As Bear Populations Grow, Some Urge More Hunting

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine - The black bear population in northern New England is growing, and wildlife managers say this year's hunt for the animals is especially important to control it.

The growing bear population has caused some confrontations between people and bears, especially during dry summers like this one. Dry weather prompts bears to search bird feeders and garbage cans for food.

The bear hunt started Monday in Maine, where more than 600 people have complained of bear encounters this year. That's the most since 2012.

Maine wildlife authorities say they hope more people participate in this year's hunting season so the state's bear population growth slows.

Vermont and New Hampshire also have fall bear hunts, and authorities in those states also have encouraged more hunting to help stabilize the population.