Some changes to bear hunt must wait, others shot down

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine's bear hunters were hoping for big wins in the legislature this year, but their proposals for an overhaul of the state's hunting rules will have to wait.

State legislators considered a change offered by a pro-hunting group this year that would have given state biologists the ability to adjust the length of the season and the number of animals a hunter can kill. A legislative committee decided in late May to hold the proposal over until the next legislative session in January.

Another proposal to create a spring bear hunt failed to win the approval of the same committee.

The bear hunt takes place every fall. Hunting groups have lobbied for expanded hunting to try to curb the growth of the Maine bear population, which is the East Coast's largest.