Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting


Question 1 Opponents’ Economic Analysis Is, Like Their Bait Stations, “Garbage”

Ballot measure would boost Maine’s economy by swelling participation in fair chase hunting, as all other states that passed similar initiatives saw

(Oct. 15, 2014) – The Question 1 opponents’ “economic analysis” released today – and prepared by a group that has long worked for the trophy hunting lobby – continues the campaign’s trend of scare tactics and misleading information about the effects of Question 1.

The analysis assesses the impact of all bear hunting on the Maine economy. But Question 1 would not end all bear hunting – on the contrary, by ending three particularly cruel and unsporting methods of killing bears – baiting, hounding and trapping – it would actually swell the number of hunters in the state, based on the experience of every other state that has passed a similar ballot initiative.

“Just like the opponents use of scare tactics about the risk of bear attacks, they are inflating the economic value of their program built around setting up garbage dumps for bears in the Maine woods,” said Katie Hansberry, campaign director for Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting.

When other states ended the use of these three cruel methods, they saw a significant increase in bear hunting revenues. After banning baiting and hounding, Colorado saw the number of bear hunters triple, Oregon bear tag sales tripled and revenue increased 214 percent, and Washington non-resident license sales increased by 97 percent and resident license sales shot up by an astonishing 343 percent. If Maine voters endorse Question 1 on November 4, Maine is very likely to see a similar economic boost.

“When bear hunting licenses sales triple, that’s more revenue for the state and three times as many potential clients for Maine guides and outfitters,” added Hansberry. “When you expand the customer base by a factor of three, you do a great service for the people involved in the business.”

Right now, elite guides and outfitters buy up leases from private timber companies in northern Maine, and exclude all hunters who don’t pay them a fee. In the process, these guides are making it much more difficult for Maine hunters who cannot pay their fees and cannot access these hunting grounds. What’s more, the guides are drawing in so many bears to the bait sites that they are depleting the neighboring lands of bears.

“The state is managing this entire hunt for the benefit of commercial guides,” said Hansberry. “Out-of-state, fee-paying hunters often get a guaranteed kill and the lunch-bucket hunter in Maine goes home empty-handed.”

The report was prepared by Southwick Associates, a Fernandina Beach, Florida, based group that specializes in reports boasting of the high economic value of fur, trapping, and trophy hunting. 


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Media

Maine Bear Hunting Reform Narrowly Rejected by Voters

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting expressed disappointment about the election results on Question 1, but thanked more than a quarter million Mainers who voted to end bear baiting, hounding, and trapping.

"We are grateful to so many Maine voters for supporting this proposed reform, and we look forward to working with them and with ‘no’ and non-voters to outlaw the practices of bear hounding and trapping, because we believe there’s substantial agreement on that issue."

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