GLENN ADAMS, Associated Press
Updated 02:40 p.m., Monday, May 2, 2011
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers voted Monday to continue allowing bear hunters in the state to use traps and dogs, maintaining the status of the law since voters made the same decision seven years ago.
While voting 11-0 to kill a bill that would have outlawed the use of traps and dogs, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee kept alive other bear hunting proposals for further consideration. Two members were absent from Monday's vote on the trapping and dog bill.
Similar proposals have come up and been rejected since 2004, when Maine voters defeated a referendum proposal to outlaw bear trapping and hunting bear with bait or dogs. Supporters of the proposed ban had portrayed baiting, trapping and use of dogs as unsportsmanlike and unnecessary.
No one spoke in favor of the latest bill Monday before the committee rejected it. But other bear hunting bills are still pending in committee following hearings.
A bill seeking to establish a spring bear hunting season, from the third Monday in May to the fourth Saturday in June, drew mixed reactions.
Rep. Dennis Keschl, R-Belgrade, said he was motivated to sponsor the bill by a constituent who said the spring hunt would help Maine sporting camps.