The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife's 'Keeper of the Maine Outdoors Experience' will bring a winner on a black bear den visit with wildlife biologists.

 

ME Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

 

Every winter, MDIFW biologists go to more than 75 dens of female black bears. These visits are part of the country’s longest run bear study that monitors the health of the bear population by checking on adult bears and their cubs. These visits let MDIFW know how many cubs are born, and how many cubs survive until a year old. Some female cubs are fitted with a tracking collar, bears are weighed, and blood samples are taken for testing.

If you win the contest, you and a friend will go out with a team of biologists in the field to locate a radio-collared bear at its winter den, and observe as the biologists immobilize the bear and collect important biological data from the bear. This is a crazy once in a lifetime chance to see wildlife biologists in the field.

*SIDENOTE* Not every den will have cubs, so it's not a guarantee that you will see baby bears.

Maine is home to more than 35,000 black bears, the largest species population among the lower 48 states. Bears live throughout Maine, but most of them are in northern and eastern Maine and can survive 30 years in the wild. This bear monitoring program began in 1975 and plays an important part in the department’s mission to have a stabilized bear population. You have to be 18 years-old, and the deadline for the Bear Den Experience is Feb. 19 at 12:00 p.m.

The Keeper of the Maine Outdoors Experience is a series that started last spring to give the public a chance for a day-in-the-life experience with a biologist or game warden to learn how they protect Maine wildlife or serve in the Maine outdoors.