This is in response to Patricia Keene’s letter (March 25) advocating the protection of Maine’s bears.

I was saddened that some people do not understand why Maine bears are hunted. Baiting bears is done with strict guidelines and is not just reckless dumping of human food.

Bears are very smart. Humans will very rarely find a wild bear in the woods. It takes weeks of baiting and there is no guarantee that bears will come to the bait.

Hunters who use dogs to track and chase bears spend hours training the dogs. The dogs are not “forced” to chase a bear. It is a controlled way to hunt the bears.

Many businesses in northern Maine count on bear hunts as a part of their income. There are the guides, meat cutters, taxidermists, inns, hotels and restaurants that provide services for hunters.

I believe that if Maine fish and wildlife officials feel the current methods of bear hunting are unsportsmanlike they would not support the season.

I wish that people who think Maine’s bear population needs to be protected could actually walk in the shoes of a hunter. They really do not understand the process that goes into a bear hunt.

What happens to the bear population if bear baiting and dogs are not used? Would folks like bears coming on their porches or in their yards?

I prefer not, so I support hunters and guides and keeping the bear hunt the way it is done now.

Cindy Violette, Auburn

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