September 15, 2013

Letters to the editor: Baiting best way to hunt bear

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.

click image to enlarge

A black bear nibbles on some meat near Greenville. Maine’s bear habitat is so dense and thick that baiting is the only productive hunting method, a reader says.

1998 Associated Press File Photo/Pat Wellenbach

Cartoon misstates services
Planned Parenthood offers

I am a regular reader of your Sunday paper. I wanted to correct a false statement in Steve Meyers' View (Aug. 25). Planned Parenthood does not do cancer screening, as stated in his cartoon.

I found it ironical that on the opposite page, one of the wire service cartoons concerning carbon emissions states, "Our survival plan is to sacrifice our children." That is just what is happening right now at Planned Parenthood.

Mary Rose Pray


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


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


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.

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