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Wet bait

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:33 am
by NEbowman
I had a huge problem with my bait getting drenched this past season. We are allowed to use barrels in the White Mountain National Forest I hunt in NH, but I'm hiking in quite a bit further than most guys and carrying a barrel to these locations would be near impossible. This past season we had 5-6" of rain during the opening week of our 3 week baiting season. One site, which has been hammered the past few years, rotted in the wet conditions without a single bear touching the bait.


Any ideas to keep bait dry without using a barrel? I've considered tying a tarp to surrounding tress, suspended 5 or 6 feet above the bait to keep it mostly dry, but am concerned about how the bears would react to this sort of set up. Any ideas are appreciated.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:07 pm
by Bearpawon
I saw a video somewhere of a log standing upright with a big square hole cut in it to put the bait inside and then the bear can stand up and put his head in the hole and eat the bait. I Don't remember how it was stabilized so it wouldn't just fall over when the bear leaned on it but it looked like it would keep the bait dry. It also positioned the bear nicely for the hunter

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:07 am
by NEbowman
I've seen videos of a hollowed out log being use also. When I've seen it used it was usually in a place like Wisconsin which has a 10 gallon limit. I'm dropping between 150-200# of bait at a time. That would be a huge log!

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:15 am
by Ol Split ( ) Toes
If your hauling in 150 to 200#'s of bait each time, whats the issue with hauling a 40# barrel in once.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:36 am
by Mike Foss
NEbowman wrote:I had a huge problem with my bait getting drenched this past season. We are allowed to use barrels in the White Mountain National Forest I hunt in NH, but I'm hiking in quite a bit further than most guys and carrying a barrel to these locations would be near impossible. This past season we had 5-6" of rain during the opening week of our 3 week baiting season. One site, which has been hammered the past few years, rotted in the wet conditions without a single bear touching the bait.


Any ideas to keep bait dry without using a barrel? I've considered tying a tarp to surrounding tress, suspended 5 or 6 feet above the bait to keep it mostly dry, but am concerned about how the bears would react to this sort of set up. Any ideas are appreciated.


The tarp idea would be a disaster. Try using a scent ball from Bear Scents LLC. The ball is suspended between trees, when it gets wet it drips sweetness to the ground keeping bears interested and coming back, we cant use it here in Wisconsin but if we could I would definitely use it. Google Bear Scents LLC, and read about it. If you decide to give it a try make sure it is securely attached and the cable is tight between two trees. Bears are crafty animals and will do anything to get at that scent ball and most likely they will achieve it.
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Re: Wet bait

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:34 am
by Freelance Bowhunter
I agree with Mike on the bait ball thing, there are several companies that make them. They help but they won't keep the bears in the area like a good supply of bait.

The other option is just to use bait that's as waterproof as possible. Trail mix and some candies come to mind. Corn on the cob, apples, etc. That's a lot of rain and I wouldn't think that will happen most years. I wish there was more I could suggest but rainy weather just means more work for the bear hunter that's all there is to it.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:46 pm
by NEbowman
Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:If your hauling in 150 to 200#'s of bait each time, whats the issue with hauling a 40# barrel in once.



That's a great point. It's more the bulk of carrying that barrel over a mountain and through thick nasty swamp. A couple hundred pounds of bait fits in a few back packs pretty easy.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:49 pm
by NEbowman
That bait ball idea looks great. I'll definitely give that a try next year. And the rain we had this year was certainly abnormal. It made hunting real tough across the entire state. We were down from over 800 killed last year to just over 500 this year.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:42 am
by Ol Split ( ) Toes
NEbowman wrote:
Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:If your hauling in 150 to 200#'s of bait each time, whats the issue with hauling a 40# barrel in once.



That's a great point. It's more the bulk of carrying that barrel over a mountain and through thick nasty swamp. A couple hundred pounds of bait fits in a few back packs pretty easy.

Yeah they are quite awkward to carry, but if you can leave them in from season to season you would get many years of use, I think that would be your best bet. Two guys and a stretcher and strap it down.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:50 pm
by NEbowman
Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:
NEbowman wrote:
Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:If your hauling in 150 to 200#'s of bait each time, whats the issue with hauling a 40# barrel in once.



That's a great point. It's more the bulk of carrying that barrel over a mountain and through thick nasty swamp. A couple hundred pounds of bait fits in a few back packs pretty easy.

Yeah they are quite awkward to carry, but if you can leave them in from season to season you would get many years of use, I think that would be your best bet. Two guys and a stretcher and strap it down.



I'm going to consider the barrel idea next year, especially if we have above average rains in forecast again. Unfortunately, on the national forest land I hunt we can't leave them in from season to season. Everything has to come out after we kill a bear or the season ends.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:22 am
by Freelance Bowhunter
I know people who carry a 55-gallon steel drum into the backcountry of Idaho on a packboard. They do it every year. I drag them quite a ways on a ice fishing sled.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:16 am
by Mike Foss
Freelance Bowhunter wrote:I know people who carry a 55-gallon steel druminto the backcountry of Idaho on a packboard. They do it every year. I drag them quite a ways on a ice fishing sled.


Dont forget if a 55-gallon is to combersome for you, there are also 30 gallon drums out there.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:31 am
by NEbowman
Alright, you guys convinced me. I'm being a wuss about carrying a barrel in there, haha. Going to start looking around for a couple of them.

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:17 am
by cedarsavage
If it were me and we could use barrels, I’d put 2 eye bolts on the bottom and two on the top and use a ratchet strap or rope for backpack straps. Empty barrel of course then carry buckets out there to fill up. Barrels are pretty thin it should be easy to drill through it

Re: Wet bait

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:02 pm
by NEbowman
cedarsavage wrote:If it were me and we could use barrels, I’d put 2 eye bolts on the bottom and two on the top and use a ratchet strap or rope for backpack straps. Empty barrel of course then carry buckets out there to fill up. Barrels are pretty thin it should be easy to drill through it


Thats a great idea!