|Auther with a public land Bear harvested in Michigan|
One rule I always stick to when placing a bait site is to always walk into the wind to the bait. You can also walk with the wind crossing your face, but none the less, make sure the wind is not blowing towards the direction you believe the Bears will come from. This may seem like a no brainer to some, but it is very important for hunters just starting out. While we are talking about wind, it is also very important to know that bears can smell very well. It's believed they can smell up to ten times better than a deer. But a bear's nose is not the only nose to worry
In most states, it is legal to hunt bear with hounds. With that being said, I dont think I have to explain what hounds hunt with. A hound can pick up a bear's scent from over a quarter mile away. That also means the bear sitting on your bait site. To avoid this fiasco from happening, it would be wise to make sure the next accessible road down wind of your bait site is far enough away. I have nothing against hunting with hounds, but imagine sitting in your stand and hearing half a dozen hounds coming your way. Make sure to utilize all mapping tools to make sure your bait site will not be comprimised by hounds from down wind.
|ellite imagery is a great scouting tool.|
Satellite and topo imagery, accessible by the internet or your local geological service, can be the difference between a bear rug and tag soup. I use Google Earth and Digital-topo-maps.com. It gives me a good idea on areas where I should consintrate my scouting efforts. Like most, I have a full time job and cannot scout as much as I would like. Not to mention my Bear camp is three and a half hours away from where I live. While utilizing these tools makes scouting more convienent, it's best to know what terrain to look for.
|A sow and a cub using a bait site|
I choose not to use any soft baits that can absorb water. Because I hunt public land and cannot contain my bait, I use corn, candy, and oates. Breads or doughnuts, although very effective, soak up water and go bad. This is bad when you can only bait a couple times a week. As I said earlier, my Bear camp is three and a half hours away from where I live, so I only bait two, maybe three, times a week.
Although everything I have mentioned up until now will help you in your efforts to harvesting a bear, one thing is key. You can have the right bait, stand site, bait consistantly and have all the top notch gear, but what bear hunting over bait is all about is confidence and patience. Confidence and patience are key to success. No matter if you kill a bear on the first sit ten years in a row, you have to be ready to wait it out and believe that all your preparation will pay off. This is Alvin Sitkiewicz with Michigan Gone Wild signing off. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Youtube and at www.michigangonewild.com. Stay Wild!