A large percentage of bears are taken over a bait pile in North America, and bait can be especially effective where spring bear hunting is allowed. Bears eat native vegetation, nuts and berries, but given the opportunity, they are gluttons for meat and other high-protein foods.
Some hunters bait with bakery throw-outs such as stale bread or pastries. However, bears prefer beef suet, which is usually available free from most local butcher shops. In bear hunting country, there often is competition among hunters for good bait, and it can be next to impossible to obtain enough bread or suet to maintain a bait site. When all else fails canned dog food can work just as well by adding used restaurant grease .
Before you even think about baiting for spring black bear, check state and local regulations to determine if it is legal and what special requirements pertain to bait sites. Some states require that bait be placed in containers that must be removed after bear season closes while other states require bait piles to be located a certain distance away from streams.
If you trap beaver or know someone who does, get a hold of the carcasses. To lure in bears from long distances make a scent bag using these skinned out carcasses, by allowing them to ripen in a burlap sack. Then simply hoist it high up into a tree where a bear cannot get at it. The pungent, castor-laced aroma draws bears in from a mile away.