Spent the weekend setting up 3 bear baits. Normally wouldn't take the entire weekend but doing an experiment at one spot to see if i can reduce/eliminate coon thieves. I call it the "Pinata" as the bears will be batting it around like a pinata. Basically its a 55 gallon drum that can be lifted so the bottom is up to 5 feet off the ground. It will also prevent the bears from moving a shaker barrel on a lead to somewhere behind the anchor tree where they can hide.
Loaded the boat and it ended up fuller than i thought it would but still managed everything for this bait (construction part only) in one trip:
The finished product:
Really should have brought a taller ladder as the 6 foot step was a tad shorter than ideal but i managed. Had to use the "this not a step" part a few too many times and also had to hoist myself off the ladder onto the beams to put up the support strap and drill/bolt the cross piece that the pulley hangs from:
You can just seen the ladder 3 or 4 feet below the beam to the left of my left foot. I brought a 6-pack with me for the day but after one beer quickly decided to switch to water as walking/working/drilling/bolting while up on the 4x4s was perhaps a little sketchy.
The view from about 50 yards down the shooting lane:
I have no doubt the coons will get onto the top of the barrel but from there the barrel sides are smooth and the feed holes are at the bottom of the barrel. I am also using a bait that won't fall out due to gravity. Had to make the 2 feed holes large enough for the bears to reach in due to this.
All bolts and threaded rod are 5/8 inch, support strap is rated for 1000 lbs working load and 3000 lbs break strength, shackle/clevis and eyebolt are all forged and rated for 2000+lbs, cable is 3/16 inch and winch is rated for 2000 lbs. Main beams and clamp are 4x4 cedar. Once the clamp was set i also added 6x 3/8 inch by 10 inch long lag bolts (3 through the 4x4 on each side of the trunk) to prevent any rotation of the clamp. The weak link in the whole works is the pulley - it is only rated for 700 lbs. May have to change that if the bears get too aggressive.
One last pic that shows hole size at bottom of barrel:
Because the barrel swivels in 360 degrees any coon on the top that hangs over and tries to reach the hole will cause the barrel to tip in that direction creating a smooth plastic surface at a negative angle. Even if the coon hangs upside down vertically from the top, the bottom of the barrel will kick out away from him