September 21, 2020

Anti-Sportsmen in Maine Fix Crosshairs on Eliminating Predator Contests and Coyote Trapping

Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Senior Coordinator

On September 16, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announced the opening of a comment period regarding two predator-related proposals that collectively would set a bag limit for coyotes, ban predator hunting contests altogether, and ban coyote trapping.

Currently, there is no closed (daylight) season for coyotes in Maine. The first proposal would halve the available months afield for hunters, setting the open season from September 1-February 28. Additionally, the proposal would implement a daily bag limit of one coyote per hunter, while requiring all coyotes taken to be presented at a registration and tagging station. In conjunction, the proposal would also prohibit the taking of coyotes weighing 40 lbs. or more, the use of bait while coyote hunting, and all predator hunting contests. The second proposal would completely abolish coyote trapping.

For Maine’s sportsmen and women, this is not the first rulemaking affront that they have received from the anti-hunting community this year. On July 8, the MDIFW hosted a virtual hearing on a rulemaking proposal to ban bear baiting. Decisions related to the management of coyotes and predator species should be left under the sound guidance of the MDIFW – the entity with the right tools and expertise to make informed decisions with how to manage wildlife using the best available science – and not through emotionally-driven citizen petitions.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) will be opposing both rulemaking proposals through written testimony and at their respective hearings. A virtual hearing for the proposed coyote hunting contest ban is set for October 6, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EDT and the comment period closes on October 16, 2020. A virtual hearing for the proposed coyote trapping ban is set for October 7, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EDT and the comment period closes on October 19, 2020. Please contact CSF with any questions related to either of these proposals.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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