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I've had plenty of bears in trees running hounds years back. One noticeable factor when determining a boar from a sow, (other than the junk) was looking at the mussel as it leads into the skull. If it looks like the face of the bear takes a 90 degree angle from the mussel, the bear was likely a boar. This happens in mature bears of the larger spectrum I've found.
 

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“then totally screwing up and shooting the wrong bear by mistaking it for another that I had seen on camera.............I got nothing for you”.

I can relate. I had this same thing happen last night.
Hauled a crap ton of bait multiple times. Sat in my blind more than 40 hours total. Hunted 3 weeks. Only two bears on camera and hundreds of videos . I knew them well. Both very obviously boars. The one I wanted was on the bait yesterday morning. I snuck in to the blind and a few hours later that bear came in. I was rifle hunting and about 70 yards away. Low light and I watched him for 20 minutes . I was sure it was him. Same color same Mohawk. I shot him high shoulder and he dropped on the spot. Waited 20 minutes and went to check him out. It was a sow:((((. I was really upset with myself. I felt awful. Did I just ruin my whole experience I thought. On the positive side she had no cubs and was not nursing and is very beautiful. That was the first and only time that bear had hit my bait.
Anyway, my advice to the OP, take your time and be very sure of your goals and exactly what you’re looking at. Bears are really hard to judge. Add in Adrenalin and pressure to close the deal and a lot of other small variables and it is downright tough.
Good luck!
 

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Usually 22 is my lucky number. In this case the Two Two's had other things in mind. Sorry to hear Stripey 22. I very much know that sick feeling.
 
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Trying multiple people go in and you stay is a good idea. Leaving a sweaty shirt in your stand each trip in and out will acclimate them to your scent. I have baited a bunch and one other suggestion I would throw out is maybe to hang a second stand. Not sure what your wind is doing? How high in the tree are you? We always assume bears know when we are there with the nose they have. But changing your scent cast may make a difference, especially if your scent is crossing their path into the bait. Moving the actual bait pile 50-100 yards to get your wind better can accomplish the same thing. Bears live and die by their nose-I doubt them hearing you come in keeps them away. Pain to do, but you've put in a ton of work already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Microburst winds have shut me out for the past couple of days, but calm is finally in the forecast. I won't risk the widow makers in that kind of wind and they're unavoidable. 6 bears are hitting the station regularly at all hours of the day and night; 2 are mature boars. I'm now thinking that my movements aren't influencing them as much as I thought, or they're less concerned than they were. I also see that they visit the station and hang out whether there's bait left or not. I think the boars may be more interested in all the scent left by the sows than they are in the bait.

To modify the station would require moving far enough to make my COR questionable, but I've added a ground blind made out of deadfall and started leaving my sweaty shirts and headbands at the station. I deliberately picked a site that is thick and nasty, but the down side of that choice is a very limited shooting lane. So I really need that big boy to be right at the station if I'm going to get a shot.

The most recent cast member in this drama is the only black black bear I've seen and the bigger of the 2 boars. Every other bear has been some color phase variety. It would be interesting to know how many of these bears are related. But taking a cue from you guys, I'm going to be really careful if a black black bear gives me a shot opportunity.

With a little luck, I'll be back here posting about my kill later this week. But even if that don't happen, this has been a very successful hunt for this old novice. And either way, I'll be glad when I've made my last climb into this station.
 
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