How to Become A Bear Hunter
Bear Hunting Magazine|September - October 2020
How to Become A Bear Hunter
Rookie Mistakes in Baiting Bears - You’ve got to do a lot of things right to kill a mature bear over bait, especially on a DIY hunt.
Clay Newcomb

Beginner’s guide to becoming a woodsman, renaissance man & bear hunter

Mistake #1 - Not enough variety in bait

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also a key to a good bear bait. Bears are like humans, they’ve got individual preferences. I once heard of a bear that despised lemon-flavored pies so much that he raked his tongue with his paws. A bear’s goal is to “get fat quick.” Having multiple bait options in different categories creates nothing but positive outcomes. Sometimes people get locked into one type of bait that they can get in large quantities. A bear will hit one single item, but they’ll hit it longer, and they’ll be a better chance he’ll be there on opening day if your bait is diverse.

Different categories of baits would be sweets, carbohydrates, proteins and I consider grease a fourth category all by itself. Sweets would include candies, jellies, pastries, frostings or anything with processed sugar. Technically, fruits would also be considered sweets and can work great if you can find them in good quantity (i.e. apples or cherries). The second category is carbohydrates, which would include bread, pastries, chips, cookies or grains. This could be anything with processed flour, corn, or grain but could include sugar, too. It would also include whole oats and corn. A third category is protein, which would include any type of meat product. This could be a beaver carcass, butcher scraps, pork or beef fat, canned fish or any other type of meat. Nuts could almost be considered their own category, and they are characterized by large amounts of fat with some protein. Grease is the fourth category. Grease combined with a commercial grease additive is probably the greatest bear-bait additive of all time. It has caloric content, lots of fat, lots of scent, it sticks to everything, and doesn’t wash away easily with rain. Having variety in the bait will increase the chances of multiple bears staying on your baits. I’ve personally used Northwoods Goldrush as a fryer grease additive with incredible success.

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September - October 2020