AUGUSTA — After a dry summer that pushed some of Maine’s black bears into residential neighborhoods, the state’s annual hunt for the animals is set to begin.

Maine’s black bear hunt starts Monday and ends Nov. 26. There’s a special day for young hunters Saturday.

The season follows a spring and summer in which there were several reports of bears in dense human areas. Bears can be more aggressive about seeking food from birdfeeders and garbage cans when their natural food sources like nuts and mast aren’t available.

Hunters are hopeful all the activity will lead to a productive harvesting year. They’re allowed to hunt bears with bait until Sept. 24.

Hunters typically harvest about 3,000 bears per year in Maine. The majority of the hunters usually are from out of state.