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Idaho Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear Blog

Here you will find information about our Idaho Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear hunts. We will also blog about our area, as special offers, issues that affect us or are important to us.

Bear hunting in Idaho

Choosing Prime Bear Bait Locations

You could argue around the campfire all night long as to what’s more important for successful bear hunting—the type of bait, or the location where you put the bait. The fact is, they’re both important, as they work in tandem to attract bear and hold bear to a specific area. It is common however, for hunters to choose a bait site based solely on what’s advantageous to them, and then try to draw the bear to it from afar, using stinky bait. This tactic can work, though a better method is to find a secluded spot and place the bait close to where you think a bear will pass and where the bear feels comfortable.

When selecting prime bait sites, I first look for travel corridors and natural choke points that constrict game movement. In the Northwoods, lakes, swamps, and rivers often funnel game; in mountainous country look for funnels and corridors created by cliffs, rock outcroppings, saddles, and drainages.

Bear rarely approach a bait in daylight without having adequate forest or brush for concealment. Don’t expect to lure bear out of heavy cover in order to give you a clear shot in the open. Bear live in the woods, that’s where they feel comfortable and they don’t like leaving it.

Another important consideration when selecting a bait site is the hunter’s blind. It too should have a concealed approach and use the predominate wind direction to your advantage. The blind should conceal the hunter well, and it should be comfortable enough for you to remain quiet for long periods while focusing intensely on the forest’s shadows. Since bears normally come to baits in the evening, the blind should be facing east with the setting sun at the hunter’s back. This will make it easier for you to see the bear and more difficult for the bear to see you.

When it comes to selecting a location for a bait site, the easy way is seldom the best way. Scout your area well and put some thought into it. Stay as far away from roads, trails, and parked ATVs as possible. Set the bait near perennial game trails, and spend equal time in selecting a concealed blind where you can see the bait well. If you do it right, you’re apt to put more time into hunting for a bait site, than hunting for the bear itself.

Always check with state-specific hunting regulations for rules and requirements for baiting bear, as regulations vary considerable from state to state.

Good hunting,

Joe Cavanaugh

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