In his Aug. 8 letter, “Bear referendum is not a bear hunting issue,” Carroll Ware makes some claims against the Humane Society of the United States that we’d like the respond to.

Ware, a bear-baiting guide, has made up stuff out of whole cloth. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle never uttered the words Ware attributes to him, in the 2004 bear referendum campaign or any other. Ware should try to make his case without falsifying quotes and putting them into the mouths of those who support Question 1.

There are already too many defenders of baiting willing to claim anything, including that baiting controls the bear population, when it does the opposite; habituating bears to human food sources, growing their population with additional junk food and calories; and leading to more conflicts.

Like the 2004 referendum, Question 1 is about bear baiting, bear hounding, bear trapping and nothing else. Once Mainers vote to end these practices, Ware still will have his outfitter business and his right to hunt bears, in the fair chase tradition.

Katie Hansberry, Maine director

Humane Society of the United States

Editor’s note: In 1991, when he was CEO of the Fund for Animals, a radical anti-hunting organization, Pacelle was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.”

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