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The state of New Jersey allows baiting during their black bear hunting season in December. The law states you must be a hundred

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  • The state of New Jersey allows baiting during their black bear hunting season in December. The law states you must be a hundred

    The state of New Jersey allows baiting during their black bear hunting season in December. The law states you must be a hundred yards away from your bait pile if you’re hunting in an elevated tree stand or in a ground blind. Last year, I saw six bears in the six day hunt. I hunted every day from sun up to sun down. All those bears were less than two hundred and fifty pounds so I passed them up. I was waiting for two big Heavy Weight bears that are over four hundred pounds that were feeding on my bait pile during the hours of darkness. I got over five hundred trail cam photos of these massive bruins. These bruiser bears never appeared during day light hours so I got skunked last year. My question is what can I do different to get one of those monster bears to make a fatal mistake and come in to eat at the bait pile during day light hunting hours? My tree stand is downwind at 112 yards away from the bait pile and it is eighteen feet high.

  • #2
    I walk in to my tree stand with rubber boots on and I use a red lenses flashlight. I spray my hunting clothes with Code Blue. I climb up my climbing sticks wearing rubber gloves. I know bears have the greatest nose and sense of smell in the world.

    My last day at my bait pile is two days before the hunt and I load it up with meat, corn, donuts, sticky buns, bakery rolls and apples.
    I cover the top of my bait pile with honey, syrup and molasses.

    Below is a trail cam photo of the two Heavy Weight bears posted on the Field and Stream Trophy Room last night.


    www.fieldandstream.com/photos/trophyroom/recent/single?pnid=1001483619#1001483619

    Comment


    • #3
      I know this is the toughest question I ever posted on this website.

      This photo below is a frontal photo of these same two bears.


      www.outdoorlife.com/photos/bragging-board/recent/single?pnid=1001360648#1001360648hoto of two bears.

      Comment


      • #4
        you could try piling up brush and pine boughs in a large circle around the bait pile to make the bears feel more secure when eating. I am not a bear hunter but I know that deer feel more secure if there is a lot of cover around their food.

        Comment


        • #5
          Gary D. - Big bears in high hunting pressure areas don't get big by making it a habit of visiting bait piles during daylight hours (because they would be killed at a young age and never get old enough to get very big). In other words, these bears have been around the block, and they seem to know to avoid bait piles during daylight hours during hunting season. If you want to kill those bears, you need to find out where they are located during daylight hours (which is likely in the thickest, nastiest stuff within a reasonable walk in any direction from the bait pile), and go after them in those areas.


          I know we have discussed baiting techniques before and disagreed. Baiting animals, patterning them, and capturing them is what I do for a living, and I have done it up and down the east coast. My best advice is to trust your data (trail camera pictures), change your bait locations until you get daylight pictures consistently, and change your hunting tactics so until you find a combination that works best for you and your scenario. Baiting is an art, not a science. What works in some areas will not work in others, and there is no "magic bait" that makes animals come running in during daylight hours. Good luck!

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          • #6
            Here is one technique that we have tried with one success but it was the biggest bear taken in that area in 16yrs. We called it "stingy" baiting.
            Instead of giving the bears enough or more than they could eat in a night we only put out a small amount of bait the couple of nights before the season started.
            The theory is that with competition around the bears will get to the bait early so they get some food. A whopper bear that we had pictures of for two years came in 3 minutes before end of shooting light on the second night of the season. I know one bear does not constitute much proof but it was the only time in two years that bear came in when we could shoot. I read an article about coyote baiting that used this technique so we tried it with the bears. Seemed to work or at least worked on that bear and we did get more daylight shots on the other baits.
            Otherwise I would echo Bioguy and say try and find their hangout and set up on the trail to the bait. I would bet you cannot sneak up on them in the cover but if you can set up between them and the bait you might get a shot. Bears don't get big by making many mistakes.
            Good luck Gary. I only saw small bears this season so I am eating bear tag soup.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gary, if the clock is correct on the photo's you are missing them by several hours. Either find the path they take to come in - they probably come about the same way every day. And put another stand on that path. Or, like Chuckles says use the stingy style bait technique to get them to start coming in earlier.
              In N.Y. we knew where and when the bears were heading for food and would take a stand 1/2 hour before the end of legal hours. That was with rifles.
              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gary- Unequivocally, with out a doubt, I assure you that both bioguy and chuckles are correct. Black bear in the fall will forage up to 20 hrs a day, to sleep all day means starvation and they know it. If they are not present by day, you have to back track them. Trail cameras are great for that. I will echo two previous techniques briefly, and add a third.

                1- Back track their movements. They are eating by day, if you want to shoot them by day, you can only do it where they eat. Bioguy described this well.

                2- "Stingy" baiting- they are greedy, agressive, dominant feeders. If there's one twinky on the table, the fat kid is there first and will be rude to get it. EVERY TIME. Chuckles described this well.

                3- I am a firm believer that big bears, smart bears, know you're there. We walk in to a bait in pairs, one goes to sit, the other baits the bait in the "stingy" method. When walking in, were not silent, even when filling the bait preseason. It's not to keep from spooking them, it's so that they get accustomed to hearing us enter and then being fed. When were hunting, were equally as loud, weather coming or going. They hear the "baiter" leaving and come for a stingy dinner. Best of luck to you, I'm sure you're using an appropriate bait or you wouldn't have pictures to prove it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Gary- Unequivocally, with out a doubt, I assure you that both bioguy and chuckles are correct. Black bear in the fall will forage up to 20 hrs a day, to sleep all day means starvation and they know it. If they are not present by day, you have to back track them. Trail cameras are great for that. I will echo two previous techniques briefly, and add a third.

                  1- Back track their movements. They are eating by day, if you want to shoot them by day, you can only do it where they eat. Bioguy described this well.

                  2- "Stingy" baiting- they are greedy, agressive, dominant feeders. If there's one twinky on the table, the fat kid is there first and will be rude to get it. EVERY TIME. Chuckles described this well.

                  3- I am a firm believer that big bears, smart bears, know you're there. We walk in to a bait in pairs, one goes to sit, the other baits the bait in the "stingy" method. When walking in, were not silent, even when filling the bait preseason. It's not to keep from spooking them, it's so that they get accustomed to hearing us enter and then being fed. When were hunting, were equally as loud, weather coming or going. They hear the "baiter" leaving and come for a stingy dinner. Best of luck to you, I'm sure you're using an appropriate bait or you wouldn't have pictures to prove it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Habben and Bioguy, thank you for the good suggestions.
                    I agree moving the bait pile location to a near by thicket could give those bears a sense of security.

                    My problem is the NJ game law and being a hundred yards away from the bait pile while hunting inside a tree stand.
                    Those football field shots are harder to find inside a heavy thicket or near a swamp.

                    So, I may have to hunt downwind, out in the open, down on the ground at twenty to thirty yards from my bait pile or even sit inside the bait pile locked and loaded.

                    I am willing to try anything to out fox them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Chuckles, jhjimbo and phw, great stuff! Plus ones for everybody!

                      Put out less bait and starve them out during the daylight hours. Great Idea!

                      Those huge bears must leave a worn out trail down on the ground leading to my bait pile.
                      Find where their coming from and ambush them a few hundred yards before the bait pile.
                      Awesome!

                      Wow, I love it! Now you guys have me all pumped up!
                      I am going to start my bait pile this weekend two months early.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Gary D. - Good luck! I hope you connect and be sure to post pictures if you do!

                        On a side note, there are some hunting laws that make absolutely no sense...requiring that a hunter be >100 yards from a bait pile is one of them. I suppose whomever made that law probably thought that if hunters were going to be allowed to hunt over bait, requiring them to be 100 yards away would give the bear a "sporting chance" at escape in the form of a possible missed shot. To me it makes more sense to require that the hunter be within 100 yards of the bait because at closer range the bear has the advantage in the form of a powerful nose that could detect the hunter well before the hunter was even aware that the bear was in the area. It would also give the bear a better chance to detect movement. Also, we owe it to the animals we hunt to make a clean and ethical shot. Although 100 yards is well within the effective range of most rifles, I dare say the effective range of most hunters is less than 100 yards.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bioguy, I agree with you and the hundred yard rule is a stupid law.

                          When New Jersey started up the black bear season in 2003 after a 33 year ban on bear hunting it was mandatory for all bear hunters to take a black bear safety course.

                          The Fish and Wildlife instructor said you can sit and hunt inside your bait pile or hunt ten feet away.
                          If you’re in a ground blind or tree stand the hundred yard distance law applies.

                          You can thank the NJ Fish and Game Council for that brilliant hundred yard law.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bioguy, also a point of information, you can't use rifles in the Garden State on any big game species.

                            Hunters must use a shotgun slug barrel with copper slugs or a muzzle loader.
                            No buckshot allowed on bears, either.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have used 1 sterno can an 1 empty Soup Can 1 empty Coffee can Filled with Honey. on the Coffee Can make large holes, lite the Sterno and put it in side on the coffee can and the Soup can on top filled with Honey....It works every time.

                              Comment

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