It is no surprise that a bear baiter was operating in the same neighborhood where the bear was spotted (“Trash-marauding bear in Litchfield sparks wardens’ warning,” Sept. 11).

Bears are naturally shy creatures who generally avoid humans, but when exposed to human sources of food, they’re apt to come back looking for more.

Every state wildlife agency, including ours here in Maine, issues stern warnings not to feed bears, but unbelievably, carves out a special exemption for baiters.

Bear baiting habituates bears to human food sources and increases the chances they’ll come into conflict with people.

Furthermore, all those calories from rotting piles of doughnuts and pizza amount to a nonsensical supplemental feeding program that’s artificially growing the bear population. It’s unfathomable that our state sanctions a practice of killing bears that is simultaneously increasing their numbers and attracting them to residential neighborhoods.

Thankfully, a coalition of Mainers has said enough is enough. Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting is starting a signature drive for the 2014 ballot to put an end to baiting for sport, along with two other inhumane and unsporting practices of killing bears — hounding and trapping.

Bear baiting isn’t the solution. It’s the problem. To find out how you can be part of the real solution, visit fairbearhunt.com.

 

Patti Richards

Canton

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