bear tag sandwich

We see it year after year. Hunters buy their one bottle of scent at the start of the season and end up returning with a tag sandwich. Scent lures are crucial when placing a new bait site. However, the biggest mistake we see bear hunters make is not using scent lures all season long. 

You may be in an area where bears are plenty but even so, don’t you want every bear within a 5+ mile radius to know where your bait site is? Of course you do! You want to have so many bears coming in that you have the opportunity to be picky, not to mention if you’re in a tough area applying scent lures frequently will greatly increase your odds of even seeing a bear. 

Why Are Scent Lures Important

Bears can smell 7x better than a bloodhound and can even pick up smells from over a mile away. Scent lures are what makes a bear curious and interested in coming into your site and will keep them coming to your site all season long. In addition, when it comes to hunting season scent lures will help mask your own scent as well, but be sure to NEVER apply scent to yourself when hunting.  

Scent lures are what draws a new bear in but not only that the regulars rely on it to know whether or not you baited. Many mature bears will hang back in the woods 100+ yards and if they don’t smell a strong, tasty odor they will assume you haven’t baited and that it’s too risky to check. As many seasoned hunters have said, hearing you pull up with your ATV or you hitting your bucket is the bear’s “dinner bell” but what many hunters don’t realize is that scent lures are what provides mature, wary bears the reassurance to enter the bait site. 

How to Not Make This Mistake

Apply a scent lure every time you bait! Just remember, a little goes a long way. You don’t need to over saturate your site with scent but rather freshen it up a bit every time you go to bait. Don’t be afraid to use a variety of scent lures either, rotating them out every couple of times. 

How to Use Scent Lures

There’s a wide variety of scents out there and how to use them. Most commonly is purchasing a spray bottle at your local farm store then mixing our concentrated scent with corn oil, the oil makes your scent water-resistant and will last longer in the heat. If you want to skip the hassle though, just order our convenient premixed scents and you’re ready to hit the woods instantly! 

Everyone’s favorite though is the bacon smear,  packed with a strong bacon odor and conveniently packaged. Our bacon smear fits in your pocket and all you have to do is smear a little on a rag or on the trees around your bait and you’re set to go, plus it’s water-resistant!  

How to Maximize Your Scent Lures

Our favorite and most effective way to maximize scent lures is to grab an old rag and soak it in our concentrated anise scent solution mixed with a little bit of corn oil for a couple of days. Then at your bait site find a sapling that is at least 10 ft tall, then bend the sapling over far enough, without breaking it, to tie your scent rag at the top or way out on one of the highest branches. Bears will eat the rag if they can get to it so it’s important to keep it just out of their reach or on some thinner branches that won’t support their weight. What this does is brings your scent lures above the treetops and into the wind allowing the sweet scent to be carried miles away.   

A very similar concept that is proven effective is to fill a baggie with our liquid smoke. Then find two trees reasonably close, 10-20ft apart. Take some rope and carefully tie it around the baggie leaving two ends for tying to the trees. You then tie one end of the rope to one tree and the other end to the other tree leaving the baggie hanging in between the trees. However, before tying it off to the second tree be sure to poke a few pin-sized holes in the bottom of the baggie so it steadily but slowly drips. Be sure to fasten it tightly to each tree and that it is at least 10ft off the ground, the higher the better. Depending on the size of your baggie, this could last you weeks! You can also use burlap sacks or pails with holes drilled in the bottom.

Another great tip is to apply a thick sticky scent, like our smoke smear, to anything the bear could touch with their paws. Typically this is the stump or rocks that you use to cover or hold your bait or it could mean even spreading it on the ground around the bait. What will happen is when they go to leave they’ll leave a smelly trail leading right back to your bait site. 

Good luck and happy baiting friends! Any tips or tricks you’ve learned, drop them in the comments below!

Interested in learning more? Check out our other bogs here.

Woman hunt's black bear in Arkansas
Long time hunter, LeJeanna Carter, with her Arkansas black bear she took with the bow after using Bob’s Bear Bait’s bait and scents.