"I think these people that feed bears, they're driven so much by the desire to see these animals in their yard," Timmins says.
It's not just wildlife watchers who are feeding the black bears -- in 12 states, it's legal for hunters to bait black bears, too. Hunters often use sugary, high-fat human foods to lure bears; a 1999 survey found that hunters in Virginia set out over 6 million pounds of bait food in a year, including pastries, grease and corn.
In Maine, legislators are looking to end baiting with a November ballot that could stop the practice, as well as end bear hunting with traps and dogs. Although opponents of the referendum say that hunting keeps the bears manageable, supporters argue that baiting the bears, in fact, does the opposite.
The populations of bears stabilized in Colorado, Oregon and Washington after these states banned baiting, according to the conservation group Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting. Baiting bears is "growing the population," says Katie Hansberry, a leader in the campaign against baiting. "It's the problem, not the solution."