I want to fill everyone in on what happened at the bait station that this thread is about. The public land bait station that I started 21 days before the season continued to get pounded even though there was heavy hound hunting pressure. I decided to place an experienced hunter on that stand as it was in the middle nowhere but easy enough where one should not get lost
Pre-hunt question & answer period the day before the hunt, (if you get lost stay put...I will come and find you). I prepped the hunter about this bait station as we walked, I marked the entrance trail so he could find his way out. By 8:30 pm I started having concerns that he hasn't returned yet, by 9:00 pm I was really concerned he has not called or checked in, by 9:05 I was in my truck driving the 25 minutes to see if his truck was still at the spot where he left it, by 9:30 and miles away from civilization I rounded the corner on the dirt road and to my horror his truck was still there where he left it. By this time I was in full panic, bad thoughts were going threw my mind, did he fall out of the tree stand, was he hanging from his safety harness, did that Sow with cubs have him treed, was he mauled by one of the bears. I grabbed my portable spot light, head lamp and another extra flash light, slipped my bear spray in the holster on my hip and off I went, it was dead quiet out and started to rain, I speed walked or was it more like a sprint down the old logging road, after a little more than a quarter mile I was almost near the bait station, I stopped, drew a deep breath and yelled the hunters name, off in the distant I heard a faint yell but it was further down the old logging road. Instantly there was relief knowing he's not dead or injured. To make a long short...he got down from his tree stand and it was dark, he made it out to the old logging trail but second guest himself about if he was going in the correct direction, it didn't look familiar to him (every thing looks different in the dark) so he turned around and walked in the opposite direction after 10 minutes of walking he new he was lost so he remembered what I said at the meeting (sit tight...I will find you) and that's what he did...he sat down on a log and waited until it started raining then he crawled under a pine tree and fell asleep. When he finally seen my flash light and walked up to me he said "Man your fast, only 2 hours, I thought I would be out here for at least 4 hours.
Although I have no doubt someone would have shot a bear on that "The Great De-Bait" stand, but we never did hunt that stand again. The experiment was, can you start a bait station just days before the season starts and be successful compared to someone who has started a bait station months before? Absolutely yes without a doubt, BUT WHAT FUN IS THAT!
Hope you guys enjoyed this thread