June 3, 2023

All The Wrong Excuses Why Bears in Maine Are Showing up in Your Back Yard

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I’ve reported previously that Maine has a bear problem and part of that problem is being exemplified in the presence of the beasts showing up in people’s back yards at a rate far exceeding last year’s. The reasons given and appearing in the regular press I don’t think addresses at all part of the problem, i.e. that there are just too many black bears in Maine.

In yesterday’s Bangor Daily News, Nick Sambides, Jr. reported that bears were frequenting neighborhoods in the Millinocket region and in particular downtown. What should be confusing, as well as dishonest, to the people is what is being relayed to the people as to why there are more bear encounters.

As is written in the Bangor News piece, it appears the more popular excuse du jour is that Maine had an early spring and a late berry crop forcing hungry bears to raid people’s bird feeders, trash bins and barbecue grills. However, in this same report, Sambides writes: “Bolduc [police chief] speculated that bears were foraging in town for food because of an early spring and a late berry bloom caused by the unusually wet weather. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife officials, however, have said that bear food is plentiful in the woods.”

So, which is it? Is there plenty of food for bears in the woods, or are there no berries or other food to satisfy the creatures? Perhaps there’s all there usually is to satisfy a bear except there are just too many bears competing for a limited amount of food leaving some hungrier than normal.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the idea of an increased bear hunt and get the numbers back to reasonable levels.