Bear season kicks off throughout Maine at 5:20 a.m. Monday. The general hunting season runs through Nov. 30.

Hunting with bait is allowed from Monday until Sept. 21. Hunters may use dogs from Sept. 9 to Nov. 1.

Maine’s bear population has increased by more than 30 percent since 2004 and is estimated at more than 30,000 animals.

“Hunting is the department’s primary tool for managing this thriving bear population,” said Jennifer Vashon, a state biologist.

Last year more than 10,000 hunters bought bear permits, but harvested just 3,207.

By contrast, 79 percent of moose hunters, 38 percent of turkey hunters and 14 percent of deer hunters were successful in 2012.


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