We find this quote very telling:
“Hunters learn different techniques on how to hunt... this unbelievably thick habitat type from the Cascades to the coast... Here on the coast, in this jungle, the hounds men and using bait was how it was traditionally done, because hiking and spotting them here seemed almost impossible. But a lot of these western Oregon Hunters have adjusted… If you know what you’re looking for and where to go, you can hunt bears effectively without bait or hounds.”
-Doug Cottam, biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Maine is still the only state that allows all three cruel practices of bear hounding, baiting, and trapping. Other states have taken the lead on prohibiting such cruelty and ensuring a sporting hunt. Data from Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and other states shows that these practices are scientifically indefensible - some states have actually seen increased hunter participation and bear harvests since prohibiting hounding, baiting, and trapping.
Click on a thumbnail or on the links below to download more information about lessons learned from other states' successful efforts to prohibit cruelty and maintain a fair chase hunt.
Fact Sheet: Lessons from Other States
In Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, and Colorado, bear trapping has long been illegal, and voters banned bear hounding and baiting by wide margins at the ballot in the 1990s. Evidence from such states clearly demonstrates that a fair chase hunt benefits both wildlife and traditional hunting. Read the fact sheet here.
Map: Bear Take Methods By State
Maine is the only state in the Union to still allow all three practices of bear hounding, trapping, and baiting. View our map of bear take methods by state here.
Case Study: Colorado
The results of a 1996 roundtable include evidence that bear harvest is successful without bait. Bear baiting was prohibited in Colorado two decades ago. Read excerpts from the case study here.
Case Study: Washington
Eighteen years after Washington prohibited bear baiting and hounding, bear harvest and hunter participation has increased significantly. Read more about findings from Washington and what we can learn from their bear management programs here.
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."