How Many Black Bears Live in Maine?

Travel Map IconMAINE - According to Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine boasts more black bears than any other New England state. They estimate over 35,000 black bears live there and offer the nation's longest-running bear monitoring program and regulations regarding hunting and trapping activities.

How Many Black Bears Live in Maine?

Yes, Are There Black Bears in Maine?

Bears can be found throughout Maine, but their preferred habitat is mountainous, forested areas with plenty of cover. Being omnivorous means, they eat both plant matter and meat as they scavenge for food sources; their lifespan averages 30 years in the wild! Bears face threats related to human-caused factors like habitat loss or development pressures but remain a precious resource.

Baiting bears is at the core of Maine's commercial bear-hunting industry, where most are killed using baiting techniques. According to 2012 harvest figures collected by IF&W, hunters using bait shot 81 percent of all Maine bears, while 21 percent were taken through stalking or snaring techniques.

The Savesies have pointed out that bear populations have stabilized in states that ban hunting methods other than baiting. Still, their numbers have grown in Colorado, where hunters use baiting and trapping. But Maine IF&W officials do not believe banning baiting will decrease bear populations as there is already enough habitat available to support existing levels of bears without creating nuisance conflicts with humans.