Maine Black Bear biologist says a lack of natural food will force bears to find other food sources like back yard bird feeders and trash Author: Shannon Moss (NEWS CENTER Maine) Published: 5:29 PM EDT May 19, 2020 One of their constant refrains is that Question 1—which would ban the cruel and unsporting hounding, trapping, and baiting of bears in the last state to allow all three extreme methods—is largely funded by out-of-state groups, including The HSUS and HSLF. These hunters and the rules that control their methods are the tools that managers use to ensure the bear population is not overharvested and to keep the bear population from "crossing the line". If they know of any easy food source they will use it, but they generally travel at night to avoid detection. Katie Hansberry, campaign director for Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, said, "This is an issue that is still important to Mainers all around the state. Take a break and read about all of your favorite locations that made the Best of New England Hall of Fame. For the first 8 years, Maine residents purchased the majority of permits and permit numbers fluctuated between 10,000 and 11,000 (Table 1). The funds from this federal tax (known as Pittman-Robertson funds) pay for about 75% of the cost of the program. Our population objective is to stabilize the bear population (no significant increase or decrease in numbers) through traditional hunting and trapping activities. Maine is lucky enough to have one of the most prosperous black bear populations east of the Mississippi estimated at an excess of 22,000 bears. However, each year, primarily in the spring and early summer, the Department receives numerous calls from homeowners when bears have destroyed bird feeders or disturbed garbage. Search Filters Another reason for our stellar safety record could be that Maine only has black bears- the smallest (between 200-600 lbs, which is small for a bear), most docile of all the bears. This setting should only be used on your home or work computer. The annual bag limit is 2 bears per year with one taken by either hunting or trapping or both. This diet is supplemented with insects, including ants and bees (their larvae, adults, and honey), and occasional mammals and birds. To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader. A black bear got caught on camera raiding my neighbor’s beehive last summer. We regulate bear numbers primarily through annual hunting and trapping harvests. One of our most celebrated and treasured animals is the black bear. Each fall, bear hunters enter the Maine woods in hopes of harvesting a black bear. Black bear hunting can be dangerous, which is why those wishing to enjoy Maine bear hunting season should seek … Statewide we average 9 bears/100 square miles; in our area, WMD 9, the percentage is much higher. Although, female bears remain within or near the range of their mother their entire life, male bears disperse long distances (often up to 100 miles) as subadults (1-4 years of age) prior to settling into adult ranges that may exceed 100 miles squared. Our hunting season for Maine black bear will start on August 31st,2020 and bait season will run until September 26th,2020 which is the last day our black bear hunters can legally harvest a Maine black bear hunting from a bait site. Our current management goal for bears is to provide hunting, trapping, and viewing opportunity for bears. Adult males average 250-600 pounds, and measure 5-6 feet from tip of nose to the tip of their tail. This new permit was established to track hunter participation later in the season and to generate a dedicated funding source for bear research and management. Our management goals and objectives are set by interested members of the public that have reviewed and discussed the latest MDIFW bear assessment (Public Working Group). Males are roughly 40 inches tall at the shoulder and measure 5 to 6 feet from nose to tail; females are about 30 inches tall at the shoulder and 4 to 5 feet long. Bears are active in late fall as long as food is plentiful. Cubs enter dens with their mother the following fall. 10 Things to Know About Maine Black Bears. Because these cubs stay with their mother for 16 months and den with her the following winter, we can also determine how many cubs survive to one year of age (known as yearlings). Females are smaller, weighing 100-400 pounds, and measuring 4-5 feet in length. Since 1975, we’ve monitored bears in four separate study areas across the state. By the time bears in Maine reach 2 years of age their survival exceeds 90%, and nearly all deaths of adult bears are due to hunting or other human-related causes. Less than half of newborn cubs may die before reaching their first birthday, with starvation being a major cause of death. Periodic trapping efforts are necessary to maintain a representative sample of bears in each study area. Hunt includes: 6 days of hunting with 7 nights lodging, Meals, Transportation while hunting and field dressing. 9. Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Phone: (207) 287-8000 In addition, Maine has a small human population (1.3 million) that is mostly concentrated in the southern third of the state where bear densities are lower and therefore bear-human conflicts are less numerous. Black bear are the most timid and least dangerous of the bears found in North America. If you need assistance, view our PDF Help page, or email us. The group Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting officially sponsored the measure. Male black bears can weigh up to 600 pounds but average about 250 to 350 pounds, while females grow to only 100 to 200 pounds. The spring represents a period of food stress, as most bears emerge from the den. Black bear management is a balancing act between maintaining a healthy and abundant population for all to enjoy, and limiting the growth of the bear population so that bear nuisance problems do not cross the line of public tolerance. Spaulding Lake Outfitters also offers Maine black … Maine is blessed with a healthy, stable population of black bear, conservatively estimated at 35,000. Unforeseen disease or insect outbreaks may influence forest composition and harvest strategies in the future. The black bear, featured above at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, is the smallest of the three species of bears inhabiting North America (black, brown/grizzly, and polar), has the widest distribution on the continent, and is the only bear living in the eastern United States. Maine has 69,050 km2 of bear habitat, consisting of mostly second-growth conifer-deciduous forest that provides an ample supply of bear foods (berries, nuts, fruits, and carrion). Black Bears are the smallest and most encountered bears in North America among black, brown/grizzly, and polar bears, and are the only bears found in the eastern United States. This assessment (PDF) provides the scientific basis for management goals. Population and Harvest Trends Bears were believed to inhabit the entire state at the time of European settlement. In September and October, trappers can set 1 foot snare or cage trap for bears. Bear biologist Randy Cross knows that gathering field data is the best way to protect the future of Maine’s bears. Get A Taste of Maine. Females are smaller, weighing 100-400 pounds, and measuring 4-5 feet in length. Your one stop shop for gas, groceries, and goodies! We have Home Style Cooking and Daily Specials! THE BEAR'S DEN ~ 207.564.8733 ~ DOVER-FOXCROFT, ME – We would love to see you! Black bears are found in most forested areas from Mexico north to the edge of the tree line in Canada and Alaska. All black bear hunts are on active bait sites with comfortable metal ladder stands or ground blinds. Traditionally, beechnut production has been linked to cub production in northern Maine, but these nuts have been less reliable in recent years and are less important in southern areas. Within a year, non-resident participation exceeded resident participation. When beechnuts were the primary fall food for bears in northern Maine, most cubs were born in odd-numbered years in response to alternating years of high beechnut crops. 284 State Street However, if they do survive and can avoid the other main cause of death — 90 percent of adult black bear mortality is due to hunting and other human activities — they can live to about 30 years old in the wild. 1. About 30,000 black bears (Ursus americanus) live in New England. In 1981, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife took over Roy's project and established a new study area near Bradford (north of Old Town) in 1982. The variables that cause these differences are many and complicated and are not easy to predict, measure, or even identify. Maine's first football team was fielded in 1892. The Humane Society of the United Statesalso supported the initiative and donated money to support the measure. The black bear is the smallest of the three species of bears inhabiting North America (black, brown/grizzly, and polar), has the widest distribution on the continent, and is the only bear living in the eastern United States. The Maine black bear monitoring program is a long-term project designed to continually gather data regarding the status of our bear population. Bears routinely come to my bird feeder this time of year to see if they can steal it. This study area was established to address a longstanding need to better represent a portion of Maine's bear population in eastern Maine living under habitat conditions not well represented by the other 2 existing study areas. Stop by and say "Hi!" Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Mailing Address: Their survival increases as they mature. In Maine, black bears are found nearly statewide, but are most common in northern and eastern Maine and are rarely found in the heavily settled southern and central-coastal regions. The information we use to assess the bear population and bear habitat is documented in a written bear management system (PDF) developed in1986, which contains criteria for decision-making and management options. Maine’s biological carrying capacity for bears was estimated to be 36,515 bears (range 31,299 – … Do not try to capture these bears by yourself. Black bears are found in most forested areas from Mexico north to the edge of the tree line in Canada and Alaska. PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine wildlife officials are asking residents to take precautions to avoid unwanted confrontations with black bears. 2. Most conflicts with bears can be prevented by removing common food attractants around homes. MAINE COAST SOLAR BARES is a non-profit and non-landed organization, registered with the State of Maine, founded to promote the social clothing optional lifestyle. Most conflicts with bears can be prevented by removing common food attractants around homes. Although many people enjoy an abundant bear population, too many bears can create problems for the bears and the people who live with them. By 2002, permit sales peaked at over 15,000. Baiting bears is a problematic and reckless practice." This ingress of bears into southern Maine is associated with a gradual increase in the bear population, from less than 20,000 to more than 30,000 during that time. Although most black bears are not much larger than humans, their weight can vary tremendously with the season of the year. Although most black bears are not much larger than humans, their weight can vary tremendously with the season of the year. We tag the ears of all cubs and yearlings to identify them. The Department's bear monitoring program is an ongoing source of information providing biologists with the information necessary to properly manage this valuable wildlife resource. In years when fall foods are abundant, bears will feed until snow makes travel difficult, and normally enter dens in late November. Book a Cabin Call us Cubs stay with their mother for up to a year and a half, with as much as the first five months spent in the den. When they emerge from their winter den as yearling bears, they remain with their mother until she goes into estrus in the spring. Bears are sometimes injured or killed in vehicle collisions. We ear-tag many males while trapping and in the dens as well. Nearly 50 percent of cubs don’t survive their first year, often due to starvation. In 2001, the Department set new management goals and objectives to direct bear management through 2015 based upon the recommendations of a public working group representing diverse interests. This post was first published in 2007 and has been updated. Forestry practices are continually evolving, which changes the world the bears live in and the food they depend on. In the spring, it takes about two weeks after rousing from torpor for bears to return to normal activity levels. 7. Thus, the general nature of the forests of northern Maine and the bear foods they provide are very different now than they were years ago, and most likely will be different in years to come. Bears store body fat during the fall months to supply energy during their long winter denning period, and are heaviest in late fall. Bears are not considered efficient predators, but they are known to prey on young deer and moose in late spring, and will consume carrion. In addition, bears are now sometimes encountered in the Mid-coast and southern Maine coastal regions. While the number of bears harvested by hunters each year is known, the number dying from other causes and the numbers entering the population must be determined by our research. Tracks of female bears rarely exceed 4.5 inches in width; males leave tracks up to 6 inches wide. In addition, Maine bears enter winter dens earlier when fall natural food shortages occur. Black bears require forests for protection and food. Follow along with photographer Carl D. Walsh as he accompanied wildlife biologist Randy Cross and his crew of technicians in the Maine black bear monitoring program. Starting in 2008, trappers and non-resident deer hunters are required to purchase a permit to harvest a black bear. 2. Table 1. The abundance of many types of bear foods are affected by weather, which makes predicting the food supply and cub production difficult from year-to-year. About 30,000 black bears (Ursus americanus) live in New England. Maine Black Bear. How do biologists determine the proper number of animals that needs to be harvested? New England State Symbols | Honoring the Quirky, Unusual, and Delicious, Boston Museum of Fine Arts | New England by the Numbers, Yankee Magazine’s Ultimate New England Winter Guide, Yankee Magazine’s Ultimate New England Summer Guide, 63 Reasons Why We Love the Cape & Islands, Yankee Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Autumn in New England, Get Rid of Skunk Odor | Methods to Deskunk Your Dog, 10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England. Trapping bears with foot-snares allows us to collar new bears to replace collared bears that have died or that have been lost due to malfunctioning collars. A total of between 85 and 110 radiocollared female bears are monitored each year in all three study areas combined. Over the past century, conflicts between bears and humans in Maine have lessened with changes in agricultural practices, the decline of farming, increased interest in bear hunting, and the species’ rise in status as a game animal. This group is composed of couples, families and single men and women who come from all parts of New England and the Maritimes to enjoy a safe, comfortable opportunity for clothing optional recreation. Bears are compact, with stocky legs, small eyes, short, rounded ears, short curved claws, and a short, inconspicuous tail. Some forums can only be seen by registered members. The Maine Black Bears football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the University of Maine located in the U.S. state of Maine. To prevent conflicts with black bears each spring (April 1-October 1): Each year, primarily in the spring and early summer, the Department receives numerous calls from homeowners when bears have destroyed bird feeders or disturbed garbage. Maine’s wilderness is home to over 25,000 moose. TTY: Maine Relay 711 The opponents of fair bear hunting in Maine are taking outrageous liberties with their misleading campaign rhetoric. 10. Email us, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Opportunities for People with Disabilities, Rulemaking Proposals Open to Public Comment, Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Reptiles and Amphibians, Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Invertebrates, local Game Warden or Regional Wildlife Biologist. Black bears in Maine are normally black, but they are often various shades of brown to cream colored in western populations, and are even white, and blue-gray in color in coastal British Columbia and Alaska. Physical Address: For example, if we found that our radiocollared females in our study area in the northern commercial forest were particularly successful in raising their cubs in a given year, then we would assume that other females living in the northern commercial forest were also very successful. They will try to avoid humans as much as humans try to avoid them. Last year’s total of 719 complaints of nuisance bears was the second highest in Maine since 2007, and there had been 34 by mid-May this year. And yes, they love honey. Bears are long-lived animals, capable of surviving 30 years in the wild. Black bears mate during the early summer months. They have a brown muzzle, and occasionally a white throat or chest patch or "blaze". Bears were bountied as vermin until 1957, but were granted game species status in 1969 when mandatory monitoring of annual harvests began. Cub production has been more consistent in central Maine, where more stable fall food supplies result in nearly half of adult females giving birth each year. Harvest regulations are applied uniformly statewide, with no regional controls on hunting effort. Bears can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. In order to maintain a stable bear population, we must have a good understanding of the number of bears entering the population (recruitment) to replace losses. The bear … This work is possible thanks to a federal tax on firearms, ammunition and other hunting related items. Boasting one of the largest black bear populations in the eastern U.S., hunters harvest approximately 3,400 annually of the estimated 30,000 in Maine. These marked males offer additional information regarding their movements and mortality when they are re-encountered through hunter harvest, roadkill or our own trapping efforts. Radiocollars are helpful for monitoring black bears because their secretive nature makes them difficult to observe. 8. Throughout the summer, males travel over large areas to enhance their chances for encountering mates. 236 likes. Bears sto… When feeding on a concentrated food source, bears may use areas as small as several acres; when searching for dispersed food or mates, they can cover several miles in a day. More recently, cubs are born in both years in northern Maine, following several years of lower but consistent beechnut crops. Currently, we have three active study areas in northern, north-central and eastern Maine. Roy compared population characteristics of the bears living in these 2 study areas for his PhD. Females usually bear two or three cubs every other year in the winter den. 4. By contrast, humans on bed rest for a similar length of time, although eating a balanced diet, have lost 54 percent of their muscle strength. Bear cubs are born with blue eyes, which turn brown during their first summer. The fall documents a period when bears are feeding intensively to build fat stores for surviving a winter of fasting. They’re the smallest of the North American bear species. We are located at 73 North St, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine and on ITS 82 with easy access to the Trail System for Snowmobiling, ATV's & Biking. Closely tracking food production would help us explain year-to-year variations in cub production and survival. Although bears eat meat, their diet is primarily vegetarian, including early greening grasses, clover, and the buds of hardwood trees in the spring, fruits and berries in summer, and beechnuts, acorns, and hazelnuts in the fall. Radiocollars send out a signal revealing each bear's location in her den as she hibernates under the winter snow. If late fall food is scarce, bears usually enter dens in October. These encounters are on the rise and Matt Gutman has details. Bears in Maine utilize a wide assortment of natural foods, and the food types that are available in each study area are quite different. They don’t eat, drink, or excrete waste and are more easily awakened than true hibernators. At that time, the Spectacle Pond area was lightly hunted; whereas, bears in the Stacyville area experienced heavy hunting pressure. Due to their high winter body temperatures, a benefit of their large bodies and thick pelts, black bears are among the most highly efficient hibernators in North America. We are a growing team of visually impaired hockey players... you read that right! Joe Holland Fishing 4,265 views Forestland ownership and market conditions are constantly changing as well, which also impacts forest resource management. Although black bears breed in the summer, fetal development is delayed until early winter, after the female has entered a den. In the lower 48 states, wild grizzly bears are found only in a section of Montana, Wyoming around Yellowstone National Park and remnant populations in sections of Idaho and extreme northwestern Washington state. See More: Tracking Maine Black Bears | Photos. scare that happened on a trail in Maine when a man trained to run marathons came face-to-face with two black bears. We have learned a lot about bears in Maine over the last 35 years, but we are still discovering new things. In 2004, the Stacyville study area was discontinued and a new study area was created in Downeast Maine (northeast of Beddington). Although males become sexually mature at 1-2 years of age, most do not participate in breeding until they have reached full adult size, at about 4-6 years in Maine. Fewer than 1 percent of Maine’s black bears die in the winter, Cross has found, their lowest mortality of any season (the state’s bear population is estimated at 31,000). The remaining 25% comes primarily from hunting and fishing license sales. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is charged with managing Maine's abundant wildlife resources. They’re really quite shy, and usually amble away before you ever see them. Summary of black bear permit numbers in Maine. Fax: (207) 287-8094 or (207) 287-6395 Maine is home to the largest population of black bears in the lower 48 states. Grizzlies were once found as far east as modern day Ohio. The program began as a study in 1975 when Roy Hugie in cooperation with the Department established 2 study areas consisting of 4 townships each - Spectacle Pond (20 miles West of Ashland) and Stacyville (near Patten). Bears store body fat during the fall months to supply energy during their long winter denning period, and are heaviest in late fall. The official athletics website for the University of Maine Black Bears Bears are opportunists, and feed on a wide range of vegetation and animal matter. Beginning in 1990, a bear hunting permit has been required to hunt bears in September and October. These antlered behemoths can stand up to six feet tall and weigh over 1,200 pounds, and can be found throughout the state’s 17.6 million forested acres. A bear management goal of providing continued hunting, trapping and viewing opportunity for bears was established by 1) stabilizing the bear population’s growth by 2005 at no less than current (1999) levels, 2) creating information and education programs to promote traditional hunting and trapping methods as preferred and valid tools to manage the state’s black bear population, and 3) creating information and education programs to promote public tolerance of bears. A rise in permit fees in 2003 (resident $5.00 to $25.00; non-residents $15.00 to $65.00) and the down turn in the US economy have likely contributed to declining resident and non-resident hunter participation in recent years. If a female is unable to store sufficient body fat prior to entering the den, the pregnancy is terminated. YEAR long Trail Camera in the North Maine Woods:Moose, Bear, Fisher, Marten, Lynx, Deer, Coyote - Duration: 7:08. See our living with wildlife page to learn more about how you can minimize conflicts with bears. A reassessment of the past, present, and future status of bears, their habitat, and demands on the bear resource was completed in 1999. With limited funding, we can more efficiently measure cub production and survival directly during our winter den visits. In late summer and fall, black bears forage widely to build fat. A female black bear and her three cubs in my backyard near Bangor, Maine. During the fall documents a period of parental care leads to females bears producing litters every other year the! Metal ladder stands or ground blinds and July birth to 1-4 cubs inside the winter den as she under! 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