Bear referendum supporters say they’ve got enough signatures for ballot measure

Since the beginning of an effort to put Maine’s bear hunting practices in front of the state’s voters began, many have said that supporters would have little trouble gathering the 57,277 signatures needed to place the issue on the ballot in November.

Back in January of 2004, Richard Smith, a hunter from Brunswick, lifted a box of signed petitions Wednesday, as members of the Maine Citizens for Fair Bear Hunting deliver 10 boxes of petitions bearing 103,251 signatures to the Maine Secretary of States Office in Augusta. More than 97,000 of those signatures were certified by the state. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT)

Back in January of 2004, Richard Smith, a hunter from Brunswick, lifted a box of signed petitions Wednesday, as members of the Maine Citizens for Fair Bear Hunting deliver 10 boxes of petitions bearing 103,251 signatures to the Maine Secretary of States Office in Augusta. More than 97,000 of those signatures were certified by the state. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT)

That wasn’t a bold prediction: During an identical effort to ban the use of hounds, traps and bait while bear hunting, supporters of the referendum effort amassed more than 97,000 certified signatures during a campaign that ultimately failed by a 53 percent to 47 percent vote.

Nonetheless, that prediction appears to have come true.

On Tuesday I received an announcement from the group that has organized the signature-drive effort. The group has announced that it has the signatures in hand, and plans to deliver them to Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap at 3 p.m. on Monday.

 

 

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John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.