Now that the Minnesota black bear hunting season is over, I'll be going hungry. I don't get it...I spent the time scouting areas, making cribs, setting out bait....LOTS of bait, and I saw one bear. I know there are lots of bear in this area because all 4 of my baits were hit all the time.
So now the problem....All the images on my cameras were of big bear but at night. Only 2 pics were of bear during daylight hours and it was a Sow and cubs, and a juvy boar. Is there a way to change a bears habits? Change his patterns? I need to figure something out because wasting $1000 on bait, $230 on the tag, and driving 3 hours just to get there is kinda spendy!! I'd like to aleast see 2 bear!!
After you get bears hitting it bait in the morning. We use 55gal drums with holes in them for bait sites and we have them set up where you close them off after the night hunt. We have had mixed results with it so it may be something you want to try
I dont know who ever came up with the imaganary word of "Over Gunned"
I am inclined to think it may be bait location? is your bait in a place a bear can feel safe, concealed and alone at all times of day? I would figure that out first. and it that is all good to go I really like the above idea of making bait accessible only during the day. Another thing you may want to do depending on what you use for bait is get a beaver (assuming its legal) and wire him to a tree so he cant be drug off. In my experience that is a premium bait and the dominant bears will stay in the vicinity to keep tabs on it.
" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
Thanks guys. I'm glad you chimed in Mike. I studied these places for along time. All the bait stations were a 45 minute 4-Wheeler drive first through the swamps and then a mile back in the woods. There wasn't a road, a farmers field, a person, or even a thought of a person within 3 miles. I was careful not to clean out too much brush. Just enough for a shooting lane or maybe too. I sat 20 yards from the bait and I was in a 10 ft. ladder stand.
Trust me, If I could have used beaver, we wouldn't be chatting right now. Also, you can't use barrels in MN. I would usually feed every 3rd day. I fed the ususal stuff......Fresh straight from the hive honey, licorance (spelled wrong), gushers candy, trail mix, M&M's....and I always left the area spraying everything down with a bottle of anse/vege oil.
Are you archery or rifle hunting? What's the background behind you, are you sky lined? Is it brush, or are there trees big enough to get higher? Have the bears established a preferential route in and out of the site? Are you competing with natural feeds? Big boars can be hard to pull in if they're feeding good on something else. It's a lot of fun, do you get a spring season? How many days is the season, and when can you start baiting? Good luck!
I started out with stick and string, but realized that when things were going so slow I didn't want to leave anything to chance so I started to bring my rifle. I was surrounded by very large tall trees. I was very careful not to skyline myself. Bears we're coming in and out the same way every time....every bait station. The only natural feed was acorns. Nothing else in the area. Food sources were something I really looked hard for when searching potential bait sites. No spring season unless I hit Montana or Idaho. The season is a month and 13 days. You can start baiting roughly a month before season. It's darn frustrating these bears. I thought I had them licked!! Humbling...
I'm mostly just running a check list, and it sounds like you must almost have it solved.
What kind of volume are you leaving, and is there any left when you come back? Volume is a funny thing, once in awhile it pays off leaving just enough to keep it first come first served. Other times making the bowl bottomless is helpful.
What kind of limitations are placed on bait type? Here it seems fall bear are looking for fattier foods, some of the black oil sunflower seeds have high fat contents. We didn't have trail cameras, and had to kind of guess, but I always found it a good sign to see a little digging in the ground. Grease and such can get them chewing sticks, and the ground trying to get the last bite. Plus if they have to spend some time digging, or moving sticks I think it gets their mind comfortable with the spot.
Where we deer hunt hasn't had many bear over the years, this was the first time I've seen bear activity in a salt lick thats been there forever. It got me thinking about some of the commercial mineral licks, like the Whitetail Institute makes. Granulated and mixed in the ground might give them something they aren't getting elsewhere.
The only thing i can think of otherwise is, make your shooting lane longer, and build your stand higher.
It's kind of fun, but like you said dollar for dollar it adds up. I know a place in BC you can see 6-8 bears a day just driving and glassing cut blocks. Plus it's 2 bear area.
I like the way you've made the effort to get back into the woods. Good Luck they can't beat you forever!