AUGUSTA, Maine — The busiest portion of Maine’s annual bear hunt is coming to an end.

Saturday is the final day of the year when hunters are allowed to use bait to attract bears. About 80 percent of Maine’s bear hunt takes place over bait, which is typically sugary human food.

The bear season continues until Nov. 25, but is much slower in the final two months. Hunters are allowed to use dogs to pursue bears until Oct. 27. Very few bears are harvested without the use of bait or dogs.

The state’s bear population has been growing in recent years and state biologists say the hunt is an important tool to control it.

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