It was really in good shape firm etc. Just put it out before heading to the stand. Left teeth imprints very gently all around. I picked it up and gave it a toss. Just one of those curious things you see along the way.
This year has been a bit interesting for us as well. We had 3 bears on the bait (turkey and popcorn) and then all of a sudden they never came back. It's been 8 days now. I know we were one of the first to get a bait up and I'm thinking someone has a better bait in a close proximity. The one bear we shot earlier was into the turkey more than the popcorn so I'm wondering if meat isn't better than sweets. BTW the popcorn has fryer grease on it. I have syrup and can get some oats or horse feed as well to try.
If anyone has tried both at the same time what is better......meat or sweats? I have always run more sweat stuff in the past and haven't really used much meat.
I dont use much meat either. I have been using a beaver (1) to start my bait each season. I usually throw it in frozen then four everything else around it so its kind of hard to get out but enough of it is sticking out to put off some scent and the beaver is the first thing to go. In my opinion its about the best bait you can get. A guy here in town swears younger bears like sweets and older bears like protein... I dont know if thats true or not
" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
Tomato might have been somewhat spoiled and fermented. Bears like fermented stuff/alcohol. I Have heard, but never tried it, pour a fifth of cheap sour mash whiskey over the bait, or into those oats. They will come from miles away...
May have to make some jail house mash and see if we can get some drunk .
One of the best setups I've seen for drawing them in and judging size was this:
5. What do you use for bait and what kind of baiting system do you use?
This is probably the most important and often overlooked element of having a great hunt, the details of what an outfitter does here is vitally important to the success of your hunt. We have experimented with all kinds of baiting systems using every imaginable type of bait. We have found that the best method is with a large volume and variety of bait that never runs out. We use meat; pork and beef, oats, cooking grease, candy, honey and beaver carcasses. At every site we have two 50 gallon barrels and a wire mesh cage. One barrel is filled to the top with small meat scraps and the other one is filled with the oats, grease, candy and honey. Both barrels have small holes cut in the top to limit how quickly they can empty the barrel and they have to take turns eating. When you have 20+ bears at a bait like we sometimes do you have to slow down the eating somehow or they might clean it out. The small holes also stop ravens from eating all the meat. The wire mesh cage is for the beaver carcass. It is chained to a tree and it allows the bears to rip pieces of beaver meat off the carcass but never walk away with the skeleton. The final vitally important item is a crib system that positions the bear for a perfect broadside shot. Bears cannot eat at our baits without giving the essential shot that a bowhunter needs.
6. Do you have any way to help me judge a bear's size, or sex? I don't want to accidentally shoot a small bear or sow?
Yes, we have a practically foolproof and simple system of judging what a mature, 5+ yr old boar looks like compared to all the others, especially how it differs from a large breeding age female of the same body weight At every bait site we have a log lying on the ground that is cut to a certain length. A sow will never be as long as that log from nose to butt. A good size, or for bowhunters a Pope and Young class boar, will be as long as that log or longer. It is that simple. Tips about things like little, round ears, a crease on the head, a hanging belly are all subjective and confusing for a novice or even experienced bear hunter and contribute to many sows being accidentally killed. A big older, breeding sow can have many of the same looking characteristics as an old boar but they will never have the body length of a big old boar. If you want a big male bear, body length is the best way to judge it. We also have dozens of trail camera pictures that we can show you and go over every detail of what a sow looks like compared to a boar.
I like the logs he puts on the ground cut to a certain length to give you an idea of how long the bear is. That along with the height of the barrels whether upright or on their side gives you a good idea of what size the bear is.
Granted this is an outfitter and this is what they do for a living, but a guy could certainly duplicate some of his ideas.