Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Senior Coordinator
On September 17, Maine’s sporting and guiding communities had cause for celebration, as the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) Advisory Council voted unanimously to reject a proposed bear baiting ban. With Maine’s black bear hunting season in full swing, this news is a welcoming win for sportsmen and women.
Earlier this year, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) provided stand-alone testimony and a sign-on letter of opposition – which saw participation from over 17 in-state and national conservation organizations – against the proposed bear baiting ban that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) received through a petition. Additionally, CSF testified during a virtual hearing hosted by the MDIFW on July 8, calling for the rejection of the proposal and reiterating the fact that the use of bait is an effective method that allows hunters to be more selective in their harvest, offering plentiful opportunity to judge the animal’s respective size and age.
CSF applauds the countless sportsmen and women, guides, conservation organizations, and outdoor industry partners who unified in fighting this restrictive proposal. CSF would also like to thank the IFW Advisory Council for acknowledging that decisions regarding the management of Maine’s fish, wildlife, and habitat, are best left in the capable hands of the MDIFW, and not necessarily at the whim of a petition.
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?