I strongly disagree with the opinion of Ken Groder, a retired Master Maine Guide, when he says “a real Mainer” will vote against the approaching referendum seeking to end the baiting, trapping and hounding of bears (“Letter to the editor: Bear referendum concerns retired guide,” July 13).

He claims we will be best served by listening to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildilife, but the agency is a biased source whose objectivity has long been compromised by its very close – some would say too close – connection to the state’s powerful hunting lobby, and the legislative committee that provides oversight. Former members of that committee include the present executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the current head of IFW.

There’s only one word to describe the practices of baiting bears and shooting them over food; hounding them to exhaustion and shooting them out of trees, and executing them at point blank range as they lay trapped and unable to escape. That word is “cruelty.”

A real Mainer is opposed to cruelty. I will be voting for the referendum, and I urge others to do the same.

Don Loprieno