Sportsmen’s Groups Stand Together to Fight for Hunting and Trapping Heritages in Maine

Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Senior Coordinator

Earlier today, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a sign-on letter of opposition to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) regarding two predator-related proposals from the anti-sportsmen’s community.

CSF’s sign-on letter collected resounding support from both in-state and national conservation and sportsmen-centric organizations, as 19 parties took a stand to fight the proposed bans on predator hunting contests and coyote trapping in the Pine Tree State. The letter submitted to the Department highlights the fact that “fish and wildlife management decisions, such as this, must be left to the MDIFW – the body best equipped to make informed, science-backed decisions through the established regulatory framework – and cannot be left to petitions based off of misguided, emotionally-driven citizen-science.”

As was previously reported, the first proposal would restrict the available months for coyote hunting, implement a daily bag limit of one coyote per hunter, require harvested coyotes to be taken to a registration and tagging station, prohibit the taking of coyotes weighing 40 pounds or more, ban the use of bait while coyote hunting, and eliminate all predator hunting contests. The second proposal would completely abolish coyote trapping.

A virtual hearing for the proposed coyote hunting contest ban is set for tomorrow, 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 this Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EDT and the comment period closes on October 19, 2020. CSF will be testifying before the MDIFW in opposition of both rulemaking proposals. For more information related to these proposals, please contact CSF or visit the MDIFW’s website. CSF will continue to provide updates as they are available.

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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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