The use of bait is highly controversial and is illegal in National Parks and stated owned preserves. Baiting should only take place on private property with the property owner’s permission. Excessive baiting over an extended period of time can cause Skunk Apes to ignore natural food sources. It is important for these animals to eat a variety of food in order to maintain a healthy population. Excessive baiting is not recommended.
Never bait near roads or highways as this could place Skunk Apes in danger. Skunk Apes have a good memory and will repeatedly return to a bait site for days after the bait has been removed from the area. Most researchers have good intentions and would never think of harming these animals. Unfortunately, there are people who would like nothing better than to shoot one of these magnificent creatures. If your attempts at baiting are successful, wait at least five days before telling anyone. This will allow enough time for the Skunk Ape to leave the area.
There are many baits to choose from. If you plan to use deer liver, remember that it should be kept on ice until your site is chosen. Important note: Buzzards are also attracted to this bait. Deer liver should only be used immediately following an actual sighting. Some success has been reported with the use of grain; such as whole kernel corn, rice, or even dog food.
Unmistakably the best baits available are dry beans. Black eye peas, pinto and kidney beans all work well, however large lima beans are the recommended bait and should be considered your first choice.
There are three different methods that can be used in preparing a bean set. The first method is the dry bean set. This type of bean set is the longest lasting and should be applied in areas where Skunk Apes occasionally frequent. Depending upon weather conditions, dry lima beans can be effective up to one month. Make sure the ground you have chosen is high and dry to prevent spoiling of the bean. Clear an area 10’ x 10’ square. Remove all dead leaves, limbs and grass. Using the rake mentioned in the expedition checklist, rake the area to loosen the soil. Remove any remaining debris such as roots. Spread approximately 1 pound of large dry lima beans evenly while standing outside the 10 x 10 cleared area.
The second method is a wet bean set. In this method soak 1 pound of lima beans in 8 cups of water, overnight using the 5 gallon bucket. Some researchers opt to carry metal cooking pots in order to heat the beans over a fire to speed up this process. Never add salt pork or bacon, as this can draw buzzards, which could destroy your bait set. The Wet bean set is proven to be more effective. The reason for this is the beans sour, giving off an odor which is appealing to Skunk Apes. Site preparation is the same as in the dry bean set except that wet beans should be dumped in a single pile directly in the center of the cleared area. Using a rake cover any footprints you have made after setting the bait.
Wet bean sets seem to lose their appeal after 5 days. In the third method, the hanging bean set, bait is left in the bucket or pot and is hung from a tree limb directly over the center of the cleared 10 x 10 area.