Bear Baiting Tips, Part One

Bear baiting can be as simple as throwing bait in a hole or in the crook of a tree, but with all the scrutiny directed at today’s hunters, we must consider how all of our actions could affect others. There is simply no place for slob hunters today and baiting for bears comes with some certain responsibilities. Here are some tips on how to tighten up your bait sites.

Choosing a baiting location obviously requires a strategic placement to natural corridors where bears can get access to shelter and water, but there are some places you should stay away from.  To avoid conflicts, try to avoid houses, roads, rail road tracks, large fields, waterways and generally any place where people might naturally travel. Conflict is never a good thing when it comes to the solitude of hunting bears. People should be avoided as much as possible.

Using a container for your bait is always a good idea. I have found many advantages to using barrels when baiting such as, they keep all my bait contained and dry and they keep bears at the bait longer. When bait is spread on the ground, it attracts birds and other animals, and a bear can simply eat at will and leave, which they often do rather quickly. A barrel with openings cut into it will make the bear work for his food and not only keep him busy for a longer period of time, but it will also distract him which is an obvious benefit.

In most cases, hunters can hang tree-stands to hunt out of, but if you don’t have adequate trees to use for stands, you will need to use a ground blind which requires some special considerations.  First off, always consider the wind direction. Also, black bears do have good vision contrary to what rumors are out there, so set up against a good backdrop that is full and busy so a bear cannot easily pick you out. If you are bow hunting, forget the chip shots and set up at least 20 yards away from the bait.  Rifle hunters can obviously set up farther away.

Shot placement is underrated. A lot of savvy hunters like to ‘shoot the bone’ by shooting in the shoulder in the hopes of taking out the spine, but unless you have years of practice, don’t gamble trying to make that shot. Stick with what works and what works is the vitals, every time. If you make the heart and lungs your target every time, and hit where you aim, you will have a dead bear.