Maine bear hunters will set bait for this season's hunt on Saturday for possibly final time

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PORTLAND, Maine — Maine bear hunters are getting ready to set bear bait for perhaps the last time.

Hunters who hunt bears with the use of bait can begin placing the bait on Saturday. Bear bait is typically sugary human food such as doughnuts. The state's bear hunting season begins on Aug. 25 and ends Nov. 29.

A November ballot question could prohibit hunting Maine bear with bait, dogs, or traps. Maine is the only state to allow all three of those hunting methods. Baiting accounts for 80 percent of the state's bear hunt.

The vote comes 10 years after Maine voters narrowly rejected a similar measure. Supporters of the ban say bear baiting is cruel and unsporting. Opponents say a ban would hurt the state's tourism-dependent economy.

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