The June 3 BDN OpEd written by Mary Moulton is her opinion. No, we don’t bait moose, but what would you use to bait a moose — a birch tree? Hunters search out moose in broccoli fields and deer in apple orchards and agricultural fields. Deer baiting isn’t allowed; however, 22 states bait deer due to large populations. If populations are too large, we take measures to reduce them. If moose become a burden to roads and agricultural areas, we do special hunts. Maine once had a bounty on bears as a way to reduce populations.
If we talk fair chase, what next? Ban fish finders, GPS, decoys, turkey calls? Ban shooting partridge on the ground or in trees? Out of 10,000 bear hunters, only 3,200 bears were taken in 2012. If baiting was easy, wouldn’t numbers be more staggering?
There is no middle ground; it’s all or nothing to eliminate traditions in Maine. Forget outfitters, taxidermists and guides who will lose their livelihood. Forget revenue lost throughout the state, non-hunters or out-of-state wildlife protectors, if this is passed. If you want the truth about the impact of the referendum on the bears, ask the biologists and game wardens who manage them, and get the facts.
Amazingly, Democratic and Republican senators, representatives and gubernatorial candidates Gov. Paul LePage, Eliot Cutler and Mike Michaud have and do not agree with the ban. Get the facts.