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Politics

Bill Would Let Maine Landowners Hunt On Their Property On Sundays

James Cote
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP file
In this Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 photo, bear hunter James Cote of Farmington, Maine, keeps an eye on a bait site while sitting in a blind near Wilton, Maine.

Lawmakers are considering allowing some form of Sunday hunting, a question that has come before nearly every recent legislature.

Most states allow some form of hunting on Sunday, from deer to waterfowl. Maine allows no hunting at all. The legislature's Fisheries and Wildlife Committee is considering a bill that would allow private landowners to hunt on their own land. They could also give written permission to others.

“The basic premise of this bill is recognizing that individuals should have the right hunt on their own property on Sunday and the right to grant permission to others,” said Republican state Sen. Jeff Timberlake of Turner, who is sponsoring one of the bills.

Several hunters testified in support the bill, but the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed the measure. Resources Manger James Connolly told lawmakers some landowners have made it clear they do not want Sunday hunting, and they don’t want to be portrayed as “the bad guy” that would not give permission. And he said game wardens would be burdened with enforcing the proposal.

“The administration does understand that Sunday hunting could provide potential economic growth and additional opportunities for hunters," he said. "At the same time, we recognize that many landowners prefer to have Sunday as a day when they can enjoy their land.”