AUGUSTA — It’s summer in Maine, but the fall hunting season is creeping closer with the state giving bear hunters the OK to lay bait.

Maine hunters are allowed to lay bait to lure bears every summer. This year, the state is allowing the laying of bait starting on Saturday. Bait is typically sugary human food such as doughnuts.

The hunt itself doesn’t begin until Aug. 27. The portion in which hunting over bait is allowed lasts until Sept. 22, though it’s still legal to hunt bears in Maine until Nov. 24. Most hunting takes place over bait, though some hunters pursue bears with hunting dogs. The hounding season lasts Sept. 10 to Oct. 26.

State wildlife biologists say the use of bait is important to help control the bear population.

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