RE: BEAR BARREL BAITING
First off the greenpeacer's and politicians who think they are doing good need to be given a reality check. With the recent rash of attacks in the west, you'd think they get the picture that hunter's play an important role in management. Eliminating seasons, relocating problems bears and tougher laws obviously aren't the solution!
Chain or steel aircraft cable, make sure the lead from the treeis not to long (6-10' is plenty). Bears are powerful so even a small bear can move a full barrel with little effort. It doesn't matter how you leave as when they find it will be different any ways. We cut 6-8" hole in the top, just enough so they can get the paw or nose in to get to the bait. As far as distance of placement, depends on the terrain but I like it further than closer. One reason is they often cirle the barrel before coming in &the other is angle of shot that maybe presented. Obviously it should be placed in your comfort level/ability and give you good lanes when a shot is presented.
As far as bait goes. Grease is a great attraction for bears, we pour fryer grease in a circle around the barrel. This does 2 things; creates smell and leaves a scent trail for any bear or other critter that may cross over it's path for others to come on in. We get the grease for nothing by going to fast food joints, chinese restraunts, etc and asking if they wouldn't mind putting their change out fryer oil in a barrel(we provide)or aside for us in the plastic jugs. Haven't had any troubles finding sources this way. You can also do a bacon, honey or black licorice burn at the bait site if legal. Heat a soup or coffee can with a sterno until it burns and smolders. Just be sure to have it out of the wind and reach of animals. If at all dry never leave it!!! Like Terry mentioned, you could also buy Lard. As far as what we put in the barrel we use oatsthen mix in fryer grease and mollasses to coat and make a sticky substance. We have also used breads, donunts, cookie's, etc that we get the toss aways from bakery's, robins, tims, etc. Have even used cheap dog food, fryer grease and icing sugar mixed together. Meat scraps for us have never been great unless they are kept reasonably fresh. If you can get your hands on some beavers then use them as well. Bears go crazy over them. We cut them up and mix in the barrel, hang them in the trees out of reach or wire them intoa barrel. We like to make them work for the buck tooth critters and they lay down a matt trying to get to them,
As far as when to hunt them, personally evening just because they feed/moveat night and we bowhunt. Bumping bears off food during darkness isn't easy onmy pumper with a string and stick in hand..hell I have a tough enough time when I climb down! Which leads me to another point be very attentive when approaching your bait, pay particular attention to the tree tops for any cubs that may have been sent up by mama. I like to make noise when approaching a bait that I can't see well at a distance, alarming younger bearsand sow with puff balls are the onesI ammost concerned with!!
Best of luck