I was going to say the same thing as Harper. maybe a first come first served set up is the way to go. In my experience whenever I go to the bait I can count on the bears not showing up again for 12-24 hours. however I can almost time when the bears do come in because when I go in I always take some fresh scent. My favorite is a bottle of anise. I pour a little out on a tree or something and then set the half empty bottle somewhere so that it can sit there and constantly emit scent with out drying out. I sit almost 200 yards away and feel that is optimum because I have seen bears come in from every direction. I wouldnt be surprised if your smarter bears are circling the bait before they go in so your scent control should be top priority in the situation you have described.
Another thing you might try is get several types of food like sweet stuff and fatty stuff etc. Put them in 3 separate piles and come back and check your camera to see what bait the bigger bears prefer opposed to smaller ones. A bear will teach you a lot about itself if you let it.
" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
A bear will teach you a lot about itself if you let it.
Absolutely! It's also a bit like a small neighborhood back in the woods. The players all know each other and adjust their lives accordingly.
One of the Northern Idaho researchers speaking on bear captures (bait and culverts), said you can catch small bear day after day in the same trap. Catch a big bear in it, and it might be a couple of weeks before you catch a small bear in that trap. Catch a grizzly in it and you might as well hook it up and take it to the car wash because you aren't catching black bear for a long time.
A Black Bear has the highest tested memory of animals when it comes to remembering how to get food. Every bear you fed this year will be back next year if they are able.
Volume.....now I think that is where I really made my mistakes. I went with the more is better approach. They never cleaned out the bait between feedings. If fact, it looked like they spent more time playing with the logs than they did eating. The last 3 weeks of season, I fed once a week. It was almost like they quite eating all together. No pics on the cameras. Then, the last week, when I started baiting again, they were there everynight!! I was so pissed. I had one bait station completely cleaned out so I rebaited it. A half our after I left, during the day, 2 bruisers came in and tore it up. I baited heavy so they didn't clean it out. I sat there the last 2 days of the season. I did everything like I was doing when I was baiting, them darn bears came at night the last 2 days. I even tried the fresh anise bottles arounf the baits like you mentioned Mike, but still at night they came.
I'd been thinking about your bait set up....because they won't let me have one of my own here in WA. anymore. It's a fall habit I got hooked on, and didn't want to quit. I'm not real technical, and it just occurred to me you said pictures. If you're willing and able I'd like to see them. I haven't mastered the picture thing myself, so if not it's easy for you I understand.
I was hoping you wouldn't ask.....!!! . The last weekend I downloaded all the pics from the cameras on my reader. When I was coming back to camp on the 4-wheeler, the darn thing fell out of my pocket, found its way under the left rear and CRACK! Game over. Just another reason this whole thing has been such a debacle. I felt like I did everything wrong...dang!
It's a rule anything that falls of the 4 wheeler must go under the tires. I get it, not much of a picture taker myself. I've got 4 or 5 years worth of the little quick stop cameras laying around I need to get developed some time.