Targeting giant bears

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Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Tue Oct 25, 2022 1:34 pm

I haven't done a video quite like this before now, but here goes.

https://youtu.be/HcbIMpWbwmk


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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Hunter74 » Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:32 pm

So I watched this and a few more of your bear hunting videos and have a couple questions for ya.

I’ve never bear hunted but have been beast hunting and known Dan since before The Hunting Beast when it was blood brothers outdoors. I only say this to preface that I have a very good understanding of wind and thermals and use that to beat a lot of whitetail. I’m gonna draw a kill permit for the 2024 Wisconsin season so I’m looking for all the info I can and putting in my homework now.

So my question is when it comes to setting up baits why not trying to use the water to conceal your sit, essentially treating the water as a downwind barrier? One scenario I can think of is having a fair size lake on your downwind side so unless the bear swam out in the lake could not get directly down wind? Second scenario would be sitting against a moving creek, I find often if you hunt close and low enough to moving water on days with less then 10mph wind your thermal will suck into the creek?
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:06 am

That's a great question. I actually do have a few spots where I have been able to use water as a backing but it seems like other things in the choosing of a bait site location have become more important too me. Plus, the wind is swirly in the heavy cover where I want to put baits that I have over the years put less of a preference on trying to use prevailing wind, but chosen to use more selection in what days I hunt whichever baits depending on how likely I am to be able to get in there, along with minimizing my scent using scent killing products.

In this video, Jesse mentions the ozone producers and how he relies on them. I have never even tried one, frankly. I have always felt like it was way to optimistic to think that they are going to put a "curtain" of ozone down to keep your scent from the bear.

It's also important to realize that a bear bait site, whether you are sitting in the stand there or not, has your scent as a part of the package the bear is accustomed to smelling and seeing when he arrives. Totally different than deer hunting. And deer dome from more predictable directions as well as react completely different than a bear when they experience human scent. They live on the edge of panic all the time, while a bear is a predator and doesn't need to bolt every time he smells something that might mean danger.
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:14 am

We have tried using lakes as barriers for wind in Wisconsin, we found big bears would not commit to the bait during daylight. Being a state with high density of baits I'm sure they just go to the next bait were they can come from downwind.
Can't speak for other areas
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:38 am

Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:We have tried using lakes as barriers for wind in Wisconsin, we found big bears would not commit to the bait during daylight. Being a state with high density of baits I'm sure they just go to the next bait were they can come from downwind.
Can't speak for other areas


In a way, it's a form of trying to manipulate bear behavior, which usually doesn't work. This sometimes does, but the right situation is so rare it's a longshot IMHO.
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:02 am

Freelance Bowhunter wrote:
Ol Split ( ) Toes wrote:We have tried using lakes as barriers for wind in Wisconsin, we found big bears would not commit to the bait during daylight. Being a state with high density of baits I'm sure they just go to the next bait were they can come from downwind.
Can't speak for other areas


In a way, it's a form of trying to manipulate bear behavior, which usually doesn't work. This sometimes does, but the right situation is so rare it's a longshot IMHO.

Yeah in wonder how it would work in more remote areas such as northern canada where baits are very few and far between. I bet it would work a little better there.
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Hunter74 » Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:36 pm

Thanks for the replies guy’s, I definitely have a lot to learn.
So essentially with a bait setup your not terribly worried about the bear smelling you? Another tactic I’ve thought about is getting more like 50-60 yards downwind of the bait to catch bears you expect circle downwind? I understand this is taking you out of range of the bait but this tactic just makes sense to me just like a mature buck circling downwind of a scrape or food source?
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:56 am

Hunter74 wrote:Thanks for the replies guy’s, I definitely have a lot to learn.
So essentially with a bait setup your not terribly worried about the bear smelling you? Another tactic I’ve thought about is getting more like 50-60 yards downwind of the bait to catch bears you expect circle downwind? I understand this is taking you out of range of the bait but this tactic just makes sense to me just like a mature buck circling downwind of a scrape or food source?


Man don't we all have a lot to learn. The more I figure it out, the more I realize how little I know. That's especially true with the issue of scent. I have had bears refuse to come to the bait when I was there, and I have had seemingly smart mature bears just ignore the scent. Out of all the things I have formed a strong opinion about and been successful with, the issue of human odor is the one where I still get surprised, and at times feel like I am back to square one.

Certainly, setting up 50 yards downwind of a bait can work with a firearm assuming you have a good shooting lane. But for a bowhunter that's a tough one. A lot of bigger bears use what I call a staging area, where they hold up and analyze the situation, so finding that staging area might be better than just randomly setting up 50 yards away. I did a video back in 2019 of a situation where I found a staging area, but I can't find it on my channel right now. Maybe when I have more time I will go through the 2019 VLOG and dig it up.

We're all still learning.
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Mike Foss » Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:45 am

Hunter74 wrote:Thanks for the replies guy’s, I definitely have a lot to learn.
So essentially with a bait setup your not terribly worried about the bear smelling you? Another tactic I’ve thought about is getting more like 50-60 yards downwind of the bait to catch bears you expect circle downwind? I understand this is taking you out of range of the bait but this tactic just makes sense to me just like a mature buck circling downwind of a scrape or food source?


Wrong.... Prevailing wind directions in September should be your first concern when setting up or hunting a bear stand site.... don't get confused or think this is the same type of hunt as whitetails, setting up 50-60 yards away from the bait station will seldom work unless you plan on hunting open woods which I would not recommend, thick security cover is what those mature WI bears prefer. Good Luck
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:16 am

Mike Foss wrote:
Hunter74 wrote:Thanks for the replies guy’s, I definitely have a lot to learn.
So essentially with a bait setup your not terribly worried about the bear smelling you? Another tactic I’ve thought about is getting more like 50-60 yards downwind of the bait to catch bears you expect circle downwind? I understand this is taking you out of range of the bait but this tactic just makes sense to me just like a mature buck circling downwind of a scrape or food source?


Wrong.... Prevailing wind directions in September should be your first concern when setting up or hunting a bear stand site.... don't get confused or think this is the same type of hunt as whitetails, setting up 50-60 yards away from the bait station will seldom work unless you plan on hunting open woods which I would not recommend, thick security cover is what those mature WI bears prefer. Good Luck

I agree prevailing winds must still be hunted and your main concern, if your bait is set up right those bears should be close. A big mature bear is always going to circle down wind, but that gives him a heck of alot less time to smell you rather than if your scent has been blowing at him all day.
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Hunter74 » Fri Jan 27, 2023 11:03 pm

Alright so how are you guy’s playing the wind on these bait’s? How are you getting an idea of which direction the bear is approaching from?

So I’m my mind the only way to do this is sitting just off. For example if the wind is SW and the bear is believed to be circling from the north I would sit just west of the bait so my wind is hopefully just off and the bear turns on the edge of my wind to come into the bait…Is this essentially what you guy’s would do?
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Re: Targeting giant bears

Unread postby Mike Foss » Sat Jan 28, 2023 1:58 am

Hunter74 wrote:Alright so how are you guy’s playing the wind on these bait’s? How are you getting an idea of which direction the bear is approaching from?

So I’m my mind the only way to do this is sitting just off. For example if the wind is SW and the bear is believed to be circling from the north I would sit just west of the bait so my wind is hopefully just off and the bear turns on the edge of my wind to come into the bait…Is this essentially what you guy’s would do?


If every bear or mature bear always played the wind there would be no bears shot, they do and will make mistakes, there are so many variables, wind direction (how strong), how comfortable have they gotten to the approach throughout the pre-season baiting routine, how close is your stand set up to the bait station, how thick is the surrounding cover, is your bait station (human activity) on private or public etc etc etc.

How are you getting an idea of which direction the bear is approaching from? You can assume which direction those bears will come in from but until you start baiting and start attracting bears they will eventually tell you what you need to know. I have always said for a DIY hunter the ultimate setup (stand set up) is no setup at all until the day you hunt. It is so hard to find the absolute perfect location for a bait station, but if I were a DIY hunter I would have two different trees picked out for wind directions, and use a stand and smaller portable ladder sticks (like Dan Infalt uses), sneak in and set up but it won't take but a couple of days for bears to figure you out. On a guided hunt most likely stands are preset.... you just have to trust your guide but if there was any solid advice I can give never and I mean never hunt when the wind direction is wrong and blowing towards the bait station.


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