Legislature overrides LePage Vetoes of Two Important Hunting Bills

Great news! The House and Senate over-rode both of Governor Paul LePage’s vetoes of important hunting bills. Both bills were supported by his Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

One bill reduces the penalty for hunting deer over bait. Last year the legislature passed a bill that called for a one year suspension of the hunting license for hunting deer over bait, and a two year suspension for a second offense.

LePage refused to sign the bill unless the second offense resulted in the loss of the hunting license for life. And that was what the legislature finally enacted. Recognizing that this penalty is ridiculous, the IFW Committee endorsed a bill to take the penalty for a second offense back to a 2 year license suspension, and the House and Senate voted in favor of the bill.

The vote to over-ride the governor’s veto of this bill was 142 to 0 in the House and 33 to 0 in the Senate.

The other bill vetoed by the governor will allow the current law to remain in effect which allows nonresidents to hunt on the opening day of the deer season if they own at least 25 acres and allow residents to hunt there. That law was enacted a few years ago but expires this year. The legislature enacted a bill allowing this to continue.

The vote to over-ride the governor’s veto of this bill was 135 to 6 in the House and 35 to 0 in the Senate.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.