PORTLAND — Bear trapping season begins about two months before a state-wide referendum that could ban the hunting method.

The state’s bear trapping season runs from Monday to Oct. 31. Trapping bears is one of three hunting methods voters could choose to ban in a November vote. The other two methods are hunting with bait and hunting with dogs.

Opponents of bear trapping say it is cruel, and pushed for the referendum. Many hunting groups and hunting outfitters oppose the ban because they say it will cost jobs and hurt tourism.

The general bear hunting season and the bait hunting season began Aug. 25. Hunting with dogs begins Sept. 8. Hunters can take two bears during the year, one by hunting and one by trapping.

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