The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is pushing legislation that would shut down significant portions of Maine’s bear hunting season. LD 1474, sponsored by Representative Denise Patricia Harlow (D-Portland), would:
- Ban bear trapping and bear hunting with dogs. Under the bill, government officials would only be allowed to trap or use dogs on “specific offending” bears or for scientific studies.
- Ban using a leashed dog to track a wounded bear.
- Place a permanent prohibition on hunting bears between January 1st and July 31st.
- Reduce the bear bag limit from two to one bear for all hunters.
In 2004, HSUS went to the ballot in Maine but were unsuccessful in their attempt to ban bear hunting with dogs and bear trapping.
“The citizens of Maine have already spoken on this issue in 2004 when they shot down Question 2 on the ballot,” said Jeremy Rine, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance associate director of state services. “The vote made a clear statement that Maine supports scientific wildlife management and recognizes bear hunting as an important management tool. Unfortunately, Maine sportsmen must once again speak up to protect bear hunting.”
The bill has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, but a hearing has not be scheduled at this time.
Logo courtesy US Sportsmen's Alliance