September 27, 2020

Maine Fish And Game Proposes Change To Bear Trapping Law

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The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced a revision to the existing bear trapping rules that seems to be pleasing to nobody. Presently, trapping of bear is permitted allowing the trapper to use two traps including foot-hold. The new proposal eliminates foot-hold traps and reduces to one the number of traps that can be used. Acceptable traps would be cage-style or foot snare traps.

According to the Bangor Daily News this morning, this proposal is pointless and makes neither animal activists nor trappers happy.

“It’s not going to make anyone happy. The bear trappers are going to be unhappy because they no longer have one tool, and the rest of Maine is going to be unhappy because we’re continuing a practice that the rest of the nation considers to be unacceptable,” said Daryl DeJoy, executive director of the Wildlife Alliance of Maine.

The WAM is proposing to introduce a bill of their own into the Maine legislature that would effectively ban all bear trapping and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine isn’t going to sit idly by. They plan a bill also but their bill would keep the existing trapping rules in place. George Smith, Executive Director for SAM, says the new proposal is political maneuvering.

“We’re afraid this is not based on science,” he said. “It’s based on politics.”

Last year, the state formed a panel made up of members of animal rights groups, hunting and trapping organizations, to see if some kind of solution could be found. This is what they came up with.

The MDIFW will now accept public comment during a 30-day period before making any recommendation.

Tom Remington

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