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Newbie bear hunter dumb questions


bigbucks

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Okay so I'm part of a group of 3 first time bear hunters, so obviously don't know much about it. We're hunting 3-4 hours from home. We're planning on establishing the bait sites & then working on getting a friend that's up there to keep up on the baiting for us.

Do you ever hunt bears in the morning or is it strictly an evening thing?

Otherwise I'm thinking opening weekend, which is Labor Day, we basically have Saturday & Sunday nights. If we go another weekend it would basically just be Saturday night. I don't think any of us wants to get home at midnight or even later the night before we have to work. At 45 I'm the "young" guy of the group & that just isn't the way we roll at this point in life.

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Okay so I'm part of a group of 3 first time bear hunters, so obviously don't know much about it. We're hunting 3-4 hours from home. We're planning on establishing the bait sites & then working on getting a friend that's up there to keep up on the baiting for us.

Do you ever hunt bears in the morning or is it strictly an evening thing?

Otherwise I'm thinking opening weekend, which is Labor Day, we basically have Saturday & Sunday nights. If we go another weekend it would basically just be Saturday night. I don't think any of us wants to get home at midnight or even later the night before we have to work. At 45 I'm the "young" guy of the group & that just isn't the way we roll at this point in life.

Get ready here comes Jonny! laugh

After our first year or two we only hunt in the afternoon. Never had one come in, in the mornings. wink

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Highly suggest getting cameras to hunt according to the bears feeding time, no sense hunt the AM if the cam showes PM feeders. I too am 45 an even tho I hunt only 15 mns from home its always midnight or later wen the pillow shows up. Since weekends are ur only time to hunt, two things I would consider but its just me. Since you want some one to help bait, I would hang one of your work shirts at the site so mr. bear has the chance to smell your scent an. Some might laugh at this but Look at it this way, Your having your bud bait two three times a week, his scent is at the site an the bear is asociating his scent with feeding an food. Not yours, ur scent shows up outa the blue an its bye bye bear. He aint coming in till dark. Use the same bug repelant as he uses an have him spray at the site, so wen u show up you have the same scent of bug spray. Its all about association too comfort. Any new scent besides food an ur gonna regret it. Yes guided hunts cant do the shirt ting but u usually have 5-7 days to play the wind or different sites to hunt to play the wind. I also would have a bacon burn at the ready, If you only have a day or two to hunt each time it might draw him in early on a sunday before ya leave. I only like to use a burn as a last reosrt, but I can hunt more offten than the average. It certainly is not a dumb question. Ive chased a bear one year for a mounth till I decide to try a morning hunt an bumped him off the pile at 7 am goin to pull bait, bumped another off one time while baiting at 6 am never seen him agian. Yea evening is generally THE time to hunt, but bear are slaves to their stomach, they eat when they want to. Get some cams if you dont have any good luck. Keep asking question, lots of great advise on this thread. Say is this state land or private ur hunting?

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Sorry after rereading my post, Wat I meant was not to hang your work shirt but to have you bud bring it with him to bait an back out, so your scent gets in the area like his.

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Sorry after rereading my post, Wat I meant was not to hang your work shirt but to have you bud bring it with him to bait an back out, so your scent gets in the area like his.

I can't spare a work sirt but have extra underwear shockedlaugh

I have had others bait for me and it has bit me a few times,you have to make sure they can bait early afternoon. The last guy I saw at my cams baiting in the dark guess what nocturnal bears crazy

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Lol! hope that last guys wasnt in ur spare underware blush

Well it was my close friend and he mooned the camera a few times

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LMAO. Man thats funny, dont think I could stop laughin if I came a across that. bear, squirl, bear, foiliage, bear, bear, cubs, bird, A$$!

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Might be a trip worth burning a couple of vacation days on. With only 2 nights available, too many variables like heat, rain, etc. could screw up the hunt.

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I hear you, but I don't think my buddy has any days to burn & I'm getting awful short on them myself. Let's just say I don't plan to be picky... Sounds like we could probably just as well wait & drive up Saturday am when we're going to hunt.

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Morning hunts,

Cameras are key. You will then know the bears schedule and if he is coming in the am so be it, ambush his furry butt before lunch.

Now this bear may be coming into the area at 1-5 am and not entering the bait until sunrise so you do chance chasing a bear off a bait in the dark and that is never good.

What I do for the early AM guys is have a completely separate bait for those that want to hunt AMs. Then they have a PM site and a AM site. This of course is figured out using cameras.

Another option is predatory calling bear in the morning. They do respond to certain distress calls but the trick with bear is to see him as he is circling around to get wind on the call and of course before getting into your scent. This trick should be done at least ½ mile from your bait site.

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Is it totally stupid to put a camera out without a bear box? I don't have one.

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We have never put a bear box on our cams and we haven't had a problem. The bears have always left ours alone. But I know some guys have had problems.

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I don't have any bear boxes yet and still have my cams. Just make sure you wear gloves when handling the bait and grease then take them off before touching the camera. So far I have been lucky malking sure my hands are clean.

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I don't have any bear boxes yet and still have my cams. Just make sure you wear gloves when handling the bait and grease then take them off before touching the camera. So far I have been lucky malking sure my hands are clean.
We had one tore off a tree and another nice photo of a bear licking it! smile Boxes may help if they don't rip the strap off! frown
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bigbucks

I don't know if you could've come to a better place for advice for a new bear hunter. All these guys here really know their stuff, and can back their recommendations with years of experience and success.

I would only add a couple pearls of wisdom that might help your overall success.

First, with the limited time that you have, don't be surprised or disappointed if none of you fill your tags. Bear are pretty tricky critters, and success (in terms of meat in the freezer) can be difficult, even with a bear that's routinely hitting a bait station.

I've spent hundreds of hours over bait stations that were cleaned out time and time again, and still seen no bear. Obviously, I don't hunt with cameras, so this tip alone can be immeasurably helpful.

The "scent" tips above are real, and integral to your success. Keep in mind that a bear can smell traces of scent even a dog cannot smell. I can't say for certain if it's better to cover your scent, make your scent obvious and well known, completely eliminate your scent, or perhaps all at the same time?

What I can say is, if you have a bear routinely hitting a bait station, and you're in stand over that bait station, this bear very likely knows you are there, and he may even be laying on the ground 50 yards away watching you the whole time you're waiting for him to come in. He's actually giggling very quietly and just waiting for you to leave!

That's where you need to take extreme care to keep your movements very, very slow, and make absolutely no noise. Bear don't have great eyesight, but certainly good enough to pick out movement up in a tree next to their dinner. They have excellent hearing, so any noise out of the ordinary and they'll blow outta there in a heartbeat.

I think that's the funnest part of hunting bear. That uncertainty factor. I love that time as the sun sets, when you can hear every field mouse and ground squirrel rustling in the leaves from a hundred yards away. The rush of a chickadee's wings next to your head almost startles you out of your stand. All the shadows seem to be moving, or are at least "bear shaped" blush , and every time you slowly turn your head to the bait pile you can swear there is a bear standing there looking at you!

Some bear come into a bait station and they want everyone to know they are coming...and it's theirs! Some come in so stealthily it's almost hard to get your head around how they got there and you didn't hear them coming in! That's the kind of stuff I love about hunting bear, and I would encourage you to embrace the thrill and mystique of the hunt, rather than gauge your success based solely on bagging an animal.

Lastly, you should know that if one of your party does connect on a Sunday evening, odds are you're going to get home a LOT later than midnight. Even if you plan to bring the animal into a locker plant for processing it may take some time to find the bear, field dress it, and drag it to the pickup.

If it's a small animal it shouldn't take too long, but if it's a nice big bear it's going to take much longer than you planned for. It would be prudent to arrange going into work at 12:00 noon on Monday (ahead of time)...just in case. If you don't fill a tag/tags you'll still make work by 8:00, but if one of you does "fill" you're going to greatly appreciate the extra time you've allowed yourself for the meat prep work, and a little sleep.

Best of luck to you bigbucks! I've no doubt you'll get TONS more valuable information from this group at FM. Enjoy the hunt! laugh

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Oh, and one more thing. Again, considering what little time you have to hunt, if I were you I'd put out lots and lots of choice bait a few days before the hunt.

The day you go in really smell the place up with sweets, bacon grease, kipper-snack oil, molasses, etc., then hunt every minute that time allows!

One thing is certain. You won't get your bear if you're not in stand when he comes in!

Have fun! smile

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All great advice I was new to bear hunting 4 years ago and also learned so much on this site, a lot of honest nice people you can rely on. You will also learn as you go, I would also highly recommend cameras knowing the time how many bears size etc is great and really amps you up seeing those pics.

I use bear boxes for about half my cameras I have often put two cameras at a site for different views and never had a camera destroyed, a couple slobbery licks on them smile I spray mine with scent blocker/eliminator to remove my smell on them and watch getting food smell on or around them (use rubber gloves too).

Good luck.

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full-2178-21613-bearspics4191.jpg

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Bigbucks, heres som morning pics for ya so it dose pay to sit mornings one thing to think about wen contemplating if u should is temperature, Its gonna be alot cooler in the morning than evening an if theres a hot spell going on, theyd be more apt to feed in the am than PM, even if cams dont show it. Also bear have very good eyesite, as good as ours if not some better, theve just depend on there hearing an nose so much, they no that wont let them down. Dont ever forget about their eyesite, they see very well. Best to be in stand before sun up if you hunt AM's

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Trouble I had with cameras was the older Moultries made a small clicking/motion sound when the IR lens would flip over. Three shot settings first shot was the bear turning to hear it, second was the bear looking at it and third was the bear trying to get the grubs or whatever was making the sound out of the box. The newer cameras have been ok but I still like having a padlock on the camera.

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I picked up 3 m-80, two cam lock boxes and a moultie box. Along with python cables. I'm set for 3 sites... Thanks for all suggestions/advice guys...

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Good luck cant wait to see piks, I think I'll make another year with wat I got but hoping next year to up grade an its between m 80 an trophy cam.

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I also looked at the new primos 46 mini cams look good too, I may get one for deer hunting to try...

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Yeah were about same or didn't have cameras I looked for. Thanks though, ill look next time when I buy to check.

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  • 1 month later...

So how much fryer grease are you guys trying to get? I'm concerned we're not going to have enough. We've got 3 guys to bait & I don't think anybody's collected anything yet.

How much can you get from one restaurant & what's the drill? Do you need to take them buckets or do they have buckets of the stuff to get rid of anyway?

I'm the only one of us that I think has done any looking into this at all.

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I think everybody has different contacts etc I myself know a friend I get it from a restraunt I bring and fill my own buckets out of a big dumpster they put it in to get picked up. I go through 3-4 buckets myself a year, I would get on it myself not that much time left.

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A few years ago it rain 5 out of the 7 days we hunted and the amount of grease we went through i didnt think it was enough to keep the baits smelling good enough.

10 gallons to start the site and two five gallon buckets throughout the hunt if it rains alot. Might be overkill on a dry year.

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