December 5, 2019

Bear Encounters Soar In Maine While MDIFW Officials Still Haven’t Released Bear Harvest Data

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*Editor’s Note* All the information for this blog post was provided by Richard Paradis.

The chart above shows the history of the past seven years of how long it has taken the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) officials to make public the results of the bear harvest and associated data. The last bear hunt for 2011 ended 189 days ago and counting. According to the chart, the average length of time is takes MDIFW officials to prepare the data, is 175 days; the longest being 269 days in 2006. I think getting deer harvest data is only slightly better.

So, why the long wait? Who knows! Probably the excuse is that there is no money. Odd that long before there were computers, harvest data was available on hunting seasons as the season progressed. Now we have to wait half a year or longer.

Meanwhile, the number of complaints filed for nuisance bears has doubled as compared to a similar time frame from a year ago. According to state biologist Kendall Marden, at least part of that increase is pinned on a growing population of bears; perhaps an unhealthy population of bears. One should consider that MDIFW and Maine outdoor sportsmen have realized there are too many bears and yet nothing seems to be taking place to increase seasons or bag limits, etc. to counter the growth. Is MDIFW now in bear protection mode along with other predators?

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