Representatives from Governor Paul LePage’s administration and outdoor organization members say a proposed referendum that would ban bear hunting in Maine using bait, dogs or traps will cause a growth in the bear population and put humans at risk.
A coalition opposed to the proposed referendum called the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council held a press conference on Monday. It includes the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the Maine Professional Guides Association.
The coalition says banning those methods will take away the most effective tool the state has to control the growing bear population, estimated at more than 30,000.
Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting recently announced that it’s gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. It says the methods are cruel and aren’t needed to manage the bear population.