By Valerie Ouellette
I am not a hunter, but I know many who hunt. All types of hunting include some sort of lure, such as using scent for deer during the rut season or rattling antlers; also, turkey/duck calls and decoys.
With baiting, hunters still leave the woods empty-handed. It is not an easy kill, as the “yes” camp will have people believe.
When people enjoy steak or hamburger — that animal was raised captive, fed grain then slaughtered before it got to the public. Is that any better than feeding bears at a site and taking a nice clean shot? At least I know the bear had a better life than non-game animals. And aren’t lobsters baited?
Maine has the lowest bear nuisance rates, which debunks the theory that baiting causes nuisance bears. If that were true, there would be a real problem. Other states that abolished their bear hunting practices have problems with nuisance bears.
If the “yes” camp thinks Maine should go back to old hunting traditions, allow a 12-month bear hunt, like it used to be in the old days when there was no IF&W to regulate hunting seasons according to wildlife population.
I believe the goal of the “yes” camp is to abolish hunting, and don’t think they aren’t trying.
The state’s biologists and IF&W are successful with conservation and people need to let them do their job.
I shall vote “no” on Question 1; it is the responsible thing to do.