Once i get a bait set, I will go in a night or two before hunting and do a "honey burn." Basically exactly what it sounds like. take a pack stove or just start a small fire, a metal can of some sort, and honey. Start burning the honey until it boils and then some. Eventually it will turn blackish and you can burn as long as you would like. It puts out one heck of a potent smell, enough that i walk away while its burning cause it gets me a little tipsy feeling. If your in an area that has good wind circulation, it will be smelled and from what i have seen it usually brings customers.
We sit about 20-30 yards of bait or best tree available. For bait we use dog food and popcorn and molasass with bear crack on top. Honey donuts bacon grease as many scents as possible every bear likes something different.
T43 I see you are in Idaho so YES anything placed to attract a bear is considered bait and would require a bait permit. Even the burn sticks.
I usually sit in a treestand, however last year my wife was 7 mo. preggo so we chose a ground blind so she didn't have to climb. Won't be doing that again. I hated the ground blind experience. I much prefer being in the tree where I can see all around me. I will admit the night it snowed 3" while in the bait I was kinda glad I was in a blind.
Items we have used for bait.
1. Used Restuarant Grease.
3. Power Bar Scraps.
4. Power Bar Flavoring Syrup. (for attractant more than bait). Got apple cinnamon flavor for this year.
5. Bear Crack Burns.
6. Honey/Maple Syrup/ Apple Oil (for attractant more than bait)
7. This year got a 55 Gal. drum full of peanut butter.
You guys have got some good ideas. I'm interested in this bear crack stuff and I might try a honey burn or two now. I've never heard of either one; sure am glad I made this thread! My bait site was really successful last year, but it seemed that they were kind of getting picky or bored. Hence, not showing up as often and definitely not staying as long.
The most important lesson I've learned is, the sweeter the better. I've tried stinky and that was a waste of time. I have been using cob from the Co-op, since it's cheap. It already comes with some molasses pre-mixed in it, but I carry in a couple jugs of slightly watered down syrup to mix in with the cob as I pour it. The cob comes in fifty pound bags and I get a free five gallon bucket of syrup every year from the local honey producer. I'll buy as many bags of cob as needed, but try to ration out the syrup.
A lot of people say to mix it up and use a variety of stuff to keep the bear interested. I definitely agree with that after last year's experiences. Thanks for the great ideas, everybody!
Here is a pic of my site, but with the wrong critter.