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gorrilla

Same old bear headaches...

29 posts in this topic

I've been running 7-10 baits(for our group of four) religiously since opening of baiting. We're hunting north of Crosslake aways. All I can say is I'm old enought to know better...

I don't know why I put myself through this again. Whether it was Bigfork, West of Leech, or around Itaska Park, its the same old unethical story. Bums crowding an active bait, tons of ATV in the woods(joyriders and hunters), and generally staking out of territories by guides.

Why do I tempt myself? Maybe because its a great year without mosquitos, who knew the pests would be on wheelers.

My journal shows 115 hours dedicated to driving, gathering and placing bait, and checking baits all within 30 miles of my house. All that and for the sake of my sanity, I'm contemplating not hunting the black buggers anymore.

Its not that I don't enjoy and respect the bears, its just the bear "hunter" I've lost respect for. I wish the DNR could restrict the number of baits/baiters/atvs this time of year on public land. Sorry had to rant..

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I feel your pain. I heard they were probably going to limit bait sites next year so the guides don't saturate an area and turning people away from bear hunting. Just this weekend I found a site that was posted by a guide who wasn't listed in the DNR list as a guide. There was also somethings that were illegal there but I will pass the info on. One buddy thought I was whinning but then I explained how a guide would have a guy sitting there every week which means atleast 6-8 bear could be taken from our area. He saw my point of view then.

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Gorilla. That's basically the same gripe I was ranting about on the other "Baiting" thread - except that there were blatant legal infractions being discussed. I couldn't agree with you more. Ever since the introduction of 3 and 4-wheelers, having a peaceful, relaxing hunt has become almost impossible. I think Aldo Leopold said it well - see my signature. It's made the wilderness everyone's playground, and not everyone is ethical when it comes to respecting other hunters. It's really no wonder why most bears, and big deer have become almost exclusively nocturnal.

One thing that you might keep in mind, since you have the luxury of hunting pretty close to home, is baiting and hunting during the week rather than over the weekend.

In our area we get overrun with non-residents virtually every weekend of the year. Don't get me wrong now, many of these folks are very fine and conscientious people. But it does make for quite a lot of activity, and sometimes competition for good hunting and fishing opportunities. But if you go out on a Tuesday afternoon, or basically anytime between then and Friday you can pretty much have the place to yourself. I leave Monday out of the mix cause I think the wildlife needs a day to return to their normal patterns after the weekend. Once Friday roles around though, I usually just bag it and stay home.

I'm impressed by your tenacity though. Have you been getting your bait sites cleaned out? How much natural food are you seeing out there? At my last stop I was pleasantly surprised to find a large patch of blackberries! laugh.gif I didn't expect much for berries after the hot, dry summer we've had.

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We don't have bear in western MN but we have pheasants. What you guys are talking about are many of the same problems that we face out here. In our case droves of hunters make their way out Appleton way and POUND the ground. Some of these areas get hit so hard that I can't believe that there is a bird left in the country. It seems there are too many hunters and not enough ground to hunt.

Sorry about the response as it has nothing to do with bear hunting.

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SAM, I had decent luck early last week with about a 30-40% hit rate on ten baits, after toning it down to 4 unharassed baits I ranged from 1 to 3 hits a day. Until this weekend though, I had 0 for 4 yesterday. Imagine that... four wheeler tracks everywhere and ribbons on top of mine(cocky if you ask me). Whatever, maybe I need to take a night off and go chase walleyes or glass deer.

I have seen a few decent patches of blackberries too, coincidentally every brood of grouse I've seen on the trails have been near a berry patch.

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HC, as I was reading the previous two posts concerning getting out during the week vrs the weekend I was thinking the same applies to pheasant hunting, and then I saw your post. You're right, the public areas get pounded on the weekends. It used to be that you could take Friday off and have some luck, but now other people/hunters have found that out and even if you go my a management area on a midweek day, theres a truck sitting there. Too many people hunting on limited land.

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We went out to freshen the test bait piles yesterday. This is only the second time we'e been to our three stations since we CLEARLY and LAWFULLY registered them on the opening day of bear baiting season.

We hang two brightly colored signs at each station. One about 100 feet from the station to give caution that there is a baiting station ahead. By doing this we hope to at least keep ethical people from "busting" our station. The second we hang within 10 feet of the bait pile. Both contain all of the information the regs require. You absolutely cannot miss the signage.

At one of our most remote stations there were fresh four-wheeler tracks running right up next to the bait pile, despite one sign at the head of the trail indicating a BEAR BAITING STATION AHEAD, and a second sign posted very clearly right next to the station.

At another site, we have again made it very obvious that we are baiting the area (this site was also established and clearly marked on opening day). Just a few feet from where we park when we bring out bait, about 150 feet from our bait station, right on the road, someone nailed a large wooden sign to a tree that says, "Bear baiting". That's all it says! We tried to determine where their bait station was, but couldn't. This is clearly an illegal station as their name and license number isn't listed on the sign. We would call it in, but there's no indication of who it is that hung the sign.

To top it off, they ran a four-wheeler down our trail almost right over the top of our bait pile. This wheeler was being driven through a peat bog / cedar swamp that is actually state forest land. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to drive off unmarked trails on state forest lands? Now we are wondering if they just put up the sign for us? confused.gif

This sport does get frustrating.... frown.gif

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Too bad to hear your plight. Just a question. Why hang the bear baiting notification sign at all? If you want people to know it is there you are telling them. People are not as smart as some of the wildlife and the sign seems to be an invite to see what bear baiting is all about.

I know years ago it used to be part of the regs to hang the bear baiting ahead sign but now it is ONLY the one at the bait. If you have any trail cams out you can see who it was and at what time. Maybe even see the license # of the atv.

We have a bait that is closer to a dead end swamp trail and so far no one has been back there. Just the bears.

Hope your baits are still being hit even though the atv traffic went through. At least he bears heard them coming and so they should not be run off the bait for good just a bit away.

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Gorilla,

Something to think about. Most of the people you see riding atv's are out enjoying the woods and have no foul intent towards you or other bear hunters. I ride wheelers alot and have accidentally driven up on bear hunters, I just said sorry about that and good luck, then got on my way.

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ATV's and bears DO NOT mix! Second, I always get a kick out of you guys with your "warning signs". No bear is gonna be anywhere near a bait when it hears an atv coming a 1/2 mile away. Most "warning signs" are from people intending to stake a claim to an area or simply new to the bear baiting game.

There are also the folks who mark there baits off roads/atv trails with the tracking tape. Hmm wonder where your bait is? I have to admit I have been known to take these tapes down unless I know it is the CO( who usually marks at trail/road entrance-not right beside bait)or might even add a little scent to the bait site! cool.gifif you know what I mean.

I'm quite confident the same will not happen to mine.

Guys if you want a bear- do your homework( scout) and walk the bait in!

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There are also the folks who mark there baits off roads/atv trails with the tracking tape. Hmm wonder where your bait is? I have to admit I have been known to take these tapes down unless I know it is the CO( who usually marks at trail/road entrance-not right beside bait)or might even add a little scent to the bait site! if you know what I mean.

Seamonster,I hope you do not do what you just said. I believe in trusting your fellow hunter. I know all about the bad stuff that happens in the woods. So I am going to ask you to stop putting out these ideas and lets keep the tips positive.

Thanks,

Kyle

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I rest my case...

Unfortunately, I don't even have to go into the woods anymore to find the yutzes...

Of course in northern MN (especially the first four days) early September is going to have bear hunters on the remote logging roads on public land. Yes Ely Expert(?...?), I realize the land is public, but on the other hand don't you realize that the first week of September in the evenings there are numerous bear hunters trying to be really quiet (and get in remote places) to try to capitalize on the sneaky, secretive bears they have worked hard(for weeks in the heat) to lure in during daylight hours. After all that, someone thinks its a great idea to go driving their ATV onto the remote quiet trail to enjoy nature by tearing through it a 45mph in a cloud of dust. Legal? Of course...

Frustrating? VERY... I guess I can't think of a way to equate that to you since I don't ruin your fun, in fact I go out of my way to get off the beaten path, but if I even leave a foot path it seems to get "accidentally" covered by atv tracks... mad.gif

And SeaMoron, lets just say I'd like to see you watering my bait sometime... You think mama bears get mad? Try irate Gorrillas...

Nice ethics buddy, thanks for ruining it for the true sportsmen out there.

Sewer water is made up of 99.9% pure water, but that 0.1% sure does stink!!!! blush.gif

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We hang the caution sign a short distance from the bait site to hopefully keep people from spooking bears off the bait pile. I emphasize HOPEFULLY! Also, on the outside chance that some curious passerby might stick their nose into our station while a large bear is feeding, and get mauled for doing it. At least they couldn't say they didn't know it was there!

I agree, it probably is an invitation for some to go and explore our activities. I think most people recognize, and respect our intentions. Obviously, to some it's an invitation to go in and RUIN our efforts. I've heard of people "scenting" others bait piles. What an incredibly assenine and immature thing to do. It defines this thread, and they still have the audacity to post here!

Back to my earlier question. Isn't it illegal for ATV's to leave marked trails in State Forest lands? I wish I could afford a good trail cam. My fear is that it would be stolen along with the stands I've had stolen from bait sites in the past.

It seems that nothing is sacred or respected anymore. This follows the same mentality I witnessed on another thread. That people "are too quick to pull the ethics card today". All I see anymore is people that don't even know what ethical means - as is obvious from the previous post!

I guess we pure-hearted conservationists are eventually going to have to accept that "enjoying the woods" now includes screaming loud all-terrain vehicles, droning generators, and gangs of howling dogs chasing down big game! Sounds peaceful doesn't it? mad.gif

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Canopy Sam

I share your pain. I remember the "good ole days" When gas was .50 cents a gallon,farming a 160 acres was a big farmer,you did not need to LOCK everything you own for fear of not owning it any more!The older i get the more things change and the more things change the more i find myself opposing change! I think they call it senility or something like that!

Hope you have a successful hunt!

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I don't agree with messing with another guys bait, but I do hate the 'bear bait ahead' signs. In my mind they are nothing but an attempt by other hunters to proclaim, Stay off this piece of public land. I see most of the 'bear bait ahead' signs on trail heads where I suppose they are supposed to dissuade other hunters. To avoid headaches I target areas where other hunters don't want to go. Next year there are laws are going into effect that specifically prohibit the 'bear bait ahead' signs. I couldn't be happier about it. I'll also be happy to see a reduction in the number of registered baits allowed. I know for a fact some hunters throw baits and signs up willy nilly to box out other hunters. I gave up hunting in one area where hunters were actually pouring gas on other hunters baits in order to shut them down. Some peoples kids.....

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I just want to correct anyone who says "hunters" poured gas on baits, urinated on, crowded other guys or did anything equally unethical.

THESE CLOWNS AREN'T HUNTERS!!!!

Lets call these clowns what they are: slobs, jerks, etc.

But I get sick of being lumped in, accidentally or intentionally, with these wastes of space because some people call them hunters. Just calling a spade a spade.

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GORRILLA,

YOU SAID IT VERY WELL THEY SURE ARE JURKS AND SLOBS, AND NOT HUNTERS. THEY WILL BE THE ONES THAT WILL PRETTY WELL DRIVE US REAL HUNTERS OUT OF THE GAME. GOOD LUCK GORRILLA, AND ALL OTHER REAL HUNTERS. THE REST OF YOU JUST STAY HOME AND GO BUY BEEF IN THE STORE.

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Huber,

In retrospect I can see your piont. I guess a veteran hunter would probably look at a "bear bait ahead" sign and have the same knee jerk reaction. At any rate, my first inclination with placing these signs was, as I stated earlier, an attempt to warn people that there may be a hungry, and territorial large carnivorous animal nearby. Most recorded black bear attacks are the result of either the bear being suddenly startled, or being pressured when near it's food source.

At the sites I mentioned previously we are only test baiting the area. If we do in fact get a big bear working a station we will stick to it. Otherwise we are planning to do exactly what you mentioned. We're going deep into the stuff where no one else will go. I'm pretty sure we're going to make a three day camping trip out of it, so we can get good, remote bait stations going and fill our tags the moment the first big bruins show up.

My partner suspected someone was "tampering" with his bait stations two years ago. He was never able to catch the guy, but something didn't smell right - for lack of a better explanation. blush.gif

I once set up in a stubble field where I'd seen numbers of geese crossing a certain area. There was a group of three hunters in a field to the south of me about 3/4 of a mile away. When the birds started to come accross the field to my calling, the guys in the field to the south of me just started shooting. Needless to say, neither of us were able to get any shooting - at least at geese. mad.gif Eventually, they realized that their senseless efforts to ruin my hunt were also ruining their own, and they left. The next group of birds that came in I managed to drop two birds with one shot. Sometimes it pays to just be patient, and not fly off the handle. grin.gif

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By the way Huber, where do you find out this information about next years laws? Based on your knowledge of bear hunting you seem pretty dialed in to the current issues surrounding this field. I would like to see that intel as well. There is discussion about Hound Hunting in MN for bears here on another thread, and I'm trying to figure out where I can read about these propositions.

I Googled the Minnesota Bear Hunters Association, but came up with nothing. Do you have any information on them?

What part of Minnesota are you hunting?

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Canopy Sam

There are a number of new rules being proposed for next year...actually they were planning on having them intact for the current season but public comments set thier timetable back...while I haven't heard anything about hounds on the DNR website I did find information in the "permanent rules" section regarding bear baiting regulation changes...they were mysteriosly under the heading of "deer hunting changes"....some of the proposed rules include...3 baits per liscensed hunter...guides would have to have a clients liscense number in "possesion" for each 3 baits he runs....you will be required to purchase a liscense "before" you begin baiting....no signs other than at the bait site...and there may have been more but I can't remember....the public comments showed concern over the lack of clarification on the number of baits allowed...ie: can you only register 3 baits the entire season? or can you establish new baits if you start out in an unproductive area? "unregister" a couple and register a couple new ones? These new rules were originally tacked on to the rules ammendments for deer hunting that went into effect last fall. Check the archives...there was a thread on the topic last spring, I think.

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This sounds like the stuff the CO told me. I posted it in the Spring. I think you got all of them too.

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As a non resident on a "do it yourself" public land bear hunt, we had an awesome hunt in '97 and saw virtually no bear hunters and certainly no 4 wheelers. I eventually went on two more bear hunts in the same area. In 2001 it was still pretty good, but the invasion of wheelers was obvious. The last hunt was in 2003 and the effect of 4 wheelers and guides was overwhelming. I love bear hunting, and have to say that my next one will be a guided trip. I hate to say that because I love the "do it yourself" trips, but I just don't think the average Joe on public land has a chance for the quality hunt we enjoyed 10 years ago. Just my 2 cents worth.

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As a nonresident I officially give up on the thought of ever giving Iowa a wooden nickel for their outrageous nonresident gouging on the archery deer hunt. But I do agree on the recent trend in MN bear hunting in several regions of the state. I think the number of hunters needs to be looked at as well as the number of bait sites.

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Quote:

As a nonresident I officially give up on the thought of ever giving Iowa a wooden nickel for their outrageous nonresident gouging on the archery deer hunt.


I couldn't agree more. I have family that lives in MN and love to come back here to bowhunt with me, but it's a rich man's game now. Unfortunately, the DNR never has any trouble selling out the quotas, so I don't see it changing anytime soon. Hope you connect on a bear this weekend...good luck!!

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thanks, I'll be putting more of my thoughts towards the goose hunt starting Saturday and my upcoming coveted MN Moose tag in a month, but if our baits keep getting hit like yesterday, I suppose I'll be in the woods this weekend getting frustrated by atv's and too close gunfire or surprised by a daytime bear.

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