June 20, 2019

Maine Can’t Afford to Lose Bear Referendum

“Allowing that the economic, recreational and societal benefits of bear hunting, as is, are immeasurable, Maine cannot afford to lose the bear referendum. To do so not only would encourage the continual erosion of the outdoor traditions, cultures and heritage symbolic of the state, it also would degrade and dishonor the DIFW’s extensive bear-management program — arguably the most respected nationwide. Think about it.”<<<Read More>>>

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Olson’s Trappers Weekend Reveals Huge Support Against Question One

“On Saturday at trapper and fur trader Neil Olson’s 38th annual New England Trappers Weekend in Bethel, large signs were just about everywhere urging the few thousand participants to defeat the referendum. Additionally, the Maine Trappers Association was holding a 50/50 raffle and auction with all proceeds going to fight the referendum.

Many trappers view the referendum as an attack on their right to hunt and on deeply steeped hunting traditions.”<<<Read More>>>

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Town of Wilton Passes Resolution Opposing Bear Referendum

WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons unanimously agreed Tuesday, on behalf of the town, to sign a resolution opposing the Nov. 4 referendum question banning the use of bait, dogs and traps for bear hunting.<<<Read More>>>

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Reports From Readers About Bear Referendum

TrustBiologistsOur trip to western Maine yesterday found many of these signs roadside. They were mostly in rural areas. We suspect that many of the rural folks, even though they may not hunt Black Bear, do have safety and economic interests that make them understand that a ballooning Black Bear population will change their way of life forever. [We] saw fresh deer tracks but these critters will not be helped along by having more ravaging Black Bears.

Stopped to buy some honey and the inside of the shop as well as the outside had these signs. The beekeepers will likely be put out of business if the referendum passes as will many of the folks that have their crops pollinated by bees.

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Bear Baiting: “I Would Never Try to Dissuade Another Person From Doing So”

I recently submitted an article for my monthly column in the Bethel Citizen newspaper about bear hunting and ethics. It should be published in the next few weeks there. The basis of the article was an attempt to understand why other seem empowered or compelled to dictate another person’s moral and ethical beliefs within the existing laws.

A Letter to the Editor found in the Bangor Daily News today from 70-year-old Hank Hoskins says: “I am in my 70s and have hunted big game animals since my grade school days. The pursuits required efforts beyond sitting and waiting over baits; the activities were hunts, not “shoots.” My hunting days are about over and my ethical code would never allow me to attempt to shoot a bear over bait. That said, however, I would never try to dissuade another person from doing so if such shooting was a legal activity.

A glimpse into the rarity of raw honesty and what might be a solid understanding of individual rights and liberties.

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Maine Reps Shaw and Libby: Facts About Bears, Management, and Referendum

“So the questions arises, who would you rather believe — Maine wildlife experts who have studied and maintained the health of the bear population for 40 years, or the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States, which boasts that its ultimate goal is the elimination of all hunting, of everything, from big game down to barnyard varmints.”

“These facts evidently don’t matter to a group called Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, which is pushing for passage of the referendum. In a campaign advertisement the group declared, “States that opted to restore fair chase to bear hunting have continued to maintain relatively stable bear populations.” That, of course, is a flat-out untruth.”<<<Read More>>>

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Maine Warden Service Opposes Question 1

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Sportman’s Alliance of Maine Will Match Donations for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has announced it will match donations to the Save Maine’s Bear Hunt from now until October 15, 2014. <<<Read More>>>

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Maine’s Kennebec Journal Editor Corrects False Accusation About HSUS

In what can only be described as unprecedented, the editor of the Kennebec Journal corrects a statement made by a person in a Letter to the Editor promoting a “yes” vote on Question One of Maine’s upcoming November referendum vote. In that letter, the writer accuses a previous letter writer(Carroll Ware) of “made up stuff out of whole cloth” when Ware said that Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), wanted to end all hunting.

The editor adds a correction after the Letter to the Editor that reads: “Editor’s note: In 1991, when he was CEO of the Fund for Animals, a radical anti-hunting organization, Pacelle was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.””

The other information contained in this letter about the results of bear baiting is “made up stuff out of whole cloth.”

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Maine IFW Enhances Website With Information Concerning Bear Referendum

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Voters who want to learn more about Maine’s black bears and Question 1 on the November ballot should visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife web page, which features a new section designed to inform citizens about the upcoming bear referendum and why the department is opposed to Question 1. You can visit the website at www.mefishwildlife.com.

“No one care’s more about Maine’s black bears than Maine’s bear biologists—they have dedicated their careers to protecting Maine’s bear population,” said IFW Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso. “They are hired by the state to protect and care for Maine’s bear population, and we want to let voters know what we have learned from over 40 years of research and why we are opposed to the referendum.”

The site includes research authored by Maine’s bear biologists, videos focused on Maine’s black bear management and bear biology, infographics, biographic summaries, pictures of field research, a presentation on Maine’s bear management program and other information regarding the upcoming referendum.

The site is full of information about Maine’s black bears. For instance, just over 50 years ago, black bears were relegated to no more than a nuisance animal, with the state paying a bounty to those who killed black bears. Now bears are a valued game animal to hunters and non-hunters alike.

“We want to provide Maine’s voters with facts about Maine black bears so they have the information they need before they cast their vote,” said Camuso. “Maine’s biologists are some of the most experienced and respected in North America. Their research has been utilized in bear management programs throughout the continent.”

Web users should visit the site often, as it will be updated with new videos and infographics about Maine’s black bears on a weekly basis. The videos feature Maine wildlife biologists and game wardens and focus on information learned from Maine’s long-running research program, why the department opposes the referendum and why these hunting methods are important to control the bear population.

“We felt it was important that voters understand the ramifications of this referendum,” said Camuso. “Maine’s biologists and game wardens are opposed to this referendum, and this website clearly shows why we are opposed and why this referendum is bad for Maine.”

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