Maine has not held a statewide spring bear season for over 40 years. That’s an interesting footnote considering between 1770 and 1957, bears in the Pine Tree State were considered pests with no closed season and were not established as a game animal until 1969. Everything changed after that, but the biggest change came in 1982 when Maine cancelled its spring season. I remember it well. I had been bear hunting on my own and a few times with guides for several years by then and for several reasons preferred hunting the spring season over the fall.
Few hunters understood the biologics and management goals of the state back then, so the closure was controversial to say the least. Most resident bear hunters and non-residents who came to Maine to partake of the only spring season east of the Mississippi spring season saw the closure as nothing more than a loss of a hunting opportunity, while bear guides and outfitters saw a fair percentage of their annual income disappear. Maine started monitoring bear harvests in 1969, and by the early 1980s harvests had exceeded goals set by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Rumor had it that the closure was due in part to the killing of too many sows, which if continued unchecked had the potential of reducing the bear population, reported at around 18,000 at the time.
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THE END OF 2020, CHALLENGES COMING IN 2021
SOMETHINGS EVERY SPORTSMAN OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT. STAY ENGAGED!
SPRING HUNTING IN MAINE
In 1982 Maine closed its spring season, but you can still spring hunt with an outfitter on some tribal lands.
Bears & Gobblers
SPRING BEAR & TURKEY IN MONTANA
Western Bear Hunting
Picking the right outfitter - Picking the right outfitter can make or break your experience.
Three Phases of the Spring
Understanding the Pros & Cons in the Timing of Spring Bear Hunting
Jeff Senger kills for a living.
Canning - Bear Meat
The last six months my non-hunting friends asking increasingly specific questions about how to turn animals into meat.
Bear Dogs - East vs West
The term “bear dog” means something different to every houndsman.
Alaska - One Last Grizzly (DIY)
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, BUT THE AUTHOR HAS HAD A HECK OF A RUN ON ARCTIC GRIZZLY
Understanding Skull Size in Evaluating Trophy Black Bear
Black bears can be one of the most difficult big game animals to judge before the shot.
Notes for new breeders
Experienced breeders will tell you that there are a number of things they wish someone had told them before they had their first litter. This article will share a few of those items with you in the hope that it will encourage you to read more and ask more questions.
MASKS, SOCIAL DISTANCING AND SPEED: SNOWMOBILES ENJOY BOOM
The thrill of hurtling along a remote trail, coupled with Americans’ ongoing desire to get outside during the pandemic, is creating the biggest boom in more than two decades for the snowmobiling industry.
How I Helped My Dad Die
His body wrecked by ALS, my father insisted that his death, like his life, was his to control
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Moosehead Lake, Maine
There’s adventure in leaving a place you know for a place you don’t know.
ASK OLD HOUSE JOURNAL
ASK OLD HOUSE JOURNAL
Not your ordinary classroom experience
Skippers Program teaches fishing safety
Lobster tales and lobster facts featured in two new local books
Andrew Gove’s memoir and the Roops’ new ABC
A stamp of approval for Marlinespike
Belvedere Craft fellowhip goes to Tim Whitten
LIVING THE DREAM
After the author arrives in Maine’s fabled North Woods with a moose tag in his pocket, an adventure he’s been wanting to take his entire hunting life, reality sets in, and he learns a valuable lesson: Be careful what you wish for
Surrender to indulgence at Maine’s White Barn Inn.