Maine's High Court Sides with Bear Hunters, Rejects HSUS Lawsuit

by
posted on April 15, 2016
maine_black_bears_f.jpg

Photo Courtesy of USFWS

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is no stranger to inserting itself into state-level proceedings to advance its own anti-hunter agenda. Such was the case in 2014 when the organization—through the front group "Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting"—filed a lawsuit against the state of Maine. As the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) reported on Thursday, Apr. 14, the case was dismissed in 2015 by a Superior Court justice and finally laid to rest this week by the Maine Supreme Court.

The case originated in 2014 following the defeat of Maine’s Question 1 in a citizen’s vote. Question 1 was a hunting ban initiative originally launched by the aforementioned Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting. The HSUS-sponsored legislation would have banned the use of bait, dogs and traps when bear hunting. It was opposed by state sportsmen as well as many professional wildlife managers. Following Question 1’s defeat in an open vote, Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting sued the state of Maine, alleging that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife had an inappropriate level of engagement in the campaign.

According to the USSA news release, the original lawsuit sought to remove television advertisements of the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council—which was fighting to preserve the state’s nationally recognized black-bear management program—from the air. The lawsuit alleged the ads featured state personnel talking about the dangers of Question 1.

In short, HSUS was upset that the state’s coalition of sporting and conservation organizations came out against Question 1, and was offering honest science in the face of HSUS’ attempt to have the future of bear hunting in Maine dictated by an anti-hunting-fueled vote. The case eventually reached the state’s Superior Court in 2015, where it was dismissed on grounds that it was moot.

While the Supreme Court ruling effectively ends the issue, hunters must remain vigilant as HSUS proves time and again that it will defy the scientific community in its quest to stop all hunting. In this case, at least, the good guys won the day.

Latest

MAIN Cascade XT Black RT Hillside
MAIN Cascade XT Black RT Hillside

CVA Announces Cascade XT Bolt-Action Rifle

CVA has announced the Cascade XT (X-Treme), a bolt-action rifle that sports weight-reducing barrel fluting and a radial muzzle break as standard equipment.

Mule Deer Marathon

Our man chases elusive mule deer through the wild weather and perilous wildlife of Wyoming’s high country.

Behind the Bullet: .327 Federal Magnum

Despite the magnum moniker, the .327 Federal Magnum is a pleasure to shoot, giving it a lot of flexibility. It is a viable defensive cartridge, and in a hunting rifle, is a great choice for when shot distances are on the shorter end of the spectrum.

Making the Jump: First Foray Into Crossbow Hunting

Contributor Frank Melloni makes his first leap into bowhunting, with the TenPoint 505.

onX Adds Draw Odds for Application Season

By bringing Toprut into its fold, onX Hunt has become a year-round tool, from pre-season scouting and field use, to finding the data needed to navigate tag applications across the west.

3 Tips That Will Make You a Better Wingshooter

Want to bag more birds this year? Following these simple tips can make that happen.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.