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Baiting Black Bears

Bait Recipes
Bears are omnivorous and can polish off everything from meat to bread and even pastries. Bears have highly developed olfactory organs and can sense food from miles away. Make sure that the bait has a strong odor or stink. Beavers are a staple diet of black bears and a decaying beaver carcass combined with rotting fish guts serves as great bait. Last but not least, pour a bucket of grease or cooking oil around the bait to create a trail to lure other bears. A bait station can be a simple barrel camouflaged with logs and branches which allows the bear to dig out a small amount of food at a time.

Choose a Bear
Judging the size of a bear is difficult. Smaller bears will appear to have larger ears whereas larger bears will appear to have smaller ears when compared to their head. In smaller bears, the ears-to-nose triangle will be skinny compared to broader triangles in mature, fullygrown bears. Larger bears have short stocky legs, a rounded head, and their belly will appear closer to the ground. Larger bears move slowly yet confidently. If you are looking for a quality hide, wait to see both sides of the bear before taking a shot. The bear’s vital organs are less protected when its front legs are stepping forward. It is recommended that archers take a broadside shot, as less penetration is required to reach the heart and lungs. Hunters with firearms may take a broadside shot or a quartering-away shot. Proficiency in handling the firearm and knowing the basic anatomy of the bears will result in perfect shot placement for a quick and effective kill.

I was fortunate enough to have www.huntingtipsandtricks.com member Sheldon Arams send in his footage from his successful bear hunting adventure in Saskatchewan. You can watch his successful hunting adventure on the DVD, "Way Back in The Bush for Spring Black Bear 2008".

Sheldon used baiting as his technique. It's a lot of preparation, but the advantage is that it allows you to see a lot of good bears and to be selective for a big trophy bruin.

There are also a lot of interesting things that happen when sitting over bait. Sheldon has some cool film footage and great stories to tell, including one about a bear that climbed up his stand twice. Then, after being scared off, the bear ate the seat off Sheldon’s quad. After being patient, Sheldon and his friend were both successful from their tree stands in the forests of Saskatchewan.

Here is Sheldon’s setup for bowhunting black bear:
  • Hoyt Vectrix 60# draw
  • Gold Tip 7595 arrows
  • G5 Montec 100 grain broadheads
  • Moultrie trail camera
  • Gorilla King Kong tree stand
  • Bear Bomb scent attracter
When Sheldon gets ready for bear hunting season, he spends a lot of time finding the right place to invest his hard earned time by looking for bear sign and setting up multiple bait stations. He uses trail cameras to monitor his spots and then sets his tree stand up over the bait stations that show the best promise.

Finding a Spot
When baiting, Sheldon looks for places with a mixture of spruce, poplar, and water close by. A darker, well-treed, swampy area seems to work best. To find spots that might work well, locate well-used trails and places with clear signs of bear, such as claw marks on trees and bear scat.

All this information and much more is covered in the book and DVD.