I wish the supporters of Question 1 would simply be honest: They don’t like hunters killing bears.

If it was truly about the effect that supplemental food has on the growing bear population or the resulting acclimation of bears to humans and the conflicts it causes, they would start with the completely unregulated use of bird feeders.

Bird feeders provide an artificial food source for bears in every suburban and rural neighborhood, year round, across Maine. The difference? Hunters kill bears over the highly regulated bait sites used in conjunction with hunting.

How many millions of pounds of black oil sunflower seed and millet do bears eat out of feeders each year, and how does that relate to increased survival of hungry bears, particularly in the spring when they have emerged, emaciated, from their dens?

If it was about cruelty to animals, they would start in the same suburban landscapes where habitat is destroyed to make house lots, or with the destruction of more habitat to provide lumber to build houses or on the fertilizer leaking into the state’s aquifers and waterways to keep lawns green, and on the countless thousands of domestic and wild animals killed and wasted along every roadway in the state by vehicles.

I wish supporters of Question 1 would re-evaluate the consequences of their own “necessities” and would reduce their own “wildlife footprint” before attacking mine.

Paul Wojciak

Merrimack, N.H.