The Great Be-Bait

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Mike Foss
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The Great Be-Bait

Postby Mike Foss » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:48 pm

Where do I start, how do I start, that is the question. Follow along the best you can with the videos. In the first video (its done on trail camera) I try to explain what I am trying to accomplish then the trail cameras 90 seconds runs out.
https://youtu.be/mFlSKRE5Wy4

For years there has been de-baits (I know its spelled wrong lol) and I have been asked countless times why I start baiting so early etc. I have always done and given my best as a past guide, I have always tried to give my clients the best opportunity to fill that precious Wisconsin bear tag. I have always been one to take the blame when a hunter is not successful. I know other outfits (bear guide services) start baiting starting Aug 1st which I have always strongly disagreed too. My thinking has always been these bear hunters have waited years for this bear tag, they are spending there hard earned money and I am going to give them the best hunt possible.

So the great De-Bait, when to bait, how much, DIY, Guided, public land, Hounds etc. So last Tuesday Aug 22nd at 1:30 I ventured out, 23 days before the season starts to place a bait station on public land in an area I have never placed a bait station before, that is heavily hunted by the hound hunters (no disrespect to the hound hunters) to see if I can attract and hold bears to the point where I would feel comfortable placing a hunter on that stand.

These next trail camera videos are of me placing the new bait station.
https://youtu.be/Ury4vO-fHtchttps://youtu.be/mkVskouGLhU
https://youtu.be/XYNkfGm7v04https://youtu.be/9GXXRkPVYE8


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stash59
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby stash59 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:56 pm

Cool as a poor boy this interests me greatly.
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Mike Foss » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:05 pm

So it is now Aug 30th... on the 28th it was my first time checking the new experimental Bait Station and to my dismay the bait station was not hit, I placed another 4 gallons of bait to freshen it up as it rained hard on the weekend. In the video you can see me placing a Gel Bacon Scent from Bear Scents llC. I walked 70 yards down the ravine to the East spreading the Gel Scent and then 100 yards along my exit trail and then along the logging road where I walk out. I told myself I will give it two more days, if the bait isn't hit by then I am going to pull the camera and abandon the bait station.
https://youtu.be/i2nz3_1LxKA
Like I said in the beginning of this section it is Aug 30th, two days later I went back and checked the bait station and YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED! :o But you will have to wait until I get a chance to post again.
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby BassBoysLLP » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:58 pm

Mike, out of curiousity, what natural foods are readily available next to your bait?
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Mike Foss » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:10 am

BassBoysLLP wrote:Mike, out of curiousity, what natural foodsare readily available next to your bait?


The choke cherries are about 90% done, the black berries are 70% done, I haven't noticed much acorns. As far as amajorfood source where this bait station is located there is none except when there is a great acorn crop. Natural food sources has never played a role in how active bait stations are in the big woods, not like Ag country.
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby BassBoysLLP » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:30 am

Mike Foss wrote:
BassBoysLLP wrote:Mike, out of curiousity, what natural foodsare readily available next to your bait?


The choke cherries are about 90% done, the black berries are 70% done, I haven't noticed much acorns. As far as amajorfood source where this bait station is located there is none except when there is a great acorn crop. Natural food sources has never played a role in how active bait stations are in the big woods, not like Ag country.


Interesting. Thank you
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Edcyclopedia » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:58 am

NH doesn't allow baiting prior to the season. :cry:

I'm wondering how my 1st Bear season will go and what I'll quickly learn...
Blind Bear Hunt for me.

I've read that a few people will bait opening day and hunt a week later, my guess is to attract and inventory.
None the less, it will be a fun adventure and I'll keep my Advil bottle by my side.

Thanks for sharing Mike
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby hunter_mike » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:13 am

Very cool experiment! Thanks for putting this one together
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Mike Foss » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:17 am

Ok, so on Wednesday (1 1/2 days later) I went back to check the bait and retrieve the needed trail camera and was amazed that it was hit, not only was it hit but it looked like I had bear coming in for over a month now. I pulled the camera and was anxious to view what lies within the SD card. At a fast pace I hurried down the trail all the while thinking how important using scent is, not just using it but how to use it. The first time I placed that bait station I only smeared two trees next to the bait with bacon gel and a spearmint smear. I know now it wasn't enough scent and maybe the heavy rains over the weekend had something to do with the no activity, but I also couldn't help but think the first two days and nights there was great weather.

Back at home it was like Christmas time, I couldn't turn on my PC and load the card fast enough, you as hunters all know the type of feeling, the excitement I am talking about. That Monday when I first checked the bait it was around 1:30 and around 6:45 the first bear was at the bait (below video).
https://youtu.be/xCo0_8szxEY

It wasn't a big bear by any means but it is a legal bear. To make a long story short...there is two single legal bears, a very nice sow with two cubs and then this old Monster of a bear. The bears body is very big I am having a hard time determining if its a sow or a boar. I made a mistake placing the camera to close and to high as it shows in the video or should I say, it doesn't show.
https://youtu.be/xc7Fist016Ahttps://youtu.be/ZK9MlV-5HOo

Whether its a boar or a sow its (I think it is a boar) its one of those bears every bear hunter is after. Look at the size and there literally is no neck, so the bear will be called "No Neck".
Last edited by Mike Foss on Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Stanley » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:24 am

Great stuff, thanks for sharing Mike.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Mike Foss » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:05 pm

So today the 31st, at 8:30am, Robert and I went back in, baited and set up a stand and placed that trail camera on a better tree a little further away. I hope to get more and better pictures of that big bear. It will be interesting as the bear hound season starts next week. I hope that bear and others continue to show.

The sole purpose (The Great De-Bait) of this little experiment was to see if baiting for months is necessary or not. I wanted to feel the panic of starting a bait station only weeks away from the season, on public land as if I were a DIY hunter. I realize not all areas are the same, one has to do there homework but I would definitely choose Zone D if I did a DIY hunt, it is huge country with lots of public land. I am lucky to live in a area with a great bear population. I will not hesitate to put a hunter on this stand, but I will be truthful and tell that hunter the story.

Some might be wondering the big De-Bait question, why in the first place I did this. Is it really necessary to bait as early as I do? And my answer is NO, in my area (Northern Bayfield County) you would be able to get away with baiting and attracting bears and having a successful hunt just weeks before the season starts. Personally, for Northern Wisconsin Outfitters, they will continue doing the same thing as always, "giving one the greatest black bear hunts Wisconsin has to offer"
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby stash59 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:21 pm

I can see why you got bears to the bait after your 2nd trip in. You put down a much larger area of scent by putting it on your trail out and on the road. Thus creating a much larger scent cone floating on the wind. Similar to shows I've watch on chumming for sharks. They always laid out a long line of chumm across the currents.

So can you tell us about how much you've spent on bait and scents for this 1 bait so far?
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Dewey » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:22 pm

Very cool Mike. 8-)
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby Mike Foss » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:33 pm

[quote="stash59"]I can see why you got bears to the bait after your 2nd trip in. You put down a much larger area of scent by putting it on your trail out and on the road. Thus creating a much larger scent cone floating on the wind. Similar to shows I've watch on chumming for sharks. They always laid out a long line of chumm across the currents.

So can you tell us about how much you've spent on bait and scents for this 1 bait so far?[/quote]

Total of 20 gallons (3x baited) of bait and a half a jar of bear scents that is in that one video. By the time the season starts we will add at least another 80 gallons of bait. Hard to tell....the half Jar of bear scents is around $12 and the bait have no idea. We figured it out one time a few years back...I had roughly $300 to $400 dollars tied into each bait station by the time the season started, that's gas & bait only.
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Re: The Great Be-Bait

Postby BassBoysLLP » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:27 pm

Mike Foss wrote:
stash59 wrote:I can see why you got bears to the bait after your 2nd trip in. You put down a much larger area of scent by putting it on your trail out and on the road. Thus creating a much larger scent cone floating on the wind. Similar to shows I've watch on chumming for sharks. They always laid out a long line of chumm across the currents.

So can you tell us about how much you've spent on bait and scents for this 1 bait so far?[/quote]

Total of 20 gallons (3x baited) of bait and a half a jar of bear scents that is in that one video. By the time the season starts we will add at least another 80 gallons of bait. Hard to tell....the half Jar of bear scents is around $12 and the bait have no idea. We figured it out one time a few years back...I had roughly $300 to $400 dollars tied into each bait station by the time the season started, that's gas & bait only.


Thats a good estimate. I usually have about the same. I'm running closer to $400 - 500 this year buy one having time to run one bait per day.

Good stuff Mike. Hopefully, I get the courage to save up for a Zone D tag someday.
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