Franklin Countys First News

The bear hunting referendum

By John Frary

Let me clear: I’m warmly pro-bear and have been since my days in the cradle. Mother claimed that when my Teddy Bear lost a button-eye I remained in mourning for a full week. I often suspected Mother of making up stories like that to humanize me for her friends, but since I have no reliable memory from that early period and since she’s no longer alive to defend herself we’ll let that story stand. In any case I am, as I was, devoted to the Platonic Idea of a bear.

John Frary

John Frary

I should add that I’ve donated hundreds of dollars to the local animal shelter and equine rescue outfit. I’ve never actually assassinated an animal, although I may have run over a chipmunk last month (uncertain, no actual corpus delicti) and a bird committed suicide on my windshield in 1986 down in New Jersey. It’s true that I am a life-time member of the National Rifle Association, but I’ve armed myself only as a defense against the possibility of a vegan terrorist attack.

Maine politicians are fond of denouncing each other for accepting funding from out of state aliens, but I’m not much alarmed by outside money, as long as it does not come from terrorists or extra-terrestrial aliens. Maine has more than sufficient numbers of wealthy liberal political hobbyists within its borders. It matters little to me whether a liberal financier of big and ever-growing government resides in North Haven or the Virgin Islands. A liberal Statist is equally alien to me either way. The referendum funding, however, is a special and exceptional case. Deirdre Fleming, writing for The Maine Sunday Telegram reports that, as of Oct. 19, residents of Maine have contributed $17,991 to support the Question 1 while People-from-Away (PfA) have donated $1,493,068 in support of legislation designed to dictate the behavior of people in our state. I find the $887,278 donated other PfA in opposition inoffensive because their aim is to defend a status quo that Mainers themselves have established.

This disparity is over the top. It’s absurd. And, to add to the aggravation Mainers (sic!) for Fair Bear Hunting has asked for an emergency injunction to prevent Maine’s biology specialists from influencing the public. Our state’s bear biologists are reputed to be the best in the country. Governor LePage has ruled that these specialists may speak on the issue on their own initiative. They are not commanded to speak up. They know stuff and think the public should know it also. Katie Hansberry, the director of the organization, doesn’t think our citizens should suffer exposure to the expertise of the men and women whose expertise they have paid for. Katie the Mainer knows what’s good for us. She has spent almost as much time summering in Maine as she spent in law school.

I agree that being chased up a tree by dogs and shot is not fair to bears, but our experts tell us that fairness is not the issue at all. Population control is the issue and we are maintaining an acceptable level with current practices while “fair” hunting (rifles, no dogs) cannot. Overpopulation will turn bears into pests. This problem can only be controlled then by professional bounty hunters who will have to resort to the same methods that would be forbidden to mere sportsmen.

From what I’ve heard about the polling, there must be many Mainers who have never molested a bear in any way who sense the Fair to Bears Project is the thin edge of the wedge in a drive by a herd of exquisitely sensitive bourgeois busybodies to bring our state’s values into conformity with those of Bergen County, New Jersey.

The editorials in the Portland Press Herald and the Central Maine Papers opposing the Bergen County referendum are causing me some anxiety, but there’s no turning back.

John Frary is a retired history professor and associate editor of "The International Military Encyclopedia," and ran for Congress in 2008. He writes weekly columns for local newspapers and serves on the board of Maine Taxpayers United.

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42 Responses »

  1. Thank you John. You've got it right. I don't want my trash cans ruined, my bird feeder trashed, my dog, Pearl, attacked and eaten, or my neighbor's bee hives pillaged. vote No on the bear referendum.

  2. There is a direct correlation of food supply and reproduction success.
    Scientific research proves this over and over.
    Borrowing information from another New England state where the language in the document is simple enough for anyone to understand:
    http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/library/factsheets/hunting_and_trapping/big_game/black_bear_fact_sheet.pdf

    My understanding of question 1 is simply about banning bear baiting (dumping tons of garbage food which increases the population growth rather than allowing nature to regulate itself), inhumane trapping and the use of dogs to hunt bears (relying on dogs to do the work rather than personal hunting skills).

    Harvesting bears during established "seasons" (fair hunting practices) and the need to protect the public (from "nuisance" bears) is not a part of this "question" and will not be banned.

    Nothing would change with a Yes vote except baiting/trapping and the use of dogs.

    I vote yes on question 1.

  3. I don't give a hoot as to if this passes or not. I think bear trapping should be abolished, but other than that, the rest is irrelevant. I wish the issue wasn't on the ballot.

    What DOES bother me, is the idea that our "wildlife biologists" have no stake in this, that their recommendations are impartial and unbiased and based solely on science.

    Their income, is based primarily on the revenue generated from hunting.
    The majority of them come from a family history of hunting. Which means that, they have friends and relatives that are involved in the commercial business of hunting.
    They have a stake in this, and it's a large one.
    I think it's wrong for my tax dollars to be spent trying to influence the outcome of an election.

    Mr. Frary's argument, that it's wrong that out of state money to be spent to try and influence our laws and rules, has no merit.

    Would it have been wrong for outside interests to have argued in the South against Slavery?
    We (our nation) has spent a trillion dollars, trying to influence the Middle East.

    This vote, isn't about bears, or bear management: it's about continuing a business that some find morally reprehensible.
    A hundred years ago or so, our attitudes towards animal welfare was much different. Horses were considered utility objects. To abuse a horse was the same as not taking good care of your car; no one's business but yours. Thomas Edison put on a spectacle of a public electrocution of an elephant that drew huge crowds that vastly enjoyed it. A movie of it was filmed; to view it today makes one cringe.

    Here's a thought: how many tourists, who otherwise might want to visit Maine, might change their minds, when they see that Maine is the last state that condones a practice they find morally wrong? How do those tourist dollars stack up against the money brought in by hunting?
    We will soon find out.

  4. I'm voting "no" too. But isn't the notion that State-employed wildlife biologists know best in this matter an essentially "Statist" position?

  5. Bird feeders, trash cans and bee hives trashed everywhere and dogs killed by bears all over the United States! How come I haven't read of this tragedy?

    Is it a conspiracy to keep this information quiet?

    Maine is THE ONLY state to use baiting, steel traps and dogs. (Dogs, really? I thought the bears were killing them!).

    The "hunters" go out and set a trap then go home and watch "Wheel of Fortune" and then when they feel like it and the weather is good, go back and shoot the trapped bear in the head.

    Why can't the hunters be like the hunters in the rest of the country and actually go HUNTING for the bears?

    Vote YES on one!

  6. Do these people who want us to vote Yes on 1 eat meat at all? After all the bear has much more of a choice than the chicken, cow, or pig that eventually finds its way onto your plate, and they are often led to their demise by food----bait? We are just very out of touch with how food makes it onto our dinner plate these days. We think it comes from sterilized, shrink-wrapped packages in the grocery store, and we don't go much beyond that in our thought processes. This is just another step in getting hunting banned altogether. Those who fund the Yes side are not only out to stop the baiting of bear, but they know that they are more apt to get what they want in small increments. If this passes, there will be another anti-hunting vote to come, and another... And boy does it irritate me that so much of the funding and jargon is coming from out of state.

  7. To clarify, Jim, steel traps are not used in the trapping of bears anymore. That was outlawed already. They are trapped with foot snares. http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/bear/index.htm
    They are more humane and are used for trapping bears for research, as well. That said, I have no desire to use them nor to hunt at all. I do, however, think that the biologists who have offered their knowledge have a right to do so. The large bear population in the state is carefully managed. If we don't get the information from biologists, including the top black bear biologist in the country, then who do we get the information from? If this special interest group hadn't brought this issue to Maine in the first place and we let the biologists do their jobs, they wouldn't have had to waste any time or money educating the public.

  8. Chirp chirp chirp ... that's all I got from making the same basic statement Dawn. Seems the Yes on one folks have no answer for that.

    I too finding it interesting that not so much of out of state funds being directed toward the Yes effort but so little money from within the state is supporting it.

    Jim, to answer your question about hunters in other states "Why can't the hunters be like the hunters in the rest of the country and actually go HUNTING for the bears?". Other states do use all three of these methods, just there is no other state that uses all three. So Maine is not unique in using any of these hunting methods.

  9. Why shouldn't humans manage to co-exist with wildlife by doing the common-sense things that don't attract unwanted wildlife onto their property?

    Facts: Maine has cold winters. Bears emerge hungry from their dens in Spring when there's not much to eat. Figuring out how to "manage" that situation is what "wildlife biologists" should be doing.

    P.S. Is a 3-legged bear the result of having chewed off its own leg to escape from a trap? In any case, it is not likely to function normally and could be starving, taking the opportunity to find "easy food" on a farm.

  10. Snowman has given us a perfect example of the fallacy argumentum ad hominem (circumstantial form). It is such a classic example of the fallacy. The reply is who else would know better what the best thing to do about keeping under control the bear population in Maine than experts in bear biology.

    Keep in mind that the proposal does not rule out the other means because the STATE can use the outlawed techniques and the hunters will by paid by the state.

  11. 1. Steel traps are illegal in Maine
    2. Traps have to be checked every 24 hours by law
    3. It is a myth that animals chew their own foot off to "escape"
    4. lobsterman use traps AND bait. HSUS should take notice of that fact

  12. Maple Ave Resident, please don't give them ( HSUS) any more crazy ideas this one is enough, I still want to be able to put a worm on a hook and go fishing....

  13. ive baited bears for 6yrs and have only ever shot one its not as easy as people think!!!!!

  14. Bill Reid: I congratulate you on being able to string together some high school Latin. unfortunately, it makes about as much sense in this context as a paragraph of Lorem Ipsum.

    The Maine wildlife biologist may very well be knowledgeable, competent people who know more about wildlife management in Maine than anyone else. That doesn't mean they may not be biased.
    For example; There are situations where a judge might recuse themselves from a case in situation of potential bias, even that judge has all the knowledge and ability needed to decide a case and regardless of if that judge does actually have any bias.

    If you're a wildlife biologist in Maine, and you have twenty or thirty relatives who hunt, guide, run bear camps and who make their living in the hunting industry, how can you be unbiased? How could you look them in the eye, if you helped to kill their livelihood?

    As far as bear traps are concerned, what the law says and how it's enforced are two different things. How could it be proven that a bear was stuck in a trap for one day, or two or three?
    If someone's dog got their foot stuck in a trap, even a humane trap, for a day, or longer, most people would be upset by that. What creature would want to meet their end in such a manner?

  15. @ Dawn:"And boy does it irritate me that so much of the funding and jargon is coming from out of state."

    The bulk of campaign money for all candidates/all questions on the ballot comes from out-of-state.

    Note: This is not a myth.

  16. First of all, Snowman my remarks are not a Lorem ipsum but rather a traditional name argumentum ad hominem, in use today, which is a type of a fallacy of relevance. The name goes back a few thousand years. What you wrote about the state biologists proves absolutely nothing. Go back to your book shelf, take down the book of introductory logic you used in college, and look it up. Of all the people we should pay attention to in Maine on this question it is our wildlife biologists.

  17. I will vote yes right after a law is passed that prevents lobsters from being baited in a trap then while still alive dropped into a tub of boiling water..... and I do believe that will never happen.... At least I hope not.....

  18. Frary for Gov. That's my vote.

  19. Missus, I agree.

  20. If this passes, banning the trapping of mice will be next :)

  21. I feel like Jim answered his own question- "Why can't the hunters be like the hunters in the rest of the country and actually go HUNTING for the bears" with "Maine is THE ONLY state to use baiting, steel traps and dogs".

    In my opinion (I am not a biologist, just an avid outdoorsman), the very low success rate for the "spot and stalk" hunter in Maine is due to the fact that the population is managed properly by allowing hunting with dogs, over bait and with snares. If people start encountering more and more bears (in the woods, in their backyards etc.) this success rate will increases which will be a telltale sign that the bear population is too high. I think it's clear this will be the case if this referendum passes.

    If by chance it does pass I guess we will see if the same thing happens here as I know for a fact it happens in other states with restrictive/no bear hunting.The people take it upon themselves to unlawfully kill the bears in order to keep themselves and families safe. In many of these scenarios (which I don't agree with) they kill whatever they see for bears and leave them in the woods to avoid getting caught.

    On the other hand maybe they will have to reinstate the bounty when the population gets out of control and give our economy a little boost!

    I hope people take the time before they vote (maybe attend one of the many "hunter's breakfasts" that will be going on Saturday morning) and talk to actual hunters because we are the ones deep in the woods and have REAL information about what's really going on.

  22. Bill Reid:

    I can state, as an absolute fact, that Randy Cross, the lead state bear biologist, come s from a very large extended family, most of whom are avid hunters, some are or have been game wardens, hunting guides and have run and do run baited bear hunts.

    Why this has not been brought to the public's attention? I do not know, but I will speculate, that the reporters whose beat covers the outdoors and hunting, don't want to put themselves at odds with the powers that be.
    Can't blame them; this will be voted down, life will move on but memories will linger of who did and said what.

    I never said the biologists are wrong, I said that their opinions cannot be assumed to be unbiased.

    As to the premise of Mr. Frary's article, that he doesn't like outside money being spent to attempt to influence Maine residents; he may well not like it, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it, or that those who are spending it are wrong.

    In my opinion, this referendum has come at a very bad time. It never should have come about in the first place, and it is stirring up sentiment that is adversely affecting other political races that are far more important.
    We need to be rid of Lepage. To vote Bruce Poliquin into Congress would be a travesty. This referendum has served to stir up the ignorant, stubborn, conservative people who otherwise would spend election day clad in orange and camo driving about on their four wheelers, Budweiser can in one hand, cigarette in the other with blood lust for legal killing.

  23. All Republicans should write in Mr.Frary for Governor.

  24. I haven't seen much evidence that Snoreman's compulsive postings influence anyone, but it would be a pity if he is completely ignored. Dr. Reid, a trained logician, finds him a useful tool for illustrating logical fallacies

    A logical fallacy is faulty reasoning which does not rely on false fact. Snoreman gilds the lily (should I say urinates on his dung heap) by lying.

    Hence: "What DOES bother me, is the idea that our "wildlife biologists" have no stake in this, that their recommendations are impartial and unbiased and based solely on science. Their income, is based primarily on the revenue generated from hunting. "
    .
    A touch of hypocrisy for sauce: " think it's wrong for my tax dollars to be spent trying to influence the outcome of an election."

    "Mr. Frary's argument, that it's wrong that out of state money to be spent to try and influence our laws and rules, has no merit." ---Snowjob's pretext that he can follow an argument is as bogus as his delusion that he can make one.

  25. Mr. Frary ~

    Once again, you've resorted to name calling and insults because someone disagrees with you. I wonder why you are so offended when people express a differing opinion. If a person has strong opinions, which you do, it seems only fair that you are respectful of other people's opinions.

    Go ahead. Let me have it. I expect nothing less, since I criticized you.

    Laura

  26. Whoa-- "This referendum has served to stir up the ignorant, stubborn, conservative people who otherwise would spend election day clad in orange and camo driving about on their four wheelers, Budweiser can in one hand, cigarette in the other with blood lust for legal killing."

    If you can't make your point any other way, throwing insults at people who have tried to carry on a civil conversation works wonders.

  27. per snowman: "In my opinion, this referendum has come at a very bad time...and it is stirring up sentiment that is adversely affecting other political races that are far more important.

    We need to be rid of Lepage. To vote Bruce Poliquin into Congress would be a travesty. This referendum has served to stir up the (ignorant, stubborn, conservative) people who otherwise would spend election day clad in orange and camo driving about on their four wheelers...".

    I heartily agree with this assessment.
    Has anyone ever referred to John Frary as 'pompous'? If not, allow me.

  28. That's quite a description of hunters, Snowman, and it proves what little knowledge you have on the topic.

  29. I'm starting to think Actual News and Snowman are one in the same. Their lack of comprehending simple ideas and answering simple questions seems to go hand in hand. They both tend to think that throwing around accusations about the state biologists and hunters in general solidify their positions, when in fact it shows their lack of common sense and simple understandings of about the obtaining of meat in general, regardless if it's hunted or farmed. When they can get that basic of concepts down, maybe then their other rantings might have some weight.

    @ Laura, while not condoning Mr. Fray of playing around with Snowman's handle but in keeping with Snowman's and Actual News level so they can understand, "Snowman started it first " Lol.

  30. Good job Snowman for not taking the bait (pun intended) Better to engage a real professor. Like the one from the Isle of Gilligan. At least that one has actually seen a library from the inside.

  31. I have nothing against bear-hunting as long as it is humane. There is no reason to torture an animal in order to kill it. Dog-hunting and trapping are cruel and create suffering. On the other hand, I have no opinion about baiting. If it increases the likelihood that a bear will be killed unawares and humanely, then I have nothing against it. If, on the other hand, it supplies enough food to create nuisance bears, then I would be against it. It's too bad these items are all packaged in one bill.

    On purely humane grounds, I will vote "yes" on No 1. Again....I am not against bear-hunting, but I do believe that we are ethically bound to create hunting conditions that don't cause animals suffer needlessly.

  32. P.S. I am also a biologist and my speciality is animal behavior, so I do have some knowledge of the suffering these animals encounter with both dog-hunting and trapping.

  33. I hunted for many years. I was rather good at it too. I had a beautiful rifle, custom stock- had some wonderful hand carved checkering and engraving. It was extremely accurate too. I re-loaded my own ammo and loved playing around with different loads and bullet combinations.
    I have always been at home in woods and with nature.
    I always felt something, when I took a life, regardless of what the creature was. I was fully aware that a life had ended, because of my actions and that whatever my reasons for doing so, it was a conscious act. But, still, I did it. It was what we did, what I did. Part of being an outdoorsman, being a country boy and man.

    I used to shoot a lot of porcupines. They were very abundant around my property and my neighbors hated them. More than once, I had to remove quills from a dog or take the dog to the vet to have it done.

    One day, I spotted a porcupine down by my garden. It wasn't growing season, and the fence was down. I shot it from 150 yards with my 30-06 and left it there, planning on burying it after I ate my breakfast.
    When I went back to it, I discovered a baby porcupine, snuggled up to the body. It was snuffling and making little moaning sounds. I had shot it's mother. It wasn't all that small, it was no longer nursing and was old enough to eat on it's own. I didn't know there was a lasting maternal bond in that primitive species.
    As that spring became summer, the little porcupine stuck around. I had a canoe, sitting on saw horses in the yard. Everyday, that porcupine came and laid down in the shade beneath and napped. My two dogs, old enough now to have learned the folly of messing with a porcupine, just ignored it.
    Except for a obviously rabid raccoon and mice in the house, that was the last creature I killed.
    I don't eat meat. I eat fish, and I love to catch them, but even with fish, I feel some emotion when I kill them.
    So, when I talk of hunting, and hunters, I know of what I am saying. Why kill anything for enjoyment?

    I can't fathom what enjoyment could be gained, by shooting a bear while it's eating a pile of bait. I can't imagine how there could be pleasure gained from seeing a bear in misery, with it's foot in a trap. I think I read that the business of doing that, is worth 50 million dollars in Maine? How sad, what a testament to the nature of man, that so many people would be willing to spend so much, to kill.

    It is what it is. This will continue. Maine will be Maine, hunters will hunt. Bears will live and they will die.
    My days of it are done. I have better things to do.

  34. Per snowman: "So, when I talk of hunting, and hunters, I know of what I am saying. Why kill anything for enjoyment? ...My days of it are done. I have better things to do."

    And you, snowman, ARE the better man.

  35. How can you possibly defend your previous description of hunters just because you were once a hunter? It's like saying all teenagers are reckless and disrespectful and you know what you are talking about because you were once a teen.

    I hunt. I do not enjoy taking life. I do not drink Budweiser or any alcohol (it's illegal to drink while hunting or operating an atv by the way). I do not smoke cigarettes. I do not use my atv to hunt. I have no blood lust. My purpose for hunting, as is the purpose of all of the hunters I know, is to provide the most fresh organic meat for my family for a fraction of what most people pay for meat at the grocery store. I hunt legally and ethically. I support the game wardens and I applaud their efforts to eliminate poaching. I don't necessarily agree with snare traps but I'm not about to eliminate all practices because I disagree with one.

    And in case you didn't know, hunting hours end at 4:50 on November 4, leaving plenty of time for us ignorant, stubborn conservatives to march into the voting booth as we have each year since we defeated this same referendum a decade ago.

  36. Well said Amanda, I always go from the field to the voting booth. I guess the only thing I can add to all of this is each of us has our own ethics, whether this pertains to hunting or anything else in life. I judge what I see, and those commercials played out by the yes on 1 people are nothing I have seen in the Maine woods. They play at the heartstrings of the easily persuaded, but do not reflect what I know.

    Each year I spend hundreds of hours in nature, a fair part of it doing conservation work, improving habitat or just enjoying nature in all her glory. Each fall I look forward to bird hunting then deer hunting. Moose if I am lucky and I have dabbled in bear hunting with bait. Frankly I do not have the time to adequately devote to bear hunting and my results prove that out. If I was to take a bear, I would be appreciative of the overall experience and thankful for the life of the animal which now begets my own, and my families sustenance.

    Most of my fellow sportsmen and women are hard working, salt of the earth types who revel in the whole experience of the anticipation and completion of the hunt.

    One last thought, for any of you on the fence about this. Do you know where your commercial food comes from. How those animals lived their lives? Wild game legally harvested typically lives its life and than is harvested sustainably.

  37. Snowman, you remind me of a "reformed smoker" .. I know many who hunt, and they dont drink while doing so, maybe you did, or maybe your friends did, who knows where you got that from but you sure seem to know about all hunters dont you..... and my only suggestion to you is to stop fishing and eating fish...to ease your conscience.

  38. The idea that hunting provides cheap food, is not born out, not unless one gets very lucky or uses illegal means.
    When you add up the costs, the weapons, ammo, licenses, time spent hunting (figuring it could be spent making money at a job or business) when you add all the time that is spent in unproductive hunts since most hunters, most of the time do not get their game, it costs more than just going to the store and buying it. AND, just because it's wild, doesn't mean it's healthier. You don't know what that critter is eating. HOW HEALTHY, do you think a diet of donuts is?
    There is a reason why there are hunters, and there are gatherers and why we decided, as a species, to become farmers, (lots of biblical stuff there, in case you didn't notice).
    In plain, basic, non-economic basis, it almost always uses more calories hunting than it gains.
    IF, you can drive a herd of caribou to their deaths, or buffalo, or mammoths, or whatever heard prey you can get, and by working collectively gather large quantities of meat all at once, and can have communal help processing that meat, then it becomes economically feasible. Until, the source becomes extinct.
    If you can afford, to spend all that time in the woods, then you are either rich enough to stop whinning about how high your taxes are, or you have a system figured out where you don't have to work, in which case, you don't pay taxes anyway, SO- why are all these hunters so conservative?

  39. If hunters didn't drink, then Budweiser wouldn't pay for all the banners that say, Welcome Hunters!

    Come on- maybe, some don't drink while hunting, but plenty do after the hunt, and for many, many sports, esp. the ones from out of state, the drinking and partying is as much the tradition as the hunting.

    Nothing like standing around the back of a pickup,tugging the orange visors, hitching up the camo pants over the bellies, scratching, spitting, smoking and drinking and slapping each other on a fun time, while the carcass of whatever lies there with it's dead tongue lolling out and blood dripping off the tailgate.

  40. I have read plenty of debates over this issue on many pages read the same arguments by both sides. One side is saying trust our professionals another is saying look out west and see it is not bothering them. In fact they are getting more bear hunters. Well that's right they are and why is that. Well here is another FACT the states that have banned these practices had to extend there seasons into there deer and elk seasons to bump up there accidental kill numbers and some states have even introduced a spring season. They are also giving out a bear tag and with all there license bumping up there numbers.
    Fact Bears are territorial animals. Let me explain this when a bigger bear is in an area he will push the litter bear out his home area and they will seek out a new tract of land to call there own. Maine is bear country from the tip to tip. Less bears harvested means more bears breeding more bears looking for new homes and if they are not afraid of humans then who is to say your house wont make a good den next winter. Or you might not taste that bad in the spring about May when they are getting a little more active.
    Fact 52.7 MILLION dollars will be lost to our Maine economy. Where are those short falls going to come from?
    Fact The property owner has to pay for bear removal and all damages done.
    Fact over 200 families will be without a income because of this and many small towns are likely to fade out and die.
    My family has been in the bear hunting for almost a 100 years I am a fifth generation hound hunter trying to pass down the traditions and knowledge that have been passed down to me. My family has ran FREE thru these mountains and swamps chasing these elusive critters. As my son is a little boy and helps me every night in the dog yard tending dogs, loving dogs and such it is hard to think we may loose this and I will never get to see my son have a FREEDOM I had growing up.
    Now you may wonder why I am bringing FREEDOM into this argument. Well let me tell you why. Is FREEDOM not what gives us the process of our government? Is FREEDOM not what enables us to move around the country and do as we please? When do we as Mainers stand up and say enough is enough all ready leave us alone?
    I am a veteran and have washed the price of FREEDOM off from my hands more times then a man should ever have to just to have my FREEDOMS taken away from me back home in my home state.
    You say that Hunting is a waste of money and you might not be able to save any money at all. Well sir let me explain something to you. With out the money that hunting generates there is no public lands. There is no parks. There would be very little for economy in the rural areas of Maine. I for one know for sure during this bear season I paid one employees pay check at the local store. And as for the money aspect of it you know what your right maybe we do spend a lot of money on buying guns and buying gear and buying license. Well sir at least our money is going to something and is helping support our country. Maine was built on caring for our own.
    Every one is entitled to there own opinion and should most certainly be able to do there own research on this matter and make a good educated vote. Don't let your emotions get the best of you.

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