Maine Bear Hunting Attacked … Again

Some people clearly don’t know defeat—even when the voting public hands it to them directly.

As promised, I’ve kept in my ear tight to the rail of information coming out of the US Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) offices. Now, I expected the Great Lakes wolf pot to continue to boil—and it will, so stay tuned—but I didn’t expect the news that recently come out of Maine.

In the criminal courts of the United States judicial system, a similar scenario would unquestionably fall under double-jeopardy and thusly not be subject to “retrial.” But we’re dealing with the emotions—not facts—of the deep-pocketed anti-hunting crowd, and I surely don’t expect them to start playing fair any time soon.

Straight from our brothers at the USSA:

In a disappointing—although not wholly unexpected—move, Maine Rep. Denise Harlow, D-Portland, has introduced legislation that calls for a ban on bear hunting with dogs and traps. The bill comes a mere 3 months after the voters in Maine soundly rejected the very same issue at the ballot box. Harlow’s activist ways call into question her knowledge of wildlife management, and even basic understanding of the political system.

On Nov. 4, 2014, the citizens of Maine resoundingly rejected a ballot initiative foisted upon them by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that called for an end to bear hunting with bait, dogs and traps. That was the second time in 10 years that the voting public had to make clear to HSUS that they support sound wildlife management and bear hunting in The Pine Tree State.

The margin of victory for opponents of Question 1 was 7 points—greater than it was even in 2004 when HSUS first tried to take wildlife management out of the hands of biologists.

Harlow’s latest introduction of the same tired issue only underscores her ignorance of wildlife management and disregard for the voters of Maine.

Voters have clearly and decisively spoken on this issue twice over the past 10 years, and there’s nothing more to discuss,” said Evan Heusinkveld, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s vice president of government affairs. “Despite the $2.5 million dollars HSUS dumped into the campaign, Maine voters resoundingly rejected Question 1. Maine sportsmen, and voters, deserve better."

While likely to die in committee, as nearly every politician in the state opposed Question 1, Harlow’s actions should serve as a bellwether to sportsmen in Maine and across the country.

"This is the type of relentless tactic that we’ve come to expect from the animal rights lobby, even after the voters sent a clear message that trained professionals should manage wildlife, and not an outside special interest group, they continue to push their agenda in Maine and across the country," said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA’s CEO and president. "We will continue our defense of hunting and sound science against misguided emotion and anti-hunting rhetoric.”

With a $195 million war chest, HSUS can lobby politicians to do their bidding and can buy propaganda-filled airtime with wanton disregard for costs in their effort to remove hunting, fishing and trapping from the sound management practices of state biologists across the country. During the battle over Question 1, the Washington D.C.-based HSUS bankrolled nearly 97 percent of the almost $2.7 million budget used to advance the ballot initiative.

Harlow’s latest move clearly illustrates she’s more interested in wasting taxpayers’ time and money by advancing her own interests ahead of those of the state’s citizens.

As mentioned in the report, this isn’t likely to go anywhere—and the USSA is sure to keep close tabs on it regardless. But that’s not necessarily the point here. The point is that we shouldn’t have to fight these battles in the first place, much less continue to fight a battle that we’ve already won.

Contact all your elected officials to let them know where you stand before the frontlines come to your doorstep.