STATEWIDE — Maine legislators are debating a bill that would allow hunters to set bait for deer.
“I think there’s a lot of positive, you know, I understand the department’s dilemma. I understand their position, but there is a lot of positive that goes with this. I would not support widespread baiting across the whole state,” Sen. Russell Black, R-Wilton, said.
Black said there needs to be certain criteria to make it happen.
“If baiting was allowed I think it would be completely up to the department [if] there would be a fee on it. They would only allow it where they thought it would be alright to do in high-population areas, where there’s high deer kill from cars and high crop damage,” said Black.
This is the second meeting on the bill and the committee heard from Maine residents who were against the measure.
“This policy appears to fly in the face of our efforts to try and manage to bring back the deer back in certain parts of the state. We are adamantly opposed to this policy. Our committee was, our membership voted 80 percent against this policy,” said David Trahan, executive director of Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.
“We don’t think it works and we hope that the committee does not go down this road,” he said.
Others who make their living showing hunters the prime deer yards around the state were also opposed to the proposal.
“A strong reminder that you’re dealing with a statewide resource here and any blanket application of this would be detrimental in a huge geographic swath of the state, but I am not sure this is the step we want to take in light of how important the deer resource is, not only to the people of the state but to the economy of certain rural areas,” said Don Kleiner, executive director of Maine Professional Guides Association.
The proposed bill was set aside and committee members voted to reconsider it at a future meeting.
For more information on this bill, go to legislature.maine.gov.