Anti-hunting referendum soundly defeated in Kittery, Maine

spectr17

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August 21, 2002

Voters in Kittery overwhelmingly reject controversial hunting ban

By TED COHEN, Portland Press Herald Writer

KITTERY — A controversial referendum to ban hunting in the 72-acre Town Farm Forest was soundly defeated Tuesday.

The vote was 1,093 to 396.

"I think we have made our point," said Town Councilor Mark Sousa, among those in favor of hunting in the forest. Residents had voted against changing the ordinance that governs the forest on two previous occasions.

Nancy Bogenberger, a member of Kittery Wildlife Friends, was upset by the results. "Evil thrives when good men do nothing, and I think the people of Kittery did nothing," she said.

Members of Kittery Wildlife Friends, led by Sue Johnson, had gathered more than 900 valid signatures in June in their effort to overturn the hunting ordinance.

The proposal put them at odds with local hunters and state wildlife officials, who said an abundance of deer in southern Maine poses a threat to local residents.

Lyme disease and automobile accidents involving deer would increase if another town in southern Maine closed a hunting zone, they said.

People who live near the forest supported the referendum, saying they felt threatened by the presence of hunters armed with rifles with a range of nearly a mile.

Bogenberger attributed the defeat to a poor turnout by the town's non-hunters, who are a vast majority of the population.

Among those voting against the referendum was John Eisfeller, a young father and avid hunter. "There's only so much area you can hunt on as it is now," Eisfeller said as he left the polls at Shapleigh School, his daughter perched on his shoulders.

Louise Sprague reflected the other faction. She and her husband Ralph, retirees, voted to ban hunting. "I'm just against killing those beautiful animals," she said.

Johnson and Bogenberger support alternative methods of controlling the deer population.

Johnson, who does not eat meat or dairy products, favors using contraceptives as a way to control the deer population.

Sousa argued that there was little likelihood of controlling the local deer population by using contraceptives, saying the technique has failed to control herd populations elsewhere.

The campaign got ugly in the days leading up to the election.

Two signs that were put up along the Kittery traffic circle — bearing the slogans "Animals Taste Good" and "Target Practice" — urged voters to defeat the hunting restrictions. Animal-rights activists cried foul. No one took credit for making the signs.

The signs were still on the rotary Tuesday, along with many others espousing both sides of the issue.


Staff Writer Ted Cohen can be contacted at 282-8225 or at: tcohen@pressherald.com
 



woodseye

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The southern part of our state is like another world and the anti's are doing their best to chip away at our hunting freedoms. Many towns up here have banned hunting with guns and deer herds have mushroomed,car/deer accidents have increased along with crop damage. The Bambi mentality has caused a lot of this problem.Glad to see common sense prevailed in this case.

 woods
 

bradj

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<font face=arial size=1><blockquote><hr noshade size=1>
Louise Sprague reflected the other faction. She and her husband Ralph, retirees, voted to ban hunting. "I'm just against killing those beautiful animals," she said.
<hr noshade size=1></blockquote></font>
No, she would rather they starve themselves to death, or maybe she thinks that hitting then with her car would be more humane.
 

ToddP

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If you're every by Kittery, which is the first exit headed into the state, make sure to stop by the Kittery Trading Post.  I stopped last year and WOW,  they have alot of hunting & fishing stuff and a very wide variety of guns.

I must agree.  The southern part of the state is very different from the north.

Todd
 

Bow Runner

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I didn't realize that other states were banning hunting.  I guess that here in Wisconsin i am spoiled,  if someone came by and proposed a ban on hunting a certain public land they would get laughed off the block.  

If anyone need a place to hunt i have a 500,000 acre state forest in my back yard.


(Edited by Bow Runner at 11:10 am on Aug. 23, 2002)
 

ToddP

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BR,  years ago the same thing would have happend in Kittery.  It's all a matter of time till your opponents move in.
 

woodseye

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You know this same Volvo driving yuppie crowd that fights hunting in these urban areas,when lyme disease starts spreading from deer tics,or the new shrubs and flowers they bought at the local nursery for big $ get eat,or Aunt Edna plows a deer with the front of her New Yorker leaving an evening dinner party,suddenly they do a 180 degree turn and hire sharpshooters with silenced 223's using lights and bait to come in and kill most of them "beautiful" deer without giving it a thought.They aren't against killing deer as much as they are against hunting.Up here in central or northern Maine this kind of foolishness wouldn't get off the ground. Like I said in first post, its a different world down there.

woods
 

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