Through the use of their vote the overly zealous and horribly under experienced and biologically ignorant civilian populace used their ‘democratic right’ to ban the use of bait in hunting bears in the state where I reside. Despite the overwhelming mass of professional biologists who explained how well baiting works as an effective “catch and release” method to allow intense study and selection of preferred harvest animals from a general bear population—television advertising by ‘the sky is falling’ animal rights groups prevailed with under informed non-hunters at the ballot box.
So, when I was asked if I wished to field test bear attractants, I paused, before the realization that baiting to kill and baiting to photograph were separate areas of the law. And I will state right here--- no bears were harmed in the making of this article!
The representative for InSights Wildlife Nutrition Solutions sent out two boxes of their products for field testing. And despite coming early in the year, due to schedule conflicts I was not able to put their Bear Trap and Hog Nut under the cameras until the fall of 2014. Man, am I sorry I didn’t schedule this field test earlier. It quickly became the highlight of my week when I went to the cameras to check and see who visited the baits!
The Bear Trap is a liquid which comes modestly priced at $10.99 a gallon as is the Hog Nut that is equally priced and comes in dry form in a bag.
I utilized both baits on different sets with extremely similar results. Despite the total lack of wild hogs in my area, it seemed logical that bears being porcine creatures should have similar tastes and desires- and I was correct. The Hog Nut could easily be advertised as Hog/Bear Nut as it was tremendously effective. Yet, with the diversity of animals both products attracted, they could be called Hog/Bear/Elk/Deer/Fox/Raccoon Nut! Bear Trap had the exact same results.
Bear Trap is an extremely fruity, sticky consistency liquid that flows and holds over anything you pour it on. It is a ‘candy coating’ with an extremely sweet odor that travels for a very long distance. Even with my poor human nose, I could smell it from more than 100 yards when I walked into a down-hill breeze on my face. This liquid, unlike it’s competitors, is made without the use of saltwater that would dilute the effectiveness of the odor transfer.
The Hog Nut is a mix of minerals and the obvious whole and cracked peanuts in the powder. A strong peanut smell lay heavy on the air and was as effective as was the sweet odor of the Bear Trap. When used in combination it became an ultimate draw to all the animal species mentioned above. Despite it being legal to hunt deer and elk over bait in my state- to maintain the legality of the bears coming in to these baits, no animals were killed over these attractant sites despite being legal to pursue with this method.
On just two baits, 6 bears worked these areas for two months on a daily basis. Thousands of photographs were taken and enjoyed every time I pulled the cards on the Bushnell and Wildlife Images cameras. Which, by the way, were parts of the field testing to look for in months to come.
A sow and cub were transient visitors, another single sow in the 300 pound class and two boars of 350/375 came in readily... but always oddly the two boars kept an eye over their shoulders. Then the big fella came in and gave an answer to ‘why so nervous’. He was a dandy—broad in the shoulders, tall and solid from front to his square rump end. Though not the 756 pound monster that was killed on the same hill 7 years ago… he could easily have been the monster’s son at an recognizable 500 pounds! He was a porker that ANY true bear hunter would pull his own tooth to get a shot at. And he licked every bit of the Bear Trap dripping down the tree trunks, and nibbled every morsel of the Hog Nut spread on the ground. And he came back, and back, and back…
As a bear attractant- both of the In Sights products I tested worked perfectly. And, if a guy wants to bait deer, elk or the other small game that came in…it worked more than perfectly for them as well.
IN SIGHTS WILDLIFE NUTRITION SOLUTIONS BEAR TRAP AND HOG NUT ARE “GOOD TO GO!” For dealers in your area call 512-752-6503 or go to Insights Wildlife Nutrition Solutions.