Drive Against Bear Baiting Begins in Maine and Alaska
Anti-hunting groups have taken the first step toward eliminating all hunting in Maine. After failed attempts in years past to ban bear hunting by legislative action, the anti’s are preparing a campaign to end the hunt at the ballot box.
The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest anti-hunting organization, has begun circulating petitions and spreading anti-hunting rhetoric in an effort to ban bear hunting with bait, dogs or traps in Maine. If the anti’s acquire 50,519 signatures by February 2, 2004, the issue will appear on the November 2, 2004 election ballot.
Using the ballot box, animal rights groups have outlawed bear hunting in a number of states from coast to coast. Maine is one of the next targets.
Anti-hunters are also circulating petitions in Alaska to place a measure on the ballot in 2004 to ban bear hunting over bait. Bait would be considered any attractant or edible material that might entice a bear into an area. The anti’s must turn in 23,285 valid signatures to the Division of Elections by July 2004 for the proposal to be placed on the ballot.
Anti-hunters are not content with filching a single piece of a state’s outdoor heritage. The attempts to outlaw bear hunting in Maine and Alaska are the first steps to satisfy the antis’ ultimate goal - the elimination of all hunting. Historically, when anti’s defeat sportsmen in an issue, they return to the state to continue eroding the outdoor lifestyle and traditional way of life.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance has committed to working with sportsmen in Maine and Alaska to defeat the issue. Campaign and fundraising plans are being developed in conjunction with the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine and Alaska sportsmen are organizing their campaign committee. Sportsmen’s clubs must immediately get on board with these important campaigns to ensure hunting for generations to come. Sportsmen must unify now to create the solid grassroots activist network and raise the funds needed to defeat the issues.
Sportsmen can learn more about joining the fight to protect their outdoor heritage by contacting the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance at (614) 888-4868.