There are rules in Idaho that state you have to be certain distances from roads and water and Have to use a ground pit or a 55 Gal drum chained to a tree.

We like to Bait Downhill from the road. Here's why. I only have to Carry ONE or TWO bears out from the bait site but have to bring in thousands of pounds of bait during the Season. I hoof it all on my own and don't use horses so that's my theory. Also it is Easier to approach a bait site from the Top incase a bear happens to be already on that site.

NOW, I look for thick places. Bears feel more comfortable if they can approach the bait site under "cover". You should be in an area that has plenty of cover yet able to see far enough to see a bear coming it.

Are you Going to hunt w/ a bow or gun, Are you planning to dig a pit or use a tree stand?

We have in the Past used Stands and Ground blinds. This year will be a stand w/ the Bow. I have taken my 3 bears in the last 3 years w/ a rifle and I think it's time for the Bow.

Bait.....Is another key. There are several ways to do this. We use Barrels. We cut the lids off for an opening and Use hinges to put them back on. Then we have chains holding the Lids so they only open part way. By next week I will take some pictures and post them here. I had promised that earlier but have been busy
. We have used cheese and bread in the past. There was a cheese factory that we got cheese from but it has since closed down. We have also used cheap dog food. As you get rid of your elk/deer meat from the freezer this year replace the Space w/ old food scraps and old vegetables. Ahhh Which reminds meet THE BEST BY use in the spring is APPLES!!!! The bear kind of need to "WAKE UP" their system after the long winter "NAP". They eat slowly at first. Apples, we have found, are the best for the bears to get their system going and is Easy on their stomach. After they start hanging around, They eat anything...except jalepeno, but that is another story..

OK, What haven't I talked about?!?!?! OH Yahh Size...They say that Ears are truly one of the best ways to judge. I like to look at size of body and hoe they move. If he waddles or looks like he is rolling almost when you see him, you can bet he is a shooter. Also a big bear will look rounder in the body rather than sleek like a younger one! If I was hunting over bait, I would get a bench mark of the height on a tree of close to the bait site to use as a "benchmark". Put up a piece of cloth or something else next to the Barrel for Size judgement.

Little Bears tend to come to the Bait site first. They try to get in before the bigger bears do. I had a buddy shoot a yearling bear this year w/ his bow. When he brought it into fish and game there was 7 bear brought in that day. 6 of the 7 were yearling bear. Nothing wrong w/ bear management but if you are indeed looking for one to mount be careful. It takes a lot of practice. Bears ground shrink faster that any other species I know. I have had the experience that Big bear will come into the site a little closer to dark.

The time of year in the Spring that we bait it gets dark around 9:10. We are usually at out sites at about 6-6:30 and dumping goodies. Lemme tell you It is hard to sit in a friggin tree stand for 2 hours....(At least for this Western boy). Anyways. The earliest we've taken a bear I think Was like 8:25 PM.

This year We will have several sites and I strongly recommend this for you too. We have had up to 3 barrels to start then usually only keep one after the first 2 weeks. This year will be different I think!!! Anyways. If you are looking for a good spot and think you've found one, Dump some bait. Check it often and maintain it. If you have someone, baiting in the Next canyon or two and They maintain their site....Well need I say more?!?! Maintaining brings me to my next point....SCENT!!

I think Scent plays NO roll if you do it right. We Dump our sent ALL over the site and do so all the time. We constantly Pee, hang sweaty shirts, Or whatever to leave or scent...Heres' why : If there is NO scent around, and One day you are sitting on the stand and the wind isn't just right or anything. and the bear smells you, and lemme tell you he will!!!! Bears can Smell for Miles in the field, You think you can Hide your scent from them, Think again BUDDY!!! If the Scent is ALWAYS there, the bear will eventually come ion late at night to check it out then start feeling more comfortable and Bombard it during the "WITCHING'" hours, Which is the last 2 hours of the day. So that's my Story and I'm sticking to it.....

Any OTHER QUESTIONS?!?! Or do you need any eloborating!?!?

<LI> AKA Moose Hunter
<LI> <A HREF="
" TARGET=_blank>


We need to change his name from Moosie to "Bruin"!

Moosie bear hunting 101....where do I sign up?!?!?!!?

That was some good advice from Moosie. I'm
beginning to think he's part bear or closely
related! Anyway, picking a stand is alot of
fun. When we used stands, we always had at
least 2. Make sure they are far enough away
from the rd so you don't get guys partying
and target shooting all hours of the day and
night. I like baitng heavy at first to get
the bears coming, then right before season,
pull back the amounts so they are in
competition for the food. Another thing. We
would soak strips of sheets and hang them
from the trees above the stands with
anisette, which is a fancy name for licorce
extract. Holy smokes, you would not believe
what it does to these bad boys.Get your
stand built so it is very confortable so
you don't have to move around. If you move
very much at all, they will know. I put
a nice rug with a pad on my floor, with
a camo mesh to peek thru. Also, those cheap
trip timers are nice to see what time these
bears are coming in. Good luck with your
quest, and be sure to experiment with all
different types of bait. Let us know
how your hunt turns out.Good luck!!!!!
Good advice everyone. I used to guide hunters over bait for bear when we could bait here. I will try to come up with a little advice later, we are xmas partying roght now. My addiction to Moosies forum is so intense I have to take a look every little bit. Spotted, got your email, March is a good time to go in there and April. We have found some great elk shedas in there. I got one side that would be from a 360+ bull. I'll email you later. Back ti the party. Sure wish we could still bait, Brian. I used to have a goos side income back in the old days.

Live to Hunt-Terry aka Coydog.
I like to bait on a flat bench below a rock slide or a steep open hillside, especially if it's on a point. The bears around here like to travel on those benches.
I also like to get in the creek bottoms, but the grizzlies like to hang out there in the early spring so I usually go farther up the hill in the timber.

For every law thats passed a little freedom dies
Tim, If they are as tall as a 55 gallon bvarrel standing on all fours they are a shooter!!!! You got some good areas to bait near where I told you to look for elk this fall, near Centenial.bcat

If you aint the lead dog the scenery never changes
I love them guys that bait right of the edge the road, sure makes it easy for us houndsmen to strike

Tim you live in great country, I lived there for 18 yrs. I have only baited bear for a couple of years but have had a lot of help from Mossie. Something we tried last year was syurp or molasses poured over the bait and on the ground in front of the bait. We only give them one way into the bait by stacking logs and brush kinda like a funnel. When they leave the bait site they track the smell of the syurp where ever they go and when other bears cross their trail the sometimes follow it back to the bait site. Not sure how big a part that played, but we had 9 different bears hitting the bait last year. Must have helped a little, my buddy got a bear.
Kenetrek Boots

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Latest member