Editor's Note: David Trahan is the Executive Director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine and formerly served in the state legislature for 12 years.
This fall Maine hunters will face a referendum vote that could ban hunting black bears with hounds, hunting them over bait, and trapping. In part, we're facing the vote because of a decision I made last year.
In May of 2013, five Humane Society of the United States employees, including their Washington D.C. liaison, summoned me and Don Kliener, head of the Maine Professional Guides Association, to an impromptu meeting just prior to a public hearing on legislation LD 1474. It was a bill to ban hounding and trapping of bears in Maine.
They delivered this ultimatum: “We have $3 million, and polling data that says we can win a bear referendum in Maine. If the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine will support LD 1474, HSUS will not submit a referendum to ban trapping and hounding. If the Alliance doesn’t support LD 1474, HSUS will add baiting to our bill, and go to referendum, and Mainers will likely lose baiting, hounding, and trapping.”
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