Tag Soup!!

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by Doublezranch, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    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!! :D
     

  2. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    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
     

  3. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,337
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    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.
     
  4. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    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.
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    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!
     
  6. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Hey HARPERC,
    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...
     
  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    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!
     
  8. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,337
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    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.
     
  9. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    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.
     
  10. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    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.
     
  11. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,337
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    sounds like you are on the right track now. Little experimenting and I bet you have it licked!
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    I'd been thinking about your bait set up....because they won't let me have one of my own here in WA. anymore:D. 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.
     
  13. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    763
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    I was hoping you wouldn't ask.....!!! :D. 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!
     
  14. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    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.