I have read many letters encouraging readers to vote for the referendum to end bear baiting, trapping and hounding for the purpose of stopping the “cruelty” against bears.

The vast majority of the 2013 reported bear harvest was taken by deer hunters and over bait (2,129 of a total of 2,714). Taking a bear over bait is probably the most humane way a bear could possibly die. It is much more humane to die in a few seconds from a gunshot wound than to freeze to death in the winter, be eaten alive by coyotes or starve.

If referendum proponents really wanted to stop the “cruelty,” they would have put forth an initiative to just stop hounding and trapping. But the fact that the referendum includes baiting tells us the real purpose is to stop hunting in general.

Mainers have a reputation for being forthright, so let’s be honest. There’s nothing “cruel” about baiting, and the true experts in this area are the state wildlife biologists, who have been doing a great job.

Don’t be misled by inflammatory rhetoric. Approval of this referendum would impact many of your fellow Mainers, so please think it through and vote for the right reasons.

Rob Glenn

Harpswell