I don’t hunt, although many people in my family do. I’ve raised and slaughtered my own livestock. A few days ago, I had a chance to view some skinned bear carcasses waiting to be cut up.

These carcasses where each about 65 pounds and looked like little naked people.

Bear forearms have two bones like human do, so that’s what they look like, skin off. Each had a large close-range entry and exit wound in the heart area.

I understand that bears appear doubly large with their fur on, so these bears must have appeared the size and heft of about 130 pounds.

I know that bears can be deadly, but what kind of threat did these young animals pose? What sporting chance did they have? What amount of life did they miss, being taken so young? Is routine killing of young game good stewardship of the environment?

If I vote no on Question 1, how can I encourage more sportsman-like behavior among our hunters and guides? I wonder if Maine’s black bear could become endangered, more sooner than later.

Heidi Chadbourne