The announcement that certain areas in Alaska would be open to taking grizzly bears over bait a few years back was greeted with mixed emotions. For those of us who already hunt black bears in these areas, it was a welcome relief and a slam-dunk opportunity to take advantage of the ever-increasing number of grizzlies overrunning our baits. It was also met with opposition from some, who predicted the devastation of the grizzly population by using this method. In the 4 years I’ve been able to do it, I’ve learned that neither side was correct, and for the same reason. It’s much harder to kill a mature grizzly on bait than a black bear.
A lot of hunters get a lot of trail cam photos of grizzlies and were seeing them periodically on their black bear sits, but actually getting one on the ground proved to be much more challenging. Photos are one thing, but actually seeing a mature boar grizzly is another. I honestly thought it would be easy, but in hindsight, in all the years of targeting black bears, we only ever had one mature boar grizzly show up while we were sitting.
Even for seasoned black bear baiters, targeting grizzlies on bait is a totally different ball game. Most of us know the amount of time, work, and luck involved in even getting a chance at a big, mature black bear on bait, and the grizzly bear is a different animal entirely. Your average big black be