2016 bear

2016 bear

30 Jan 2017

 

Well I finally sat down to the puter to write some blogs on how the 2016 seasons went. I have put it off too long.

Here's the 2016 Bear report...

Predictions from the state biologists that it was going to be the best year since 1995 did not exactly come to be. All in all it was a below average year for us. The State's Spring bear snaring study program produced more bear than they had caught in many years. This was attributed to the lack of natural food sources & drought conditions plus a huge bear population which we all agreed was occurring. Anticipation for a great year was very high. I recall, early in the year, asking the study team at a public meeting, " how they could predict what the Sept. food sources would be like when it was still only June. I was told that was a great question and my answer was the drought, and the lack of any sign of expected foods like Raspberries etc... There were however more Blackberry blossoms on the bushes than I think I had ever seen. But the head biologist  said all the Blackberries in the world wouldn't make a difference.

Turns out my question was right on the money because we had an unexpected  acorn crop like no other. Normally acorns would not be an issue but because of the severe drought, they started falling in August. Bears still came to bait but like I said, it turned out to be a below average year for our total harvest.

Last year we picked up new territory adding 8 new bait sites to our program. It turned out to be good country and we are very pleased with it. We are in the process of acquiring even more territory for 2017, which will add 5 or 6 more sites. That will get us up to well over 60,000 (exclusive) acres of prime bear territory!  I look  forward to the scouting process....(my favorite part)

The state is examining ways to increase Maine's bear harvest. There are more bears in the woods than they would like so they are looking at options. Some of the ideas floating around are.

- Allowing people to harvest 2 bears < ( not a fan )

- Starting up a Spring hunt < ( not a fan )

- Adding a 5th week to the bear over bait season  < ( this one I feel would be the best choice )

None of these ideas will be implemented this year....

Bookings are coming in fast. Weeks 1 and 4 are fully booked. We 2 & 3 still has some slots available...

Matt