Legislature unanimously upholds Sen. Davis’ deer baiting bill

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AUGUSTA – Sen. Paul Davis’, R-Sangerville bill to amend the penalties for hunting deer over bait survived a veto override by a vote of 33-0 in the Senate and 148-0 in the House.

The bill, LD 1816, amends a law passed last session, reducing the penalty for a second-time offender to a two-year hunting license suspension. Last session, the Legislature passed LD 1083, which was amended at the last minute to make the penalty for a second offence a permanent ineligibility for that hunter to obtain a license in Maine.

“I am pleased that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers agreed with me that in this case, the punishment did not fit the crime,” said Sen. Davis.

“The fact of the matter is, deer baiting laws only really apply to hunters who don’t have the economic means to purchase land and manage for crops that attract deer. It is perfectly legal to hunt over a crop, yet it is illegal to hunt deer over a pile of apples. This discrepancy in Maine law treats some hunters differently than others, and I don’t believe that it is fair. That’s why I feel strongly that this crime shouldn’t carry a more severe penalty than other crimes that are much worse, such as hunting game out of season or illegal night hunting.”

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