I move toads and snakes away from the lawnmower. I have stopped traffic to save a mother duck and ducklings. Nevertheless, I oppose Question 1, which would prohibit using bait or dogs to hunt bear and would prohibit trapping bear.
Why the seeming contradiction? Because Question 1 is bad for people and wildlife.
Maine is the most forested state. In this terrain, dogs or bait are the most effective means of hunting bear. Even with those techniques, hunters have not met the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s harvest targets. Maine has more than 30,000 bears. That population is increasing.
If their population is not controlled, bears will suffer a fate worse that being shot at bait sites, tracked by dogs, or trapped. Some will starve. Others will die of disease. Conflict between bears and people will increase. Bears will venture into neighborhoods to forage. A friend in suburban Connecticut reports that bears raid garbage moments after it is left out for curbside pickup. The garbage bears eat includes soiled diapers. That scenario is not safe for people or desirable for bears.
I know guides with bait sites. None of them is getting rich. They guide to supplement their incomes and because they love the outdoors. Their clients generate revenue for rural Maine, which is losing three paper mills. Question 1 would impose further economic suffering.
I oppose Question 1.
Charles Hedrick, New Gloucester