About this time of year we all get a little cabin fever going and look forward to getting out in the woods. In Idaho we have quite a few options and bears are high on that list.
A lot of guys go out and “bait” bears, they throw out a bunch of dog food and some old bread and hope for a bear, most prove to be unsuccessful. There are a lot of things to consider while baiting bears, location, timing, bait, and habits. I will give you a brief idea of things that can help you be more successful.
Finding a location is one of the most important things to think about. We can all go out and throw out a bait in any location but for it to be a good site it must have good wind currents to carry the smell a long ways, cover for the bears, and be far enough from a road that it won’t get hounded(houndsmen find it and run off it).
Timing is less important but think about it just like you do with deer and elk, the rut for bears is in June, if you hunt for a big boar in April then you better be in his home area. If not you’re not going to see him. Smaller less experienced bears will be out and wandering looking for a good spring time food source, if you bait too early you will just be feeding little bears and get worn out.
Bait is very important, I prefer sweets, bread, kitchen grease, and Boarmasters products. Bears are not eating a lot of meat in the spring, the sweets and breads are soft on their stomachs. The Boarmasters and grease are attractants. The Boarmasters you can smell from a long ways away, if you can smell it the bears can smell it farther, 50x farther. The grease is good to put around the bait, the bears step in it and create a scent wheel around the bait, even if other bears can’t smell the bait they can smell the grease on the ground and can follow it in.
Each bear is an individual and has different experiences in life and it will show at the bait site, the smaller less experienced will come to the barrel regular and during the day light hours, as they get older they become more wary. Using a trail cam to figure out which bears and what times are best for each bear is important. Bears will feed mainly in the evening and throughout the night, there are exceptions but for the most part this will hold true.
While this is just a cliff not in the whole bear baiting deal it will help you get started. Good luck to all of you!!