Barren Bear Baits

Anyone who thinks there's no challenge in hunting bears over bait is a fool ... because the hunting part also includes hours of sweat-laden baiting.

If you've ever missed a shot so easy that it hurts to even think about, much less admit to anyone else, then you need to check out the first story in this series where if whiff on a giant black bear at 11 yards.

I've been baiting and hunting bears for a while now, and this season has already given me more fits than most seasons past combined: rain ruins bait, extreme heat makes bears inactive and high fuel costs beat on the pocketbook.

But I don't expect bears to come easy. They can be hard to find and even harder to pattern. After all, take a drive through whitetail habit and you're going to see whitetails ... any day of the week. How many bears do you generally run into while you're in bear habitat?

Exactly, and that's why I love the pursuit. You don't find them unless you go in deep after 'em.

So, week No. 1 is in the books. And although it's a chapter I'd definitely rewrite if I were the author, I'm forcing myself to remember that the season is early and there's nowhere to go but up. Things have to get better.

Who wants to talk bears? I'm here, waiting in the forums, right now.

Here's the look of an average bait site to get things started: licorice, donuts, trail mix and lots of liquid smoke in the trees. It's got to be just a little hole in thick woods, and rations will increase once bears find it. An empty bait site means a hungry bear, and a hungry bear will go elsewhere to find food.

Seriously, why wouldn't you want to bait bears? I only take bites out of the donuts with chocolate frosting. And sprinkles.

Here's a pic of the only "client" to visit a bait during week No. 1.