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nutmeg grouser

Trying something new this year. Got a permit to bait and hunt bear on paper land in NH. About 3.5/4 hours north of me. In NH I can't start baiting until the season opens on Sept. 1st. My theory is to get up there and set up my stand and prep my new site in early August. Then on Sept 1st set my barrel out . Load the heck out of it with bait and the surrounds area with scents then let it sit for 4-5 days. Then go back up and see if anything has hit it. If any bear sign is present then hunt it. I have been hitting the local DD dumpsters down here in Ct and have come up with a 55 gallons worth of sweets in 4 trips. Been sorting out the chocolate stuff as NH has a no chocolate in baits law. Would love any advise or constructive criticism.

Bait:

DD goods

Cooking Oil with Gold Rush (Butterscotch)

Variety of breakfast cereals

Scents:

Raspberry spray

Honey Spray

Vanilla or anise oil

 

Thanks,

NG

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Grease is good.  Make sure to get LOTS on the surrounding soil and vegetation that the bears will be walking through (up to about 3 feet in height).   The grease isn’t for eating, it is to b

Not that I have much to add to the discussion but this one thing:  it makes no sense to go to al the time, trouble and expense involved to harvest a bear over bait only to ruin the meat by poor handli

On the surface, that’s a great idea, but once you dig shallow into that idea you realize that loose lips sink ships.  I don’t want anyone knowing where i’m hunting if I can help it.  The dude you hire

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OldSarge

You could try a honey burn. There are a few videos on YouTube showing how. It’s a technique that can be effective at getting distant bears to come and investigate. The smoke travels quite a way vs scent alone. Since you can only start baiting once season opens, it’s worth a try. 

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Dave in Maine

A friend ran an ice cream stand.  He was very popular with the guides when he went to Canada to bowhunt over bait when he brought a couple gallons of past-expiration strawberry sundae topping to supplement their baits.  Worked, too.

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Brad Eden

I baited bear here in Maine for quite a few years. May do it again. I had a fair share of bears hitting the bait (clean 5 gallon plastic bucket attached to a tree with the usual molasses grains and stale donuts etc.) I also had a fair share of bears come to the bait while I was in a tree stand. I was too picky and passed on all waiting for a brute. That brute came in while I had a bow in hand, followed my foot scent from a trail cam I had checked, to the bottom of my stand, put a paw on lower rung and stared up at me with those unforgiving blank black marble eyes. I about shad and peed my camo. He decided not to climb up and join me, and casually strolled away never going to the bait, and never giving me a good bow shot. So I’m bearless. Good luck, successfully baiting bear, in the boreal forest of the northeast, especially a mature boar, is a load of labor and requires more skill than the average person has any clue about. They aren’t called the ghosts of the woods for nothing. 

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Mike da Carpenter

Grease is good.  Make sure to get LOTS on the surrounding soil and vegetation that the bears will be walking through (up to about 3 feet in height).

 

The grease isn’t for eating, it is to be used as a scent trail.  As the bears walk in to the bait, they get their hide smeared with grease and then at the barrel, their feet get coated in the same grease.  When they leave, they are leaving a scent trail for other bears to find and follow back to your bait station.
 

Competing with natural forage in the fall can make for a tough hunt, at least tougher than a spring hunt when the bears are looking for an easy high calorie meal after sleeping all winter.  Their instincts tell them to fatten up on natural forage, so locate your baits near where their is likely natural foods that you are just offering up dessert for.  The grease will help to draw more in.

 

Man do I ever love bear hunting!!!

 

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Shot this one at 18 feet in Manitoba with a longbow and homemade wood arrows.

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The most successful bait sites have topography forcing the bear to come from a known direction with the prevailing wind at their back.  Using rivers, open swamps and other pinch points helps steer.  I don't want a bear being forced to walk the route I took to the stand, I want them coming from another direction.  You have a way better shot at fooling a bear that doesn't have to walk over a scent trail you just layed.  Edge cover near water is ideal, if berries like it, bears like it.  Bears feel more comfortable in these types of places.  Bears see better than most people think.  They are great at catching movement.  When I look for a tree to set a stand in I want something to break my entire outline.  A popple tucked into a conifer is perfect.  Big old oaks work great too.  I have been bear hunting long enough that bear sign stands out to me.  I am always marking potential spots while running my dogs.  In my neck of the woods the bears love gnawing on creosote soaked power poles.  You can zip down the road and judge the relative bear population of an area by how chewed up the power poles are.

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I have killed a few bears I have baited but I really enjoy helping guys get their first bears. It’s a lot of work and as Brad mentioned harder than most realize. I have baited bears in Maine and here in NH.

 

Some advice I would share to aid in potential success on top of what has been shared. Pick your bait site carefully. Many guys pick a site for convenience, but you want/legally required a bait site that is off the beaten track and set up in an area that is thick with cover. Bears feel way more comfortable when they can circle a bait without being seen and setting your stand so you have a clear lane to the bait is important, but setting up down wind in the prevailing wind direction with an ability to potentially take a circling bear will give you a better chance at a large boar. Think those areas where it’s dark in the woods even at noon on a sunny day and you have the right idea. Another thing I suggest is really studying the rule book here in NH and having the CO for your area’s phone number presaged in your phone.  You need to apply for a bait permit and that’s due by the first Monday in August for paper lands. Here’s a list of state managed lands that requires your application for a permit. State lands NH Also, your profile says you are from CT, which means if you do harvest a bear you can’t leave the state until a CO checks your bear. This can be a real issue as most bears are shot later in the day (mainly because most guys don’t want to wander into a bait site in the dark of the premorning) and CO’s like to sleep at night. So have a plan to stay in NH overnight, as the COs like to check bait sites of harvested bears. You’ll need a durable 3”x6” sign with your name and address at the bait site and be sure that your bait site is at least 100 yards away from anything you could reasonably call a “trail”, not Road or 2 track… trail. I am being specific as you appear to be new to bear hunting NH and these are the things that can turn a successful hunt into a nightmare with a fine and no bear as a result.

 

A couple other things, put your trail cameras 10’ or higher up trees pointing down at your bait.I have no idea why bears are so fixated on cameras but they sure seem to enjoy busting them up. Quality and quantity of bait is important. I have had full 55 gallon drums emptied in a day and half on a hot bait. Nothing sucks worse than showing up to hunt a bait that’s been cleared out and the large Bruin has moved on 2 days ago. 
 

Good luck! Don’t let the rules scare you off, just make sure you know them inside and out as it’s far more complex than hunting birds here.

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MAArcher

If you can find a spot the bears are already frequenting, you're ahead in the game.   

 

If your bait site has cell coverage, I'd get a cellular trail cam.  Once you see bear on the bait, drive up to arrive mid day, put out more bait, take down camera, hunt next day.  You can't hunt same day as cellcam is out.  

 

Bears are delicious, cubs doubly so.  

 

I have a cousin who just bought some land in NH with bear on it so I'm going to try and get a bear there this year.   I'm also toying with the idea of trying to trap one in Maine on my brothers land.  He's not really in bear country though.   

 

 

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Dave in Maine

Not that I have much to add to the discussion but this one thing:  it makes no sense to go to al the time, trouble and expense involved to harvest a bear over bait only to ruin the meat by poor handling.

You want to be able to get ice into the body cavity as soon as possible.  A lot of ice.  50 pounds would not necessarily be too much.  Soon = preferably while it's on the ground after gutting.  But sooner, rather than later, is the key.  The thing is, during the season the ambient temperatures can be quite hot, the dark-at-midday places in the woods will have little to no breeze, Mr. Bear is wearing a black fur coat and he's packing on fat which insulates really, really well.  

It might or might not work to have a cooler full of ice on the stand with you, but having it in the truck relatively nearby might be a very good idea.

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nutmeg grouser

Thank you UJ'ers. You never disappoint with sharing your knowledge. Great stuff that I will be reading several times over to soak it all in. I will keep you all posted on the adventure. 

 

Thanks Again,

Steve

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I would try to hire someone local to the area you plan on hunting to keep your baits active while you are away.

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UplandHntr

Use all small pieces of bait. Nothing large enough that will allow the bear to carry it off and eat it.  Keep them on the bait

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Mike da Carpenter
30 minutes ago, max2 said:

I would try to hire someone local to the area you plan on hunting to keep your baits active while you are away.


On the surface, that’s a great idea, but once you dig shallow into that idea you realize that loose lips sink ships.  I don’t want anyone knowing where i’m hunting if I can help it.  The dude you hire might do a great job, but once he catches wind of a monster Bruin, he just might shoot it before you get there or at the very least tell people where he is seeing a “monster”.  Even if that monster is a 150# bear, others will know where you are and possibly stop by to catch a glimpse all the while leaving scent to drive the bears away.  

 

Yeah, I’m WAY to cautious and guarded when it comes to places I plan to hunt.

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8 hours ago, Mike da Carpenter said:


On the surface, that’s a great idea, but once you dig shallow into that idea you realize that loose lips sink ships.  I don’t want anyone knowing where i’m hunting if I can help it.  The dude you hire might do a great job, but once he catches wind of a monster Bruin, he just might shoot it before you get there or at the very least tell people where he is seeing a “monster”.  Even if that monster is a 150# bear, others will know where you are and possibly stop by to catch a glimpse all the while leaving scent to drive the bears away.  

 

Yeah, I’m WAY to cautious and guarded when it comes to places I plan to hunt.

Good to be cautious for sure .But- bear hunting I think you could do as I reccommend with not much concern. It sounds like a one shot deal in an area to far for the o/p to maintain an active bait on his own. A lot of folks don't really look to hunt bears so benfit out ways the risk . Again - JMHO  

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Brad Eden

I think having someone freshen baits if living too far away is a sound idea. Someone you know and trust even better. Unless the person has access to your trail camera or sets one up himself he likely won’t know the caliber of bear hitting the bait. It’s unlikely the person would sit over the bait preseason. You could pay the person or trade the labor for second dibs on hunting the bait site after you (hopefully) get a stab at a bear you want to kill. JMO

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