Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: End bear feeding program

The people of Maine now have an opportunity to try to resolve the bear debate by ending Maine’s bear feeding program. Since 2004, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has falsely claimed that bears must be fed in order to kill them to control their population. Since 2004, Maine’s state endorsed feeding program has exploded the bear population from some 23,000 bears to an estimated 45,000. It continues growing by some 2 - 4 percent annually.

Maine’s bear population exceeds the natural carrying capacity by approximately 10,000 animals. MDIFW’s solution is to grow the bear hunting industry and its own coffers by increasing both the feeding of bears and the “bag” limits for bear hunters.

Feeding bears produces more bears. This is the science. The science-based, responsible solution is to end Maine’s bear feeding program.

I have submitted a petition for a rule change to phase out Maine’s bear feeding program over a ten year period. This would give bears and the bear hunting industry time to adapt to the “new normal” in which bears would go back to being bears and hunters would go back to being hunters. The proposed rule change would still allow food to be used as a scent bait, but would gradually eliminate the feeding of bears and the negative consequences including increased cub production and reliance on human foods.

No one wants another expensive bear referendum. Unfortunately MDIFW and the bear hunting industry refuse to even consider any form of compromise. MDIFW's mismanagement of the public’s bears must be addressed. The public has until June 5, 2020 to send comments to MDIFW in response to the proposed rule change. For more information, to get a copy of the proposed rule, or to submit comments, please email Becky.Orff@maine.gov and refer to Chapter 16.09 Bear Feeding Petition. Thank you.

John M. Glowa, Sr.
South China

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21 Responses »

  1. Let's,
    "give bears and the bear hunting industry time to adapt to the “new normal” in which bears would go back to being bears and hunters would go back to being hunters."

    Nothing wrong with killing bears for food or safety or for sport in my opinion.

    "Hunting" bears here in Maine has been like shooting fish in a barrel.
    Not much sport to it.

  2. Can anyone please show me in the MDIFW law book where it says I can shoot more than one bear ? Otherwise this letter should be deleted for false information. We have enough lies going around at this current time.

  3. After losing my beloved pet goat Heidi to a bear 5 weeks ago, I strongly oppose baiting bears for ANY purpose. It calls bears to the area and also gets them so they are not afraid of people. That can create 'problem bears'. Maine's current bear baiting law that pertains during hunting season allows baiting as long as it's at least 500 yards from an occupied dwelling. That is ridiculous. Bears get used to getting easy meals in areas where there can be houses and livestock only a couple of minutes away. Humans baiting bears is an interference of nature and corrupts bears normal behavior. When it is done for hunting purposes it is unsportsmanlike and inhumane. It was a dumb law concocted for lazy hunters.

  4. Smells to me like just one more back door effort by the anti-hunting crowd. To bad they are not as passionate about about cutting back some of the freebie chow from Augusta that attracts every welfare shopper in the country. Instead lets shut down anybody thats trying to make an honest living from the land. This is just one more reason why people with means are careful how much money they leave in this state.

  5. Awww, You can shoot one and trap one, for a yearly bag limit of 2 bears.

    Unfortunately, it's not the "feeding" program that is the problem, it's a lack of interest in the younger generations, in 2005, 3951 bears were harvested, of those, 1959 were harvested by non resident hunters. 2274 bears were taken over bait, while only 130 were trapped. In 2019, 2370 bears were tagged, 1467 of those were harvested by non resident hunters. In 2005 there were 175,000 licensed deer hunters(harvested 110 bears), in 2019 only 27 licensed deer hunters took 2 bears, 1 by trapping and 1 by hunting. And only 26 of the total taken were taken by spot and stalk. Humans are a bear's only predator, if humans don't kill them, they will continue to over populate. Maybe push for hunter encouragement programs rather than removing a program that ensures the bear population doesn't decline due to over predation on food species, yes it will solve the population problem, by letting hundreds or thousands of bears starve or die from competing for food sources, not exactly the most humane way to control the population. Why do anti-hunting people always want to remove a food source to control the population of things?

  6. I, personally do not hunt. I also do not believe in "baiting" an animal. A true hunter would go out into the woods and walk until they find the animal they are hunting. Just my opinion.....

  7. Yes hrtlss I already knew the answer thanks anyway. My point is the jack wang writing this opinion is spreading false information just like msm and people today are stupid enough to believe it. 1 bear per hunter is not an increase in”bag” limit for “lazy hunters”. Anyone that thinks these hunters are “lazy” I implore you to go hunting for one day with a registered Maine guide before you even think about labeling them that way.
    Lindy your goat was not killed by a bear because of baiting this time of year has always been known for bears to enter yards and take some pets and bird feeders because their is no natural food for them. The last few years have been hard for hunters that bait simply because of natural food sources. Feel free to check with them for clarification.

  8. All of you are incorrect. It is 100% President Trump's fault!!! Lindy's poor goat is dead because he didn't
    Act fast enough. He should have pushed the congress for money to hire folks to relocate those rascal
    bears to more remote areas. Get out and vote for sleepy Joe this fall. He already has made plans to work
    With the Chinese on a solution to the bear over population problem. They have years of experience with their
    One child policy.

  9. If you are not a hunter we,( because of your lack of knowledge for sport)will probably disregard your comments.

  10. My dad always told me, if you don’t know then be quiet. Perhaps that’s what Everyone saying the word “lazy” on here should do. And to the writer of the opinion letter, you can’t use flawed science without all variables. If we eliminated all teachers because one bad one sexually assaulted a student, there’d be none. If anything, there is a need for a spring bait season.

  11. To Awww.....The baiting was not this spring but consider.... A bear gets used to the free tasty bait meals in a certain location (along with the scent of the humans that put the food there) and so hangs in that location. Then they go into hibernation but when they come out in the spring no free meals in the usual place. They are desperately hungry and so braver than usual when they go looking nearby. The baiting of dangerous predators like bears should be conducted only in remote areas, not near houses and livestock.

  12. Bear are the only animals hunted by predators lazier and stupider than the bear themselves. How can someone even call themselves a ‘hunter’ when the only way they can bag a bear is with bait or torturing them with starving dogs. BTW I am an avid supporter of all hunting when done like a real man or woman.

  13. I thought this was put to bed after the last beat referendum. Let have another referendum with all sorts of out of state money to decide what we can do in Maine.

  14. Jack Wang??
    Sounds racist!!
    Jack's have civil rights too.

    Make Bears adhere to catch and release to save the goats.

  15. I'm with the Captain on this one. ( did I really type that??)

  16. I kinda agree with Mike D.... I think the answer really is..... If you want to hunt bear you should be required to hunt bare after rubbing your body with whoppie pies....

  17. Wondering how all the anti-baiters catch fish?

  18. Lindy that doesn’t even make sense. You obviously aren’t a hunter because if you were you would know that the hunters don’t leave their scent around to help attract a bear. Not one animal that is hunted is going to come towards the smell of a human. The bears hibernate wherever they can find a hole not necessarily near their last tasty meal. Bears will travel a long ways like any animal does to feed daily.
    Captain you are spreading the same false information as the writer of this oped. Bear dogs aren’t starved by their owners. If you don’t like how people hunt bears you can go hunt like a real woman.
    Jay that is all this boils down too is some liberal anti is trying to get that door opened to start chipping away at the rest of the hunting practices so the animal population can climb out of control and do more damage to land and become grossly over populated. Then people will have to be hired to control the population by hunting them without bag limits like in some other areas where things like this have been done before.
    Private have you seen the show with Tim Allen called Last Man Standing? A jack wang is the nicest way to say what I wanted too and still get my comments up.

  19. Easy Cee Tee. Dynamite is best or a shotgun will do in a pinch.....seriously I hope you’re coherent enough to understand....

    David Firching, I truly enjoy when we have our kumbaya moments! According to the sheeple I took a hard left turn on this one but I call what I see. I can’t stand Mills yet I support NECEC. Trump is an ass but I’ll vote for him as the best the left can come up with is Biden. Now your turn to show a slight deviation from your herd. Before you know it we’ll be bar hopping together!

  20. DB, the Wang and Off families are considering legal action.... Thanks Private, no racism shall be tolerated!

  21. Just giving people a fact many people dont think about. One of the least talked about mortality rates for spring dropped fawns are predatory bears. All them little Bambi's you like to watch on your back lawn will draw bear from a long way off. The first one they find as a young bear might be an accident or taught by their mother but after that the game is on. So I guess we better live trap and relocate them fawns. We are allready doing a bang up job of getting rid of the Grandmother of all bait sites, our farms. I know people who have set out bait and got nothing but a season of work and waiting for absolutely nothing. Its human nature to not talk about failure so all you hear about is the success stories. If you are looking for a scapegoat for fishing and hunting success look no further then your nearest Geek and his technology,four-wheelers and snow machines. Sorry but what use to take half a lifetime to find and learn is now at your thumb and fingertips. This is all so sad and another chip in the tolerances Mainers use to have for each other. And do not think these people care about resolving the " bear debate" they are just trying to remove any organized resistance from their ultimate goal to stop hunting and they will use you in any way or argument they can to reach their goal.

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