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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Maine started a Black Bear research study back in 1975 and this year marks the 39th consecutive year of field work on the estimated 30,000 Bruin population..........This study is the longest of its kind and will conclude in 2015(40 years of Black Bear evaluation!)................The stated purpose of the study is to determine what size hunting and trapping quota should be set annually and "to keep bears in balance with their habitat"..............When you read the previous statement, it becomes so obvious that health of the land is secondary to needs of hunters-----Exactly the problem that we must fix if true science and ecosystems services are to one day be the paradigm of how to manage Bears, Wolves and Pumas

Article taken from Bangor Daily News -
URL to article:

40-year study of Maine bear population continues

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Maine — In 1975, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife began a 40-year study to examine Maine’s bear population. The information provided by the study is used to adjust bear hunting rules and regulations to ensure the number of bears is kept in balance with available habitat.

The study continued this year, with IFW bear biologist Randy Cross leading a team of five other specialists through Washington County for 43 days in May and June. Cross and his team captured 66 different bears a total of 92 times.
The team used cable-foot restraints and culverts, the same traps used by the public during bear trapping season and the only bear trapping devices legally permitted in Maine.
“These devices are considered safe and humane by scientific and animal care committees across the country. There is a perception that the old-fashioned steel-jawed bear traps are used, but they have been illegal in Maine for years,” Judy Camuso, wildlife division director for the IFW, said.
Once captured, each bear was anesthetized, measured, checked for its reproductive status, tattooed with an identifying number beneath its lip and released.
Among the bears captured was “Big John,” a 7-year-old 432-pound black bear. Cross has been interested in this sizeable creature since it was first spotted and tagged for the study in 2010.
In addition, 16 female bears were fitted with a radio collar, including 8 that were new to the study. These bears, along with 100 others that already have been collared in three study areas across the state, will be visited in their dens this winter to obtain information on birth rates, survival, behavior, health and nutrition.
Now in its 39th year, the study is the longest running bear research program in the country. More than 3,000 bears have been captured and marked since the study began in 1975.
Maine’s bear population has risen from 23,000 bears in 2004 to more than 30,000 bears in 2014, according to the IFW. This figure sets Maine’s bear population as the largest in the East and one of the largest in the country.
For more information on the IFW’s bear management program, visit

BLACK BEAR HUNTING AND TRAPPING----Black bears can be hunted in Maine using a variety of methods during a 16-week fall hunting season opening on the last Monday in August and closing the last Saturday in November. During the first 4 weeks (primarily the month of September), bears can be hunted over bait. Hunters can pursue bears with hounds for six weeks (mid-September to end of October),---fair chase this is certainly not(Blogger Rick) ---and can still hunt or stalk bears the entire 16 week season. Hunters are required to purchase a bear permit during the bait and hound season and non-resident deer hunters are required to purchase a bear permit if they want to harvest a bear while hunting deer. Bear hunters can take two bears each fall, if one is taken by hunting and the other by trapping.

Over the past 8 years(2005-20013), an average of 3000 Bears have been killed and trapped annually, roughly 10% of the estimated statewide population

You may trap a bear in Maine from September 1 to October 31. One cage style trap or foothold snare set at or below

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