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Thank you for visiting. Save Maine's Bear Hunt and Management Programs is a campaign to educate Maine voters about the negative impacts of the referendum that would ban bear baiting, trapping and hunting with dogs. We encourage you to explore our website and sign up to receive more information.

Recent News

Bear Populations Grew in Two States That OK’d Limits

Two states that banned controversial bear-hunting methods through citizens initiatives in the 1990s have seen growing bear populations despite an increase in hunting permits. In Oregon, where voters approved a measure to ban the use of baits and hounds in bear hunting in 1994, the black bear population has increased by 40 percent. In Massachusetts, where a ballot measure to ban hounds and traps in bear hunts passed in 1996, the bear population has skyrocketed by 700 percent[.....]

Millinocket Town Council Resolution Opposing Question 1

Millinocket’s seven town councilors officially voted to approve a resolution in opposition to Question 1 on Maine’s November ballot. Question 1 would ban Maine’s most effective methods of controlling Maine’s large bear population and undermine 40 years of scientific research and management by biologists at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife[.....]

First Volley in Bear Referendum Struck

Saturday, Aug. 9, the Augusta Civic Center was the gathering place for what was perhaps the biggest fund-raising event in the annals of Maine’s hunting and outdoor sporting community. The Save Maine’s Bear Hunt Super Banquet was just that,­ super, an unqualified success. In attendance were people from all walks of life: bear guides, trappers, outfitters, sportsmen, politicians, and people from far away. (This is double the turnout for a similar event that took place a decade ago to do battle with the same organization over the same issue.) Maine gubernatorial candidates Mike Michaud, Eliot Cutler and Governor LePage made an appearance, either in person or by video recording. To a man, they all voiced their opposition to the bear referendum and their belief that Maine’s respected scientific wildlife management should not be undermined by animal rights extremists like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)[.....]

Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting Go One Step Too Far With Their Kids For Cubs Events

“We think that inviting young children into such a tense policy debate under the guise of a ‘story time’ is fundamentally misleading and in bad taste,” said James Cote, campaign manager for the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council, the leading opponents of Question 1. “Our priority will remain educating Maine voters (18 years old+) about the negative consequences of Question 1, including the economic, safety, and biological impacts of Question 1.”[.....]

Bear Referendum Is Not A Bear Hunting Issue

Voters need to understand that the coming vote in November is not a bear hunting issue. Instead it is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt by the Humane Society of America (HSUS) to eventually take away all of our hunting rights[.....]

Warning Issued After Bear Sightings in Wells

A Wells dispatch officer posted on the department’s Facebook page that callers had reported seeing bears in the area of Perry Oliver Road, Dodge Road and Wire Road. “Bear hunting is not as popular in southern Maine as it is in northern Maine, therefore we are having increasing amounts of bear complaints, bear coming into backyards in some of the coastal towns as well as further inland,” said Sgt. Tim Spahr, of the Maine Warden Service[.....]

Bait, Hounds, Traps-A Look at Bear Hunting

By Susan Sharon This week Maine hunters started setting out barrels laden with meat, pastries and other sweets in anticipation of the annual three-month bear hunt that begins at the end of August. The bait is used at regulated sites to attract bears, which are difficult to spot in the dense Maine woods. But if[.....]

Bear Spotted Wandering Through Waterville

Police Chief Joseph Massey said the first bear sighting was reported at 5 a.m. Monday on Pleasantdale Avenue… Then around 9 p.m., another resident reported seeing a bear in a funeral home parking lot on Silver Street… Massey said police were concerned because the bear was spotted in the middle of a populated area of the city and could be dangerous or become aggressive[.....]

200 Pound Bear Struck, Killed on I-68

A vehicle hit and killed a 200-pound male bear in the westbound lane of Interstate 68 Wednesday morning… The number of bears that have died on Maryland roads this year has risen to 22, according to an unofficial count maintained by the Cumberland Times-News[.....]

26% of Maine’s Bear Hunters Were Successful in 2013

Despite a long fall hunting season for bears in Maine, the bear harvest has been below objectives since 2005. Bait, hounds and traps are the most effective for harvesting bears in Maine’s dense forest and account for 93% of the harvest. Even with these three methods, only about 1 in 4 hunters using bait, hounds and traps are successful. Still-hunters harvest less than 300 bears (7%), since it is very difficult to spot and stalk bears in Maine’s thick vegetation. To stabilize the bear population estimated at more than 30,000, a harvest of 4,500 bears is needed. Without bait, hounds or traps, Maine’s bear harvest will be well below objectives[.....]

Bear Baiting Makes Woods Safer for All

The state’s bear management program is based on 40 years of scientific research… As the government agency responsible for the conservation of Maine’s wildlife, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is opposed to this referendum and Maine’s game wardens and wildlife biologists are taking an active role in informing Mainers why we are opposed to this referendum[.....]

Paid for and Authorized by the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, Maine 04330.
We encourage voters to oppose the referendum and allow our public, professional biologists to continue to manage Maine's bear population with our nationally recognized bear management program.