Maine is the last state in the country to still allow the unnecessarily cruel practices of trapping, hounding and baiting bears. Bear hunting in Maine is big business and never known for its morality. But there is no excuse for cruelty.

As for fear of public safety, in 40 years of living in the Maine woods, I have seen black bears exactly three times, all of them running away from me. I know of no instances in Maine when someone has been harmed by a black bear, yet people kill bears by the thousands.

I have to wonder why there is such fervor to hunt those shy and intelligent beings, other than for fun and money. Killing a female bear (and there is no way to tell a male from a female before shooting them) means that her cubs are most likely going to die of starvation as they cannot as yet fully care for themselves.

People draw bears by baiting practices and then complain that bears can be a nuisance when searching for food.

If people insist on killing bears, then the very least we owe them is a humane manner of doing so.

I care about Maine’s black bears and I hope others will join me while voting in favor of the Fair Bear law.

Gail Rein, Bryant Pond

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