Re: Baiting bears in PA
Driving bear is garbage hunting!?! Really? Driving bear is more like 4 days of nonstop exhaustion, excitement, and comraderie all rolled into one. Any PA bear is a trophy. You guys who talk about selectively harvesting only adult boars, you're not in Canada. This ain't Shockey's hunting adventures, and you ain't jim shockey! That works there, where bear populations are high, and bear/ human interaction is low. Here in PA, with our short season, letting sows & cubs pass would never control the population or the nuisance bear problem. And if you think bears don't reproduce at an alarming rate, take Armstrong County as an example. 15 years ago, there were only a handful of bears killed here. The number climbs every year. It is several times what it was then, and will only continue to rise.
I cannot stand people putting down other man's methods, when they have not the foggiest knowledge of those methods. Half these posts on here are from people who have never shot any bear, let alone enough of them to start trophy hunting PA black bears.
And while I'm at it, the dog hunt would never work. I'm a houndsman, and I can tell you that is but a dream. There are such a huge number of posted, 45 acre-holding land baron deer worshippers out there, who think if a hound runs any game thru their tiny slice of heaven, the place will be barren of all forms of wildlife for the next year, that it will never work out. The dogs are not the problem, the "posted, these woods are for me, and only me, do not you dare tread upon" mindset of everyone today is. My grandfather believed your woods should not be posted, they should be shared. But everyone today is so wrapped up in the deer / big buck managing thing, and think the only way to do that is eep every other soul off their property, and are so uneducated about how other wildlife reacts to a hound chase passing thru, that it would never, ever work.
As far as the OP's original question, baiting would be a viable option for the archery season, but it would create too many conflicts with the other bear and deer seasons. And yes, guys would use that as a cover for shooting deer. I do not think it would be as effective here as it is in canada, because our bears have a readily available food source all the time anyway, between all the farming, oaks, and autumn-olive covered old strip cuts, there would not be much need for them to hit a bait with any regularity. The best bait you'll find here is a standing cornfield, or better yet an old isolated apple orchard tucked away in some back hollow. You find the right one of those, it's better than a baitsite. And you don't have the months of steadily packing bait in to maintain an active bear bait.