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24
Bear hunting season begins
Thursday, September2, 2004, 2:57 PM

RUMFORD (AP) - Bear hunting season begin Monday, and this could be the last time hunters are allowed to use bait, dogs or traps.

Mainers will vote November 2 on whether to ban bear hunting with bait, with dogs or with traps.

Supporters of the proposed ban say it is cruel and demeaning to Maine's hunting tradition to take bears with bait, dog or traps. Opponents maintain that Maine's bear population will grow out of control if those forms of hunting are outlawed.

According to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 80 percent of the 3,900 bears killed during last year's hunting season were taken using bait. Twelve percent were taken by hunters using dogs, and three percent were taken by trapping.

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