As a longtime supporter of fair chase hunting, I take issue with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Wildlife Division director’s column “Maine Voices: Baiting makes woods safer for all” (July 6).
The column states that the IF&W believes baiting, hounding and trapping “are the only effective tools available” to control bear population, yet earlier in the column 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 to be sitting ducks in shooting galleries. During the season for this contemptible practice, beginning July 27, upward 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 the IF&W goals – by fattening bears, increasing rates of cub production and survival.