The TV commercial featuring some of the employees of the Maine Department of Fish & Wildlife looks very convincing, as they extol how they and only they know how to manage the wildlife here in the state of Maine.

It is interesting how a state department is allowed to toot its own horn, and we the people of Maine actually pay for this commercial. The commercial doesn’t state that this is the opinion of all the biologists in the state or even that all the people in the commercial are biologists.

What about the opinions of the state biologists in all the other states that have a black bear population? All those states do not allow the three most egregious hunting practices that Maine allows. Somehow I don’t think that Maine knows something the other states don’t.

It seems pretty clear that the main reason “our biologists” want us to oppose the bear referendum is a financial one, since more than 50 percent of the department’s budget comes from sporting fees.

I like to fish and have my license; I am not opposed to hunting. But I believe there is something intrinsically unsportsmanlike in sitting in a tree stand and firing at a black bear who has been lured there by a heap of greasy donuts over a period of several weeks.

Deer hunters can tell the difference between a doe and buck, but bear hunters can’t tell the difference between a male and female bear, and there could be cubs hidden back in woods. Trapping and hunting with dogs are also inhumane methods.

Sometimes it is a good idea to question authority.

Martha Tait


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