bear hunting

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's bear hunt has reached the point of the year in which it expands to allow hunting with the use of dogs.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine bear hunt's getting started with the part of the season in which it's legal to lure bears with doughnuts and other bait foods.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Wildlife biologists say they expect bear hunters to have more success in the hunting season that begins in a few days because of poor availability of natural foods.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Hunters are flocking to the woods of Maine to participate in the state's bear hunt, which is one of the key economic drivers of rural parts of the state.
The bear hunt begins on Monday and runs until Nov. 25. There are different parts of the season in which hunters can pursue bears with bait or hunting dogs.
Hunting with bait is allowed until Sept. 23. Bait is typically sugary human food such as doughnuts. Hunting with dogs begins on Sept. 11 and runs until Oct. 27.

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.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's annual season for hunting black bears is beginning with hunters heading to the woods to check sites baited for bruins.

The bear season begins on Monday and lasts until Nov. 28. Hunters are allowed to hunt with bait from Monday until Sept. 26. Hunting with bait is by far the most common method of hunting bears in Maine.

This bear season is the first since voters defeated a push a drive to make it illegal to hunt bears with bait, dogs and traps. A referendum about the proposed change failed at the polls in November of last year.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine is holding a bear hunting day for young hunters for the first time as its annual season for the elusive animals draws near.

The youth bear hunt will be Saturday, two days before the general hunting season for bears begins. Youth hunters who have a junior hunting license can hunt bears with a firearm, bow or crossbow on Saturday. The young hunters are also permitted to lay bait.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's bear hunters are getting ready for the season after withstanding a challenge to the way they hunt.

The Humane Society advocated for the elimination of hunting bears with dogs or traps. The bill died after a committee recommended in May that it shouldn't pass.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Less than a year after Maine voters rejected prohibitions on the use of traps and dogs to hunt bear, Democrats in the Maine Legislature are pushing two bills that would do just that.  

At a public hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife committee, opponents questioned why the bills were even being proposed, after voters had already spoken. But supporters of the measures say the defeat of last fall's referendum doesn't change the fact that hounding and trapping amount to animal cruelty and should be outlawed.

PORTLAND, Maine - There's a final conclusion to a case brought by the Humane Society of the United States against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife over the 2014 bear hunting referendum.

The animal rights group had sought an injunction in the lead-up to the ballot question, which asked if voters wanted to ban the baiting, hounding, and trapping of bears, saying the state department had overstepped its bounds when its biologists appeared in uniform urging Mainers to vote against the initiative.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Political groups that get help from Maine state employees during a campaign would have to disclose the value of that contribution, under a bill supported by the state Ethics Commission.

The commission's executive director, Jonathan Wayne, says the panel voted 4-1 Monday to advocate for the change in the upcoming legislative session.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

For the second time in ten years, it appears Maine voters have rejected a referendum that would have prohibited the use of bait, hounds and traps in Maine's annual bear hunt. The campaign was divisive, emotional and involved vast amounts of money, more than double what was spent the last time around. And crucial to opponents' victory was the involvement of wildlife biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Opponents of a ballot initiative to ban the hunting of bears with bait, dogs and traps are declaring victory in Maine. But supporters of the ban say the referendum is too close to concede.

Animal rights advocates and others collected signatures to force a statewide vote Tuesday on the proposal, which they said would have eliminated cruel hunting practices. Hunting groups, outfitters and the state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife campaigned hard against the referendum.

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's bear hunt would change dramatically if voters approve an initiative that would ban sportsmen from hunting the animals with the use of bait, dogs and traps.

A fierce debate on the three hunting methods has raged in the state for months, frequently pitting hunters against animal rights advocates. Residents vote Tuesday on a statewide ballot initiative concerning the hunting methods. Hunting without the methods would remain legal if the measure passes.

Supporters of the bear hunting measure on the Maine ballot have filed a complaint with the Maine ethics commission alleging that the group leading the opposition to the proposal failed to disclose campaign contributions from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.