In what came as no surprise to anyone, the Maine House of Representatives voted 82 – 60 in rejecting a bill that would prohibit the use of traps for bears. When this bill left the Joint Committee of Inland Fish and Wildlife, it moved to the House with a vote of 11 – 1 as “ought not to pass”. The bill, now all but certain to be dead, will move on to the Senate.

The Wildlife Alliance of Maine has threatened that if the Legislature failed to pass this bill they will bring another citizen’s initiative to try once again to get Maine voters to defeat bear trapping.

Opponents of bear trapping in the House, called the practice barbaric.

“It is just wrong — we don’t need to do this,” said Rep. Robert Eaton, D-Sullivan. “It is barbaric, it’s archaic, and it needs to go.”

Still others who see bear trapping, even though it is a small part of the economic makeup of Maine’s outdoor economy and a part of some Maine guides income, as an important part of the entire picture. More so, others ask why some are against trapping bears and not against trapping other species.

“Personally, I feel it is an attack on hunting and trapping overall,” said Jackson. “If you are so against trapping, why aren’t you against trapping foxes, why aren’t you against trapping raccoons, why aren’t you against trapping lobsters?” (that is Rep. Troy Jackson of Allagash)

Tom Remington