A number of experts from the department have spoken out against limiting the state’s bear hunt, which they see as an important management tool for a growing bear population.
Animal rights advocates recently filed a lawsuit against Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) for the agency’s “heavy-handed intervention” regarding a forthcoming ballot proposal on bear hunting in the state. Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, the organization that filed the lawsuit, claims that the DIFW is doing too much to support current bear hunting practices such as the use of hounds, traps, and bait—which activists oppose.
In November Maine voters will be able to decide whether or not they want these methods to still be legal in the state, and the DIFW is strongly in support of keeping its bear season unchanged.
“The Department opposes Question 1 since if it passes, it would cripple the Department’s ability to control the bear population. That will lead to more nuisance bear complaints and increased threats to public safety. More bears will die from disease and starvation. Towns and property owners will face increased costs to deal with nuisance bears,” the DIFW said in a recent press release.