By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine - Opponents of a ballot initiative to ban the hunting of bears with bait, dogs and traps are declaring victory in Maine. But supporters of the ban say the referendum is too close to concede.
Animal rights advocates and others collected signatures to force a statewide vote Tuesday on the proposal, which they said would have eliminated cruel hunting practices. Hunting groups, outfitters and the state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife campaigned hard against the referendum.