2014-07-18 / Letters

Column didn’t make sense

To the editor:

As a longtime supporter of fair chase hunting, I take issue with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Wildlife Division director’s article “Baiting Makes Woods Safer For All” (Maine Voices, Portland Press Herald, July 6).

The article states that Inland Fisheries and Wildlife believes baiting, hounding and trapping “are the only effective tools available” to control the bear population, yet earlier in the article the author describes monitoring “cub and yearling survival and weights, adult survival and health, age when females give birth and litter size and the size and weight of all bears.” Considering this intimate contact, why can’t these experts add birth control to their examinations as a humane solution?

The idea that a reason for baiting bears is to help them gain weight to survive the winter is rubbish. Baiting is intended to attract bears as sitting ducks in shooting galleries. During the season for this contemptible practice, beginning July 27, upwards of 6 million pounds of fetid human junk food will be dumped into our Maine woods.

The current “management plan” is not science-based. The data clearly demonstrate that baiting is actually growing the bear population – the exact opposite of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s goals – by fattening bears, increasing rates of cub production and survival.

Sandra Farrin
South Portland

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