AUGUSTA — The Maine bear hunt’s getting started with the part of the season in which it’s legal to lure bears with doughnuts and other bait foods.

The hunt starts on Monday. By far the most active part of the season is the stretch in which hunters are allowed to use bait. That part of the hunt lasts until Sept. 22.

Hunters began laying bait for the bears starting in late July. The full season stretches until Nov. 24. There’s also a stretch in September and October in which it’s legal to hunt bears with the use of hunting dogs.

Animal welfare advocates have made attempts to ban bear bait over the years, but state biologists have opposed such efforts on the grounds that it’s needed to control the bear population.

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