- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Campaign finance reports show that the principal committees supporting and opposing a Maine bear hunting referendum have raised more than $3.8 million.

Reports filed with the state show that the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council has raised more than $2.25 million to try to defeat the ballot question. Pro-referendum group Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting raised more than $1.6 million. The filings cover the reporting period that ended Oct. 21.

The referendum would ban the use of bait, dogs and traps to hunt bears. Proponents say the hunting methods are cruel. Opponents say the ban would devastate Maine’s outfitters and guides and hurt tourism. The measure is on the ballot on Nov. 4.

A previous filing showed the conservation council raising $1.87 million and the fair hunting group $1.36 million.

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