Democratic State Rep. Sally Cluchey (D-Bowdoinham) advocated for an amendment that would compel Maine’s hunters to give coyotes a “respectful burial” on April 12 — the same day she cosponsored LD 1619, a bill that would allow abortions to be performed up until birth for any reason in Maine.
LD 814 was a bill that proposed restricting the daytime hunting season of coyotes from year-round open season to Oct. 1 to March 1, and imposed a $500 fine and a one year revocation of a violator’s hunting license.
The bill also proposed restrictions on the night hunting season for coyotes from Dec. 16 through Aug. 31, to Dec. 16 to March 31.
Cluchey, in an attempt to reach a compromise with opposition to LD 814, worked together with Rep. Cheryl Golek (D-Harpswell) on an amendment that would strike all hunting season restrictions from the bill, and instead would require hunters to register and tag dead coyotes, as well as add them to Maine’s “Wanton Waste Law.”
The Wanton Waste Law, enacted in 2007, states that hunters may not “waste a wild bird or wild animal that has been wounded or killed by that person while hunting…[…]…without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and render it for consumption or use.”
An exception for coyotes was added to this law in 2009, due to coyotes’ pelts not being valuable for a good portion of the year and the fact that they are not generally consumed by hunters.
Coyotes are often regard as a nuisance animal as they can threaten livestock and pets, especially if they become habituated to human presence.
Rep. Cluchey said that including coyotes under the Wanton Waste Law would not require hunters to eat or skin the coyotes that they kill, but would make them “bury it respectfully.”
“You don’t have to eat it or use its hide, you can just bury it respectfully,” Cluchey said.
“My goal is to make sure that the coyotes are disposed of in a way that’s respectful,” she said.
Rep. Cluchey’s respect for life apparently does not extend to unborn children, however.
LD 1619, the bill that would do away with all state restrictions on abortion, would allow an abortion clinic to terminate a pregnancy at 8 months.
The bill does not set rules for the disposal of infant remains.