Rigging a Bait Barrel
"When I use oats for bait I will put them in a sealed 45-gallon drum, into which I will drill only two holes, and both holes will be exactly 15/16 inch, and on the same side of the barrel," Fenson advises. "The holes allow the bears to get at the oats, and through trial and error I've found that 15/16-inch is the best-size hole for the type of oats I use. Any larger and the oats will pour out on the ground and that's not good, because if they get wet and swell the bears won't touch them. Any smaller and the bears get frustrated trying to get them out. I used to drill one hole on each side of the barrel, but I found that will attract two different bears that will 'tolerate' each other as they feed separately, and that uses up bait faster. When only one bear can eat, the bears have to take turns, and quite often you'll get a dominant bear that will literally camp on the bait, to fend off the competition."