During the last anti-bear baiting referendum, there were numerous misrepresentations of the facts. Though I am a hunter, I have never hunted over bait, but I do endorse it for bear.

Bear baiting evolved in Maine for one reason only: Our bear habitat is dense and thick, making the sighting of bear very rare, and any working woodsman will verify they see very few bear.

There are some clear cuts and open tote roads, but bear avoid these areas during the daylight hours. I’ve had a bear 25 feet from me and couldn’t even see the black fur.

In Colorado, bear baiting is outlawed. Having lived and hunted there, I would have voted against bear baiting. The country is more wide open, which enables the hunter to spot game at a distance and then plan a stalk to get closer.

This is not possible here in Maine. The bear population is growing more each year, and to maintain a healthy population a number have to be taken each year. Since very few are taken by any other method, bear baiting has proven to be the only productive method, though it’s not as easy as it has been portrayed.

Bear hunting guides may put out 25 baits of which only a portion will have bear coming in. Some bears won’t appear every day. Others won’t come in till after dark, and then it may be a sow and a cub, which is illegal to shoot.

Check the number of bear tags given out each season and the high number of unfilled tags at season’s end.

Maine biologists have conducted the most comprehensive study and research on bear in the U.S. They endorse bear baiting.

How many animal rights members have actually seen a wild bear in its natural habitat?

So whose advice should I accept?

Ed Fortier

Windham

Being a resident of Aroostook County by choice, I’m not particularly thrilled with people from outside this area trying to dictate how I live. I’m speaking in reference to the bear referendum.

We are awash in bear. There is no shortage of bear. There is also no shortage of do-gooders sticking their nose where they aren’t welcome.

Guides, meat cutters, hotels and lodges — the revenue impact from bear hunting is significant. Hunters take approximately one out of 10 bear from the population annually. Hardly a threat.

I don’t think these do-gooders are so much pro-wildlife as they are anti-people. More bears and fewer people if they had their way.

What a sterile environment they want to thrust me into. Live in your concrete jungle if you choose, but leave us alone. That’s why we live here.

Mark D. Torrey

Houlton

Customer sees no benefit from CMP smart meters

Regarding all the recent stories and testimony concerning Central Maine Power smart meters and their benefits or lack of:

I happened to be home the other day when lo and behold, what comes puttering up my driveway but the little orange CMP meter reading truck?

You may not think this is anything to be concerned about, but, you see, I have had one of these so-called smart meters attached to my house for a couple of years now.

It interferes with my Wi-Fi (CMP says this is my problem and I must change frequencies), and I am sure I am being exposed to assorted other health problems.

I also was led to believe that a major benefit to be derived from these meters was that they would be a money saver — not only for CMP but also for me the consumer. Couple that with being duped by slick TV commercials for “Electricity Maine” that stated they would save me substantial dollars and cents over the standard offer if only I would switch over.

Well, I did, and I may have saved a few pennies in the beginning, but now I may actually be paying more. That must have been buried in the fine print somewhere.

They tell me I should feel better about not saving the money they mentioned in their advertising campaign because they are donating a percentage of their profits to charitable concerns all over Maine.

Thanks for trying to make me feel better about myself, folks, but I will make my own decisions about who gets my charity. You stick to delivering electricity.

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, well, shame on you again!

Jim Brown

Edgecomb

Tattoo clients should seek safe practices as well as style

A recent article about body art/tattoo artists, “Tattoos are a hot brand” (Sept. 1), was thorough and well-written. However, I was concerned to find no mention about a very important item that a potential client should examine: health and safety practices.  

A client should know that needles used are single-use, and that inks and other items are protected from cross-contamination.

I read the article three times and found only a slight reference to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the article did not clearly state what is expected for licensure. Without attention to infection control, tattoo work can put clients at risk for hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections. 

The advice to make an appointment and listen to the artist’s advice is good, but there should also be a clear understanding of best health practices and infection prevention, and how the artist ensures this aspect of their work.  

A “cover-up” is expensive, but liver damage is even more so — make sure your artwork is healthy as well as beautiful!

Beth McCarthy, R.N.

Tamworth, N.H.