AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine's bear season began Monday, Aug. 26 and will continue in various forms through November.
The Maine season is divided into three parts. It begins with hunters over baits which they've been setting in the woods for a month.
This type of hunting will continue through September 21.
Glen Durgin is a Master Maine Guide. He baits one site and hunts it with his son. They took a 186-pound on a special youth day last Saturday.
Durgin estimates that he spent about $1200 in bait, gas, and rent in creating an active bait site.
Hunters with dogs can be in the woods from September 9 through November 1.
Hunters may still hunt or stalk bear from August 26 through November 30. November 30 is the last day of the traditional firearms season on deer.
A Maine big game license permits one to take a bear and many are shot by deer hunters in November.
This has been a good year for bear. Beechnuts and acorns are plentiful and expected to keep the bear out of their dens until late in the year.
Maine's bear population is conservatively estimated at 36,000.
There were 3314 bears taken last year by a little more than 13,000 bear hunters giving them a success rate of 25%.
In 2015, 69% of the bear were taken over bait, 17 percent behind dogs, 8 percent by fair chase and 5 percent were trapped.
In 2017, 2897 bear were taken in Maine. In 2016, the number was 2859.
Maine's bear population is very high and the annual hunt usually does not meet objections. Bear problems continue to remain high, especially in Western, Northern and Down East Maine.