Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: luvmystang67 on April 07, 2021, 10:47:12 AM

Title: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: luvmystang67 on April 07, 2021, 10:47:12 AM
Hey guys, I plan to get some bait barrels going in Idaho this year.  I have no experience with this, but have done some reading.  I'm hoping our collective brain power can help.

Barrel Cuts: I'm allowed 3 baits, so I may try different barrel styles. Some people love the small hole in the bottom, some make a big rectangular cut in the side of the barrel and shove logs in there.  I've read that many people have problems with the removable lids on barrels once the bears dent and bend them, so people often install their own loading doors on the top.  I've also seen some people who let them roll around, and some that fix them to trees. 

My current plan is probably to do two with smaller holes, and one with a big rectangular guy to see what works.  I'll probably start just removing tops to fill them (for the small hole ones) and for some reason I like the idea of fixing them to a tree so they don't roll around.

Baits: I get that bears love most anything sweet, I'm not here to talk the best or worst baits.  I WOULD like some input on the best way to source bait.  While I've not yet made the rounds, I get the feeling that most bakeries and grocery stores probably already have a connection with other local rednecks to either bait bears or feed pigs.  I'm kind of trying to set up a more reliable option for myself as backup when those visits/phone calls fall through.  Also, it'd be really easy to pick up and pack in a bag of feed or dogfood if I just purchased it.

I've seen that maple syrup (fake stuff) is super cheap at costco.  I've also found some dogfood bags for $18/40lbs.  I recently walked through North 40 and thought that hog feed @ 18% protein for $14.50/50lbs could be a pretty good starting point, perhaps better than oats or corn (although, I have no real idea). 

So I guess my questions are kind of as follows:
1) Is there a better bet for cheap sweetener than costco syrup if I end up having to buy things?
2) If I use some kind of animal feed, any input on oats, rolled corn, hog feeder/starter, or dog food?
3) I do think there's probably enough cooking oil in the world that I can find some of this, would you just add to the mix or spread on trees and the ground around the site?
4) Any input on bait barrel design or config?  I feel like the big rectangular hole could be good for breads and sweets, even if I have to buy them at the Franz outlet.

Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Limhangerslayer on April 07, 2021, 11:26:41 AM
If you go with feed, rolled Cob with molasses is hard to beat.  You can usually order five gallon bucketís of straight molasses too.  A good starter bucket is half a five gallon bucket of cob mixed with three apple juice concentrate and three grape juice concentrate.  Then add molasses to slurry it up.  Do it now and close it until youíre ready to use it during season.  Very potent and a great attractant.  You better pretty much chain it to a tree or they will rip it off in no time!
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Wolfdog2314 on April 07, 2021, 11:50:50 AM
Call around to gas stations/restaurants/ball fields for their used cooking oil. Ball fields is a great place to get it assuming they get back up and running. A lot of places have contracts to have their oil picked up.

Franz outlet for the win. You can get carts or flats of breads/sweets for cheeeeap. Sometimes you score on some sweets in the baskets. I wouldnít worry tho if itís all or mostly bread. Seems to always work just fine. Add some Ole Roy cheap dog food in there too. I like to mix syrup or grease throughout the barrel. Wet Cob is great too. Cheap vanilla and anise oil for some extra scent if u want.

Grab a few bags of big marshmallows. Set them on top of and or around the barrel. U can use this as a good indicator from a distance if a bear has been on the barrel.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: steeleywhopper on April 07, 2021, 12:32:51 PM
Cooking oil from a restaurant or gas station would be my first item to get, after that add popped popcorn, bread, pastries, Marshmallows, and anything else you want your bears chomping on.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: STIKNSTRINGBOW on April 07, 2021, 12:36:31 PM
Don't know about what time/space you might have but back when it was legal in Washington an "old timer"
Showed me that taking 2 tires, one with rim, one without, and cabling to a tree.
Fill with whatever you had, then putting the one with rim on top, place large rock or log to keep weaker animals out, then using a paintbrush dipped in molasses to paint outside of tire...
.
Use a sterno stove to do a honey burn, and that thing was hit before the weekend was over..
.
About the 3rd time it was hit, he would pull the "old 2 men in, one out" trick....
.
The bears would be on the bait before he could even walk back to his truck...
.
Bigger bears preffered fresh meat, but if any legal and pressed for time...
.
Larger bait set-ups created issues with multiple bears nd competition at the bait sight...
.
Simple smaller baits resulted in faster action, and easier set up.
.
If you got time to establish bait sights, and want to be selective, never mind.
.
But if you don't have the time, or don't live near your hunting area....
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: SpicyTacos on April 07, 2021, 06:49:17 PM
Doooood. Best subject line seen for awhile. 😂
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: ASHQUACK on April 08, 2021, 08:10:27 AM
Always used glycerin and soaked it with cinnamon we used to buy 5 gallon  buckets of it for cheap also mixed star anise (licorice) with some. I always used the blue plastic drums from a local food producer (stretch Island fruit). They also had a mash that was super sweet and stupid cheap. But they are no longer.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Dan-o on April 08, 2021, 08:32:42 AM
I always thought an undertapped bait source might be a Mongolian Grill restaurant.   

They are forever scraping oily food off the grill.

I imagine some sacks of that would catch a bears nose.......
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Ridgeratt on April 08, 2021, 08:53:22 AM
I always thought an undertapped bait source might be a Mongolian Grill restaurant.   

They are forever scraping oily food off the grill.

I imagine some sacks of that would catch a bears nose.......


Back when I was baiting bears I was making a pick up from a local Chinese Restaurant here in Spokane.  I was getting all the chicken carcass and the pork trimmings along with the left over noodles.  I hit the gold mine!!! But I had to have them put it in smaller containers. My first time I stopped I had a 55 gallon barrel full. and that was a pick up every other day.

Used to go the cash and carry and buy the powdered flavored drink that would make 5 gallons or more. There was a peach flavored one that you could smell with in a hundred yards.  But the powdered drink mix was an easy choice packed in dry and then a couple of bottles of water and you could make a paste to smear on a dead stump. Cherry, Peach, and Grape were the best.    :tung:
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Woodchuck on April 08, 2021, 09:00:56 AM
If you go with feed, rolled Cob with molasses is hard to beat.  You can usually order five gallon bucketís of straight molasses too.  A good starter bucket is half a five gallon bucket of cob mixed with three apple juice concentrate and three grape juice concentrate.  Then add molasses to slurry it up.  Do it now and close it until youíre ready to use it during season.  Very potent and a great attractant.  You better pretty much chain it to a tree or they will rip it off in no time!
:yeah:
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: luvmystang67 on April 08, 2021, 09:40:56 AM
Alright, thanks for all the input here.

I think my best contingency plan is the molasses cob mix, north 40 has those with 5% molasses for $12/50lb.  I could add additional molasses to that (only $25 per 5 gallon bucket).  Adding juice concentrates and things would be fairly easy.

I'm still going to go out on a "quest for freebies", but wanted to ensure I had a good base level plan if that didn't work out.

Any input on the bait hole?  I'm thinking small if I'm doing something like molasses rolled cob (like 4"-6" or so), however I don't want it to get jammed up in there.

The big rectangular model (with a hole like 2'x1') seems to be good for breads and things, with some branches/logs shoved in it to make life difficult for them. 

Anyone have a firm preference or recommendation on that?  They have to be 55gal steel barrels or smaller (no plastic) in Idaho.  You can also just dig a small hole and pile logs over it for a more natural approach, but I think bears would crush that too quickly.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: KFhunter on April 08, 2021, 09:54:43 AM
A bear is what it eats, bait according to that.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: luvmystang67 on April 08, 2021, 09:59:44 AM
A bear is what it eats, bait according to that.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

This might be too philosophical for me...
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Woodchuck on April 08, 2021, 10:10:19 AM
Alright, thanks for all the input here.

I think my best contingency plan is the molasses cob mix, north 40 has those with 5% molasses for $12/50lb.  I could add additional molasses to that (only $25 per 5 gallon bucket).  Adding juice concentrates and things would be fairly easy.

I'm still going to go out on a "quest for freebies", but wanted to ensure I had a good base level plan if that didn't work out.

Any input on the bait hole?  I'm thinking small if I'm doing something like molasses rolled cob (like 4"-6" or so), however I don't want it to get jammed up in there.

The big rectangular model (with a hole like 2'x1') seems to be good for breads and things, with some branches/logs shoved in it to make life difficult for them. 

Anyone have a firm preference or recommendation on that?  They have to be 55gal steel barrels or smaller (no plastic) in Idaho.  You can also just dig a small hole and pile logs over it for a more natural approach, but I think bears would crush that too quickly.
We always used smaller holes so it held them at the site longer than if they could stuff their whole head in the barrel.  :twocents:
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: idaho guy on April 08, 2021, 05:45:15 PM
Alright, thanks for all the input here.

I think my best contingency plan is the molasses cob mix, north 40 has those with 5% molasses for $12/50lb.  I could add additional molasses to that (only $25 per 5 gallon bucket).  Adding juice concentrates and things would be fairly easy.

I'm still going to go out on a "quest for freebies", but wanted to ensure I had a good base level plan if that didn't work out.

Any input on the bait hole?  I'm thinking small if I'm doing something like molasses rolled cob (like 4"-6" or so), however I don't want it to get jammed up in there.

The big rectangular model (with a hole like 2'x1') seems to be good for breads and things, with some branches/logs shoved in it to make life difficult for them. 

Anyone have a firm preference or recommendation on that?  They have to be 55gal steel barrels or smaller (no plastic) in Idaho.  You can also just dig a small hole and pile logs over it for a more natural approach, but I think bears would crush that too quickly.
We always used smaller holes so it held them at the site longer than if they could stuff their whole head in the barrel.  :twocents:
       

 :yeah: Unless you enjoy going broke feeding ravens or crows go with smaller holes plus keeps the bear there longer. We still build cubbies just using  logs and that works great but once its opened up everything will be eating your bait(birds mostly)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Machias on April 09, 2021, 02:25:46 PM
Birds??  Never have a problem with birds.   :chuckle:
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Machias on April 09, 2021, 02:27:56 PM
Careful with bigger holes on your barrels.  Jr gets stuck in there your going to have a heck of a time letting it out!!  No that's not how I left the barrel, but they can get rough with barrel when it gets empty.  :)
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Machias on April 09, 2021, 02:29:46 PM
My short term remedy for crows and ravens.  Of course this only last until the next bear comes along and pulls out the logs.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Pegasus on April 09, 2021, 02:30:50 PM
Birds??  Never have a problem with birds.   :chuckle:

That's a great shot.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: idaho guy on April 09, 2021, 08:59:34 PM
Birds??  Never have a problem with birds.   :chuckle:


Me either   :chuckle:
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: luvmystang67 on April 14, 2021, 02:18:59 PM
Alright master baiters  :chuckle: I've got 3 barrels with removable lids and locking tops.  Since I don't know what I'm doing, I'm going to make them all 3 different and see what I like.  For bait mainstays, I'm going to rely on purchased bait, and sub in anything I can manage to get that is free or close.  This will likely be molasses cob animal feed, which comes in at $11-12 for a 50 lb sack.  I plan to douse it with some costco maple syrup, also cheap.  Again, any freebies will reduce that... and I might try a 50 lb bag of costco dogfood, but that rings in at $17.  I do plan on grabbing some used oil from local restaurants for some "com'ere bear" scent.

Hanging Bait Model: I want to have the ability to fill a barrel (or mostly fill a barrel) and have a slower feed process.  I can't cut a 5" hole in the bottom of a barrel, because all my oats will flow out.  Hanging bait model is my starting point for this and it might help keep my barrel from getting destroyed.  They can bat it around, I don't have to worry bout heads getting stuck, harder for other animals to mess with.  I'd hang it 5' off the ground or so.

Rolling Bait Model: I assume this is going to destroy the drum, but we'll see.  Same thing as above, 3 small holes and chained loosely to a tree so that a bear rolls it around to get feed out.  I'm thinking small, like 1.5" holes.  Primarily would be the molasses cob and dog food.  I'll chain this to a tree, but so it can roll around.

Traditional Bait Model: The reason I like this one less is that I can't fill it full of my loose food, only below the hole.  Above the hole will have to be pastries or other food scraps that wont immediately fall out.  I plan to have some of that, even if sparse.  I did find that the Franz outlet here actually SELLS the old bread in carts for baiters... but you have to buy the whole cart.  My only question with this one, is what size hole?  People say small enough that a bear wont get its head stuck, but the smallest bear I've shot is 5"+ across.  I swear larger bears have paws that would hardly fit in that.  Any recommendations on hole size for the traditional look?  Also, I plan not to cut a circle, but rather to cut an 'X' in the barrel and peen over the edges around to the inside, so that the edge is nice and rounded.  I don't see people do this, is that a bad idea?

Enjoy my powerpoint art.
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: idaho guy on April 14, 2021, 03:35:30 PM
I think you might be over thinking your hole size and shape. Bears are pigs with a lot of hair and will find a way to eat the bait. I personally make it big enough that I feel they can easily reach inside but not so big its hard to cover with something to not have it exposed to other animals eating free at the bait. We still do a lot of cubbys with logs and rocks etc placed over the bait and it works good. The advantage to cubbys is you dont have to mess with packing in and out a barrel and not everyone who happens by will know you have a bait there. A barrel announces to anyone in the area a bait is there.  Once a decent number of bears start hitting your bait you will be going back to replenish all the time anyways. I think the key is just to get the bears attracted to your bait as soon as possible and then dont let it run out so you keep them there. How you place the bait for me is of secondary importance and the only benefit I have found to barrels is keeping other critters from eating a bunch after its opened up . Try and find locations where there is not a bait in every draw. A big mistake i find new baiters make is placing baits close to other existing baits and its hard to pattern the bears since they have multiple smorgasbords available close. I know you cant know of every bait potentially out there but the closer to town the more baits there will be.  The biggest mistake is baiting close enough to 4 wheeler trail or road where houndsman will strike off the bait. I have unintentionally ran bears with my dogs off multiple baits because the baits were placed where my dogs could strike bears from the road or trail. I wont run someones bait on purpose but if people place baits in bad spots the dogs will strike and be released. Just a suggestion but I would be more focused on the location of your baits then the barrel hole size.  You will go broke feeding primarily sweet cob on 3 baits if you have good locations. You need some cheaper alternatives.   Franz was a good option but its way to crowded for me these days getting on a list and people showing up 1 hour before they open. I gave up on that probably 5 years ago wasnt worth it to me for old bread hopefully you have a different experience. I wont name any but there is lots of other options for free or cheap bait in the area.  Your first two barrel ideas are interesting but I would not personally try either. Just some suggestions have fun feeding bears  :tup:   
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: Machias on April 15, 2021, 12:36:48 PM
 :yeah:
Title: Re: Master Baiters - Looking for some bait strategy
Post by: huntnnw on April 18, 2021, 09:57:05 PM
cooking oil and actual grease are not even in the same category as for how potent grease is. Oil is just that oil, no stink wont rot.