AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Wildlife biologists say they expect bear hunters to have more success in the hunting season that begins in a few days because of poor availability of natural foods.

The Maine bear hunt is one of the longest bear hunting seasons in the country and it begins Saturday. Biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife say bear hunters tend to be more successful when natural foods are less abundant.

Low abundance of natural foods also often leads to more nuisance bear complaints. There have been more than 450 such complaints in Maine through mid-August, and the state generally averages about 500 per year.

Maine hunters spend the first few weeks of the season using bait to lure bears. The state bear population's estimated to be more than 36,000.