Aaron, have never tried this, but this is from another site I go to. personnally, would use essence of shellfish or bacon to get their noses going. plus, lazy and not going to be carrying in buckets and ladders.
When baiting for bear, it is very important to differentiate between "Feed" bait & "Stink" bait. A good stink bait can/will bring in bears from up to 3-4 miles away- I'm not joshing you. Feed baits on the otherhand, will keep the bears coming back and will turn your bait site into a "regular stop" on any bear's rounds which take anywhere from 2-3 days to complete. Stink Baits will bring new bears in.
The best stinkbait recipe that I can offer is the following:
- Go to local fish market and ask them for their fish scraps (you want to fill a 5 gallon bucket HALFWAY for each stink bait you want to concoct).
- Mix a 1/2 gallon of Liquid Smoke (a bar-b-que sauce) Apple Flavor into each 5 gallon bucket of fish scraps. You now should have a 5 gallon bucket that is filled 3/5ths of the way up (2.5 gallons of fish scraps & .5 gallons of Liquid Smoke). Stir it up real good. NOTE: you can buy Liquid Smoke in bulk online- just do a Google search for it if you can't find it in bulk locally. This is a KEY ingredient! Don't attempt a cheaper substitute!
- COVER the bucket with a very secure lid and then duct tape the lid to the outside edge of the bucket very well going around the circumference of the bucket.
- place bucket in a BLACK garbage bag and knot it.
- place black garbage bag in another BLACK garbage bag and knot it.
- place in a very sunny area in your backyard and let it "stew" for 3-4 days.
- Take to your baitsite (still in double black bags), along with heavy gage wire and a screwgun/drill equipped with a 1/2" bit.
- Get to bait site, rip off both Black garbage bags, KEEP COVER ON. Shake bucket up very well.
- Drill a series of 1/2" holes on the side of the 5 gallon bucket above the level of your fish scraps/liquid smoke concoction. Clothespin for your nose is optional. You'll want holes around the entire circumference of the bucket, stagger them in terms of height. No holes should be within 3" of each other. You should be able to easily drill 20 holes in the bucket following these guidelines. This will allow air to pass into & out of the bucket very well & carry the stink to the bears.
- Attach heavy gage wire to bucket handle VERY securely.
- Attach other end of heavy gage wire to a good size limb of a tree in your bait area! Remember, this is a stink bait used to Bring bears in! You'll need feed bait there to feed the bears once they show up. Ideally, you want this positioned so the bottom of the bucket is at least 7-8 feet off the ground. If you can bring a 6 foot step ladder in and find a stout tree limb that will allow you to "hang" the bait bucket so there is nothing climbable within a 6 foot radius of the bucket- all the better!
Follow these instructions explicitly & I will promise- you'll have NEW bears at your baitsite within 4-5 days (unless of course, your baitsite is on 5th Ave in New York City!). Put a trailcam up so you can see for yourself how effective/swift this Stink bait recipe is. I've hunted bears with many outfitters in Canada & I learned this recipe from one of them about 5 years ago. Two years later, we were at another Outfitter's camp & I shared this recipe with him when he told me he had 4 bait sites that he thought should be getting ripped apart- but weren't getting touched.
Two weeks after we returned, I got a call from the guy- he decided to try it out on 2 of the 4 sites......... Within three days, he had pictures of multiple boars hitting the baits where he used this recipe! I went back the following year & he only charged me 1/2 price as the recipe was now his "ace in the hole" stink bait recipe for ALL his bait sites. His shot opportunites (all bowhunters) in the last 2 years have gone from 68% to 90% since using this stink bait recipe. If it's helped out a professional Outfitter to this extent, it should most certainly help you.
you also have to remember that a bear coming out of the den will still have that "plug" in it, so they won't be hitting any baits right off. give them a few days to get that plug out and you should be in business.