Originally Posted by Varmint Hunter
My opinion is that BEAR SMELL EVERYTHING and that they detect you in the stand. If they know you're there they will wait until dark before taking the chance at the bait. Do whatever you can to reduce your smell.
Last week I stayed in a baited stand well past dark, I could barely see the sow and cubs as they headed to the bait which was only 20 yds away. I never saw or heard the sow as she approached my ladder stand. When the stand pulled down abruptly from her weight I knew exactly what was happening.
I had sprayed myself, head to toe, with Scent Shield before entering the woods. It was very dark and I hadn't made a sound. I was shocked that the bear still detected me 14" high in the stand.
BEAR SMELL EVERYTHING!
I have gone the other way the last two years on the advice of a very successful bear hunter in Idaho. I hung a T-shirt that I wore for a couple days in the tree above my bait. The bears always smell me when they come in. I wear same deodorant, shampoo, etc that I did when I wore that T-shirt. They are so used to my smell, they don't care. It is just the same scent that is on the bait.
When he first told me about that, I kinda laughed... But it has worked. Last year, I had bears on the bait 4 to 5 minutes after I baited and got sat down.
He has a better bear density over there, giving him better competition for the food and hasn't had night bears only. So, he has kinda given the same advice as you guys and cut back food and times of baiting.
Give the T-shirt trick a try... it works and saves lots of money on the Scent away systems !