Sports

Biologists expect busy bait sites as Maine bear hunting season begins

Maine hunters heading into the woods today on the opening day of bear season will be battling warm temperatures, but that shouldn’t hamper their efforts to harvest an animal, according to a wildlife biologist who has been studying the animals for more than 30 years.

“I don’t think the heat will cause problems for first-week bear hunters,” said Randy Cross, the state’s bear crew leader for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “Excessive wind would be a bigger problem, especially combined with heavy rain such as what we sometimes get this time of year on the tail end of a hurricane.”

Temperatures in Bangor are expected to creep into the 90s during the first half of the week, as hunters get their first shot at bears this year. Youth Bear Day was Saturday, and Monday marked the first day for hunters hunting over bait and for general (nonbait) hunting. The last day of bait hunting is Sept. 22. The season for hunting with dogs runs from Sept. 10 through Oct. 26, while the general season without bait or dogs ends Nov. 24.

Cross said hot days may play a role, however.

“Heat during the day should reduce foraging activity on natural foods during the day — daytime foraging during cool weather can cause bears to wander farther away from bait sites with a full belly,” Cross said.

But as the sun drops and the end of the hunting day arrives, hunters should expect to have a few visitors at the bait sites.

To read the rest of “Biologists expect busy bait sites as Maine bear hunting season begins,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer John Holyoke, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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