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Demonizing Bear Hunts Can Have Unintended Consequences

Reports from states with swelling bear populations reveal that not only are bears raiding backyard bird feeders and garbage cans, but the animals are also showing up on city streets and suburban roads, greatly increasing the chances of conflict. The state of Washington says “black bears are the most common source of potentially dangerous complaints.” Colorado says they “have become a high priority game management issue.” Massachusetts says “there are constant complaints about bear encounters” and Oregon has seen several bills introduced to restore the now-banned methods included in the Maine referendum. Mainers turned this exact measure down in 2004, by a 53-47 margin. Let’s make its defeat even more decisive this time[…..]

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[…..]

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Maine Wildlife Conservation Council
PO Box 5540
Augusta, Maine 04330