Abstract for: Controlling the Black Bear Population in Maine
What are the best methods for controlling a population of black bears? Some advocate for a “natural” approach, based on the carrying capacity of the bears’ ecosystem and unassisted hunting. Others argue that bear population control requires large amounts of bait to assist hunters in harvesting. These issues came to a head in an unsuccessful 2014 referendum that sought to ban the use of bait in the State of Maine, an area with a large black bear population and a long history of using bait to hunt them. We simulated these issues and concluded that even though using bait increases the black bear population to very high levels, balancing population control with the interests of the bear hunting industry is difficult.