July 9, 2013

Group wants bear-baiting referendum in Maine

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — A coalition that wants another statewide vote aimed at banning the use of bait, traps and dogs to hunt bears is launching a petition drive in Maine.

click image to enlarge

In this April 2009 file photo, a brown bear looks around at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. A coalition that wants another statewide vote aimed at banning the use of bait, traps and dogs to hunt bears is launching a petition drive in Maine.

Jack Milton

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting announced Tuesday that it plans to gather 80,000 signatures of Maine voters, exceeding the 57,277 signatures needed to qualify for the November 2014 ballot, which would be exactly 10 years after Mainers rejected a similar referendum.

The coalition includes the Humane Society of the United States and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine.

Daryl DeJoy from the Wildlife Alliance says the referendum aims to "bring the concepts of fair chase and ethics back to the time-honored tradition of hunting."

Thirty-two states allow bear hunting but referendum supporters say none of them allow all three techniques: Dogs, baiting and trapping.

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