As a passionate lover of nature, I cannot let anymore time go by without speaking out on the subject of bear hunting in Maine. Based on all that I know and have read about the so-called sport, it should, here in Maine, be called anything but that. For the methods used to “control the surplus population” could hardly fall under the heading of hunting, which is defined as “to chase or pursue” something. Putting food down, setting up a trap, or sending a dog out do NOT constitute hunting, not by any stretch of the imagination. A more appropriate word comes to mind: slaughter. Because these bears have no more chance of surviving or of escaping than does a cow or a turkey passing through an electrocution device. Where is the sport in that? Where is the challenge? So the very least that the so-called experts could do is to stop calling it a hunt. Because in essence, it is nothing more than a planned harvesting of dead bears.
What IS this insatiable obsession in humans to control everything they see? Are we so collectively stupid and arrogant as to think nature so inept as to not be able to take care of her own? Animals die cruel deaths in the wild? So be it! That is nature at work, plain and simple. And who are WE to interfere with that? Does the fact that we are the latest inductees into the food chain give us the right to prey on all other forms of life that we deem as being beneath us? Then why aren’t we killing and eating dogs and cats and horses and parakeets? Oh, because they are pets, you say? Who makes these distinctions? Certainly not the animals themselves. WE do. Once again, WE are in control.
If we are to believe these “experts,” the state of Maine is also overrun every few years by deer and moose. Yet why does it remain illegal to bait those creatures? And do they really expect me to buy their snake-oil theory that coyotes and foxes, two more species as elusive as bears, are also easier to hunt and thereby not included in the baiting/trapping/hounding process? As a lover of nature and one who believes in finding ways to coexist with all creatures rather than finding more ways to eliminate those which are considered a nuisance, I could never in all good conscience vote anything but YES on the upcoming referendum.
And here’s another thing: I have ALWAYS made up my own mind about every issue that allegedly concerns me, and I don’t need groups of uniformed wildlife “specialists” preaching to me about an issue that simply calls for using a little common sense, which I happen to have an abundance of.
Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AUrsus_americanusDetail.jpg