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Try as I might, I just can't seem to get past "baiting" as a personally acceptable form of hunting. I understand how closely baiting is to calling, as used in turkey and elk hunting...the promise of sex instead of the offer of food...but there still seems something about baiting that ain't quite right in my mind.
I understand how much hard work baiting can be, and the dedication to maintaining the bait sight, etc, but in the end, maybe it's just that other than sitting still long enough for the bear to come in and making a good clean kill shot, there seems to be very little skill involved.
Help me out here boys, I really want to be on your side. You don't seem to be the braggarts about your kill as say the elk hunters are, and of course you really don't need the meat(we got Arbys for that), so what is it about your bear baiting hunts that is satisfying? What primal instinct is fulfilled? What challenge is met? What dream has been lived?
 

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what's wrong with you BP? you don't want to shoot a bear with a powdered donut in its paws? I think the baiting aspect would be fun to see what comes in. Not sure how I'd like shooting a black bear tho. Now spot and stalk grizzly, bring it on!
 

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what's wrong with you BP? you don't want to shoot a bear with a powdered donut in its paws? I think the baiting aspect would be fun to see what comes in. Not sure how I'd like shooting a black bear tho. Now spot and stalk grizzly, bring it on!
OK, I can see that. Would be fun to see what shows up. That's one point in favor.
 

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Although baiting may be theoretically less sporting than spot and stalk, it is, in my opinion, a better management tool. Baiting bears allows hunters to be selective. They can look at a lot of bears and wait for the "right" bear by sizing them up at close range and only shooting a mature male... as opposed to blasting the first 2 year old female they see from across the canyon on a spot and stalk hunt. Management agencies get a lot of opposition for allowing baiting, but they continue to employ it as a management tool for the reasons I've mentioned. Same goes for hunting with dogs.
 

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Try as I might, I just can't seem to get past "baiting" as a personally acceptable form of hunting. I understand how closely baiting is to calling, as used in turkey and elk hunting...the promise of sex instead of the offer of food...but there still seems something about baiting that ain't quite right in my mind.
I understand how much hard work baiting can be, and the dedication to maintaining the bait sight, etc, but in the end, maybe it's just that other than sitting still long enough for the bear to come in and making a good clean kill shot, there seems to be very little skill involved.
Help me out here boys, I really want to be on your side. You don't seem to be the braggarts about your kill as say the elk hunters are, and of course you really don't need the meat(we got Arbys for that), so what is it about your bear baiting hunts that is satisfying? What primal instinct is fulfilled? What challenge is met? What dream has been lived?
I see it as the same as hunting water holes or trails. All your scouting and hard work has hopefully put you in a productive stand and now it's time to sit and enjoy it. Hunting out of a stand is not my most exciting way to hunt but it sure is an enjoyable way.
Another thing, I was helping a guy look for bear in Wyoming. I spotted one, he shot it and it turned out to have a cub. It was our mistake because we didn't sit and watch it long enough. He told the fish cops and he lost his hide and was fined. Sitting over a bait is a great way to sort out sizes, sexes and barren sows. Plus, watching bears up close is pretty fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Better management tool..check and highly agree!
Basically the same as any ambush hunt...alright, after a little thought, I agree.
Second point for "fun to watch them come in and be in close contact".
 

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One other thing I will add that has to do with fun with watching them come in is the fact it almost always teaches a kid that patience pays off. The first big game hunt I ever took my son on was a bear baiting hunt. It took several days but then it was several bears for both of us to watch and enjoy. He became hooked on hunting. We sat in a blind and had them come in, sometimes right by our blind. We watched a couple of bears for a few hours. To this day it is the one hunt that always gets brought up at the camp fire.
 
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I hear ignorant hunters bash on bait stations and hounds all the while claiming they have some great skill with spot and stalk or calling in animals like elk or turkey. Well, I have killed 4 turkeys and it took me about ten minutes to become proficient with a box call and a slate call--lot's of skill I think not. Striking up a turkey and calling it in is not a super challenging thing to do. It's fun no doubt but it requires a heck of a lot less effort and work than running a bait station. It doesn't compare in the physical realm as running after a pack of hounds either. I am not taking away from turkey hunting but I have done all three: called in turkeys, helped on a bait stations, and chased lions with dogs in the middle of winter for 25 days. Turkeys are the easiest by far in terms of work and dedication.

What folks need to understand is that we all have our hobbies and our outdoor pursuits and unless you have taken the time to actually go out and hunt for an animal in a certain fashion you have no idea what goes into it. So if you truly want to have an understanding about baiting bears then find somebody with a tags and run that bait station with them and see how much work it is. If you want to see how challenging it is chasing lions or bears with hounds then find a houndsman and tag along. Basically don't knock it til you have tried it is what I am getting at. You don't need to kill the critter to be in on the hunt--you can be a helper. I think you would have more respect for other interests if you took the time to do and understand them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Better management tool..check and highly agree!
Basically the same as any ambush hunt...alright, after a little thought, I agree.
Second point for "fun to watch them come in and be in close contact".
Good tool for teaching kids patience required in hunting...check and agree!
Pride in doing a good days work...nothing wrong with that.
Pride in knowing it's harder than turkey hunting...a little twisted, but if it works for you, OK
 

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Try as I might, I just can't seem to get past "baiting" as a personally acceptable form of hunting. I understand how closely baiting is to calling, as used in turkey and elk hunting...the promise of sex instead of the offer of food...but there still seems something about baiting that ain't quite right in my mind.
I understand how much hard work baiting can be, and the dedication to maintaining the bait sight, etc, but in the end, maybe it's just that other than sitting still long enough for the bear to come in and making a good clean kill shot, there seems to be very little skill involved.
Help me out here boys, I really want to be on your side. You don't seem to be the braggarts about your kill as say the elk hunters are, and of course you really don't need the meat(we got Arbys for that), so what is it about your bear baiting hunts that is satisfying? What primal instinct is fulfilled? What challenge is met? What dream has been lived?
Some states allow baiting of deer & elk and not bears.
 

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Well...........to that last point.

Our first gobbler took all of two hours on our first hunt ever. 9-1/2" to boot.
Our first bear......after tending 2 bait stations for 5 days took another 7 before we filled the tag.

DIY Bear hunting over bait is a lot of work.
 

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I am in the middle of my first bear hunt on the North Slope. Learning the tricks of n\baiting stations and th ehabits of the bears and what they do and don't like to eat has been a lot of fun! I got my brother in law involved and he loves it, he checks the bait on days that I cannot. My kids are all for it and seeing their faces when a bear comes in to eat is totally worth it. I have seen a few young males and even more females with cubs. When the hunt is over I plan on posting pics and maybe a video or two about it all. Hopefully I can connect this weekend. I finally have a large male coming in right before dark daily. trailcams are priceless for this. I also have some great pics of other animals going down the gametrail that will help with elk season. Can't wait to do it again!
 

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there seems to be very little skill involved.---Pride in knowing it's harder than turkey hunting...a little twisted, but if it works for you, OK
Um--turkey hunting doesn't take much skill--sorry but anything you can learn in a few hours doesn't take what I would call skill, maybe your definition is different. Turkey and elk hunting take some know how and work but the skill involved is minimal, especially with the availability of commercial calls.

There is no pride in one being harder than the other--they are hobbies and they are both super fun. Turkey hunting is way fun and my hats off to those that have a passion for it. I don't get why some are unable to give the same courtesy to others that find enjoyment in other pursuits.

For what it's worth I have never had a bear tag either but I will defend bear hunting as I have helped on a hunt and have some experience with it. I have had a lion tag and worked hard for 25 days chasing them with hounds but never killed one--I passed on 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Better management tool..check and highly agree!
Basically the same as any ambush hunt...alright, after a little thought, I agree.
Second point for "fun to watch them come in and be in close contact".
Good tool for teaching kids patience required in hunting...check and agree!
Pride in doing a good days work...nothing wrong with that.
Pride in knowing it's harder than turkey hunting...a little twisted, but if it works for you, OK
Another vote for baiting bears is more difficult than hunting turkeys...not sure now if I should add points to bear baiting of deduct points for turkey hunting, will there be no grief for the elk hunters?
 

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I've spent a lot of my professional career dealing with ethical issues/considerations related to various hunting and fishing practices, but I've spent the most amount of time dealing with bear baiting. I personally don't have much interest in bear baiting, if only because hunting bears with hounds was a traditional activity where I grew up. However, I don't begrudge others in bear baiting, as it is an effective management tool and others may have grown up without that cultural disattachment to bear baiting.

I always use the example of C&R fishing to demonstrate this cultural connection. In current American society, C&R fishing is highly regarded as an ethical practice. However, in contrast, the Yupik people of western Alaska believe C&R fishing is unethical, because to them, you are playing with food.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mtnbeer, you make some great points. Growing up and doing most of my hunting in Utah, I have virtually no experience with bear hunting in any form. Bear hunting until recently has been a vary limited hunting opportunity in Utah. Perhaps I am the Yupik tribesman here. Perhaps I need to adjust my thinking to better reflect the mores and ethics of the contemporary hunters.
 

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spot and stalk bear hunting in most areas of utah are mostly about luck. except in the books or la sals. wouldnt be much success without bait or hounds.
there are places outside of utah with better bear populations and less people where you have reasonable odds of finding a bear out in the open.
 

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Bear Baiting

It is very easy to bait in a bear and kill it, it is very difficult to bait in a mature boar and kill it. I think a lot of people think you can just throw a bait out and in a few nights kill a bear, this is true if you have a bait station that has been baited every year and you are not super selective of the bear.

I just got done helping my uncle on his first bear hunt and he has a whole different outlook on the difficulty of hunting bears over bait. It took us 14 days and over 50 hours of sitting to finally catch a big boar slipping up and we had them on the bait from day one as you can see from my post how Big is this bear.

For me there is not much better then late spring/early summer bear baiting. I have killed 3 over bait and most likely will not shoot another, but I love the entire aspect of collecting bait, packing it in and trying to find big bears. Plus it is a great tune up for the fall hunting season after a long winter of getting fat.

For what it is worth I also love turkey hunting, I have been hunting turkeys in Utah since they first planted them here. It is pretty easy to just shoot one, a whole lot easier then baiting in a bear and shooting it. But I have found it pretty challenging to call one in strutting to the decoys and shoot it with a bow. I guess for me its not so much about the actual kill but the entire experience and what you want out of it.
 

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I tried running a trapline this past winter for the first time. I am also in the middle of my first bear hunt with bait. The two activities are very similar, and both are much more difficult than I understood before starting.

I guess ultimately the reason I do it is because it seems to be one of the most effective methods of shooting a bear with a bow, which is my ultimate goal. I could see why folks might consider it unsporting. Others might consider hunting with dogs unsporting, and some might consider shooting a deer at 800 yards with a laser rangefinder and turreted scope unsporting. The truth is, once people have done it themselves, they'd probably have more appreciation for the challenges and sport involved in any of these various activities.

By the way, I've turkey hunted a couple of times and have a ton of respect for those who are good at it--it's a lot harder than Will Primos makes it look. :)
 
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