More challenges are building for 2014. After sportsmen defeated proposed state anti-gun laws during the 2013 legislative session, Maine’s hunting traditions will face yet another challenge in 2014. An out-of-state anti-hunting group has raised $3 million to promote a state-wide referendum to eliminate bear hunting over bait. Ten years ago the group’s attempt failed by a slim margin of 47% to 53% thus bolstering its will to try again.
Rather than allowing wildlife biologists to manage bears using research and science, this group is using emotional and deceitful tactics to end hunting bear over bait by constitutional amendment. Hunters and business people are justifiably concerned about this new challenge to proven bear management practices. Moreover, many believe this effort is just another coordinated step by anti-hunting / anti- gun groups to eliminate hunting traditions.
Maine is a small state and this anti-group’s $3 million budget goes a long way. The voting margin would be thinner today. Therefore, defeating this referendum is going to take a skillfully coordinated effort, coupled with a supporting budget, or 2014 could be the last year Maine’s elusive black bear will be hunted over bait.
OMM Outfitters is helping with the fundraising for the fight. Would you also help? Your check made out to the Maine Sporting Camps Association and mailed to me ASAP would indeed be appreciated. Also, would you ask others to help, including clubs and foundations, we’ll need all the help we can get. Nearly the entire budget of this anti-hunting group is from out-of-state activists – many from the entertainment industry. Apparently, they would rather see our children playing video games than benefitting from the character building traditions of hunting. Please call me with questions. Also, I would be happy to discuss this matter with your friends and allied groups. One last thought, you might want to elevate the Maine black bear in priority on your hunting bucket list.