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Maine bear hunters can lay bait starting later this week

July 26, 2021 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s bear hunters can start setting bait for the animals later this week.

Maine has a large and growing black bear population that numbers about 35,000. State biologists have said that population is growing by about 3% every year. The state has tried to manage the growth of the bear population with its hunting season.

Most of the bear hunt takes place with the use of bait. Hunters are allowed to start laying bait on July 31, and they can hunt with the use of bait from Aug. 30 to Sept. 25.

The bear season continues until late November, though far fewer bears are taken in the later months. The use of bait has long attracted criticism from wildlife advocates who believe it is cruel and note that the bear population has continued to grow despite its use.