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Bear Baiting Tips & Techniques

Due to the fact that bears are considered to be predators, many provinces and states allow baiting. Although some may consider baiting rather unfair because the hunter clearly gets an obvious advantage, it isn’t very easy to do (although at a first glance it doesn’t look that way) and the efficiency isn’t guaranteed either. There are numerous cases in which bears sneaked undetected, grabbed a morsel of meat and then suddenly disappeared without leaving any tracks to follow.

Another concrete example of the not-so-certain efficiency of bear baiting takes place when bears move around the area where the bait is installed without getting closer, even for a few hours or more. But if you do get lucky and the bear comes closer, you now have a big chance of capturing the animal. In order to install an efficient baiting station you should follow some basic steps, steps that will increase your chances for success.

1. The first thing you should do is find out all there is to know about bears. For example, some bear species have a home range from which they span 2 to 10 miles; another thing you should know is that bears have a very poor eye sight but very developed auditory and olfactory senses.
2. The second thing you should do is to think about the best baiting location. The proper location would be along the bear’s area, where he usually roams. You must think of it this way: where there is a lot of food, a bear is there. Examples: a heavily timbered forest near agricultural areas, near rivers or streams, low grounds (because these areas offer darkness and a place to cover) etc. When searching these “hot” spots look for bear signs like claw marks on trees.

3. The third thing involves the timing: the baits should be installed immediately when the bear season starts. You should stock the baits about two weeks before you will actually hunt. The more baits you have, the more success (at least theoretically) you will have, so keep this in mind the next time you plan on going out hunting bears. 4. As most of you know bears are omnivores and will eat just about everything. It is advisable that what your “offer” has a very strong odor, this way the bear will be more attracted to it.

4. The set up - an example of how to set up a bait station would be: the hunter should use a 50 gallon drum which will be chained to a tree. In order to make the bear approach from the front (thus improving your chances for a successful shot) the barrel should be cribbed with branches. At the base of the baiting station the hunter must cut a six inch diameter hole. Selecting your stand location should be done at no more than 20 yards away, otherwise you won’t have a good shot.

5. Rules and regulations - you must know what laws exist in the state in which you are about to do your hunting. You should know when the season begins or in which places you aren’t allowed to install baiting sites. Also make sure you
6. When to sit the baits? In the evening hours bears usually come out so that’s one of the best times for baiting. Of course this isn’t a general rule as you can stumble upon them anytime during the day.

7. Scents - be very attentive because scents can be your best friend or your worst enemy. As we have mentioned, bears will be drawn by the odor of the food but if, by any chance, they track you down, you can say goodbye to your hunting dreams. With other words keep your clothing odorless, footwear should also be without any smells.

8. Be alert! Due to the fact that bears have padded feet, they move around with a swiss-type precision. In most cases, first you will see the bear and afterwards you will hear him.

9. Shooting time -it is advisable to wait until the bear is paying attention to the bait. As most of you know, bears are very strong animals so a double, even triple lung shot is recommended.

As you can see, baiting isn’t very easy. It requires a great amount of work and only a few hunters have success using this method. Although it is difficult, installing bait stations might improve your efficiency if properly done.

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