October 14, 2019

PA Bear Population Has Quadrupled…….Without Baiting

“Pennsylvania’s black bear population has nearly quadrupled since the 1970s, and black bears have reestablished themselves in upper Bucks County. Officials say this leads to more frequent sightings in suburban areas, particularly as young male bears forage for food and free land in early summer.”<<<Read More>>>

Those in Maine fighting to rid the landscape of their perceived inhumane bear hunting, argue that the implementation of bait to lure a bear to a shooting area, causes bears to get fatter and thus increases the number of offspring causing the bear population to rise which results in increased encounters between humans and the beast. If that is true, which it’s not, then how do you explain Pennsylvania’s claim that their bear population has grown by a multiple of 4 and they don’t utilize bear baiting as a management tool?

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You Wantum, You Gottum

A Bangor Daily News opinion piece submitted by a reader entitled his piece, “Grin and Bear It.” A good title but a friend suggested the above title might be a bit more appropriate.

In this reader’s writing he suggests that after the upcoming vote in November about the bear referendum, should it pass, a list be constructed according to voter precincts, with the top of list being occupied by the area that cast the highest percentage of votes FOR the bear referendum. When bear numbers continue to increase and become an even more serious problem, trap and relocate those bears, first beginning with the district most willing to pass the referendum. Continue down the list with each “nuisance” bear until all districts passing the referendum get even more of the bears they love.

The writer states: “It seems to me that this would result in the greatest degree of fairness in considering the voters actions and intentions.”

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Maine Should Increase Bag Limit on Bears From One Bear to Two

Perhaps it is time for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) to put their money where their mouth is and increase the bear harvest bag limit to two bears per licensed hunter rather than leave it at one. MDIFW has often said that they are concerned that too few bears are being harvested each season and that the population is growing too large. Yet, they refuse to do anything proactive about the situation.

In the meantime, the anti human organization, Humane Society of the United States, is presenting a citizen’s initiative this fall to ban bear hunting. MDIFW is rightfully making the claim that with essentially removing all viable forms of being able to control the bear population would present a public safety issue.

With the bear population at present, higher than MDIFW thinks it ought to be, at least in some places, MDIFW should practice what they are preaching and take steps now to increase the bear harvest in order to better control the bear population. This also may send a better message to Maine voters that controlling bear populations is a serious issue.

Maine’s neighbors to the north in New Brunswick are considering increasing the bag limit to two animals, up from just one, due to an increase in the bear population believed to be the result of fewer bear hunters coming each year to bag a bear.

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The Bear Hunting Debate

A referendum to repeal the use of baiting, hounds and trapping for bear hunting in Maine will appear for the second time in 10 years on the ballot this November. The campaign is being financed primarily by the Humane Society of the United States, but with logistical support from people in Maine. This article looks at what I think the real questions are in this debate.

The referendum reflects two main trends occurring simultaneously in American society. One is the impact of big money in American politics. The other is urbanization. The Humane Society of the United States represents both sources of change grinding away at our institutions and what is left of Maine’s rural way of life.<<<Read More>>>(Pay Wall)

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Trahan: The Rise of the Animal Rights Movement

By David Trahan — In politics today, it is virtually impossible to expose the true motives of an individual candidate or special interest group; in addition, with technology and the vast media resources available to manipulate film and written media, special interests can use highly paid media consultants to hide their real agenda. Unfortunately, voters are easily swayed by thirty second television ads and 10 second sound bites. Compound this problem with individuals so blinded by cult like beliefs they are willing to dishonestly spin the truth and you have a recipe for disaster.<<<Read More>>>

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N.Y. Adopts Bear Management Plan, Includes Possible Use of Baiting, Hounding and Trapping

The state of New York adopted a 10-year black bear management plan that leaves the options open for hunting and harvesting bears using hounds, baiting and trapping.

clarifying that DEC plans to assess the tradeoffs and implications of use of dogs, bait or live capture cable-restraints for taking bears, though none of these measures are currently being proposed for use in New York at this time.

The entire plan can be accessed through the link provided above. More information about this adopted plan can be found on the North Country Gazette (behind a pay wall).

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An Editorial On Bears That Should Be Deemed Criminal

The Times Record of Maine, carried an editorial (behind a pay wall) about bears. There was no name attached to the writing so I am to assume it was written by the editorial staff. If so, the Times Record should consider firing the person or persons responsible for such inaccurate, misleading and idealistic nonsense. The credibility of this media source has been seriously compromised.

What I decided to do was to simply make a list of the inaccurate statements this editorial contains and I’ve taken the time to not include opinions.

1. Black bears are Maine’s largest predators — at least until the polar bears arrive, owing to global warming. Does the editorial staff not understand that polar bears live in the arctic ice regions and that global warming will NOT force the polar bears to migrate south to Maine where it’s even warmer? If it were April 1st, I would consider this an April Fool’s joke.

2. Black bears are more docile than their bigger cousins, grizzly bears and polar bears Studies have proven otherwise. Grizzles and polar bears are generally bigger in size but the black bear tends to be the more aggressive.

3. When a bear is baited, if it doesn’t step into the trap the humans set, the bear becomes habituated to human food. WHAT?????? I would comment on this if I knew what it meant.

4. …terrified by packs of dogs, some of whom may not survive the “hunt” themselves, chased down until the dogs tear it apart. This writer obviously knows nothing about hounding for bear. Dogs do not “Tear it [bear] apart.” They send it up a tree. While it sometimes happens, hounds do not often get killed hounding bears.

5. …lured by those donuts, the bear stumbles into a trap, where it may remain in pain and suffering for days. Trappers are required by law to check on traps every 24 hours. Bears are caught in a snare that is NOT painful in anyway to a bear and the trapper has the option of harvesting the bear or releasing it from the snare, unharmed. At times trappers come upon their traps to find the caught bear sleeping.

6. Bears are too intelligent, and too important to the health of the ecosystem. This is unproven “romance” biology. It is only idealistic theology that bears are important to any ecosystem. Nature does not “balance itself.”

7. Bears are needed to keep the deer and wild boar population in check. While bears are a predator of white-tailed deer in Maine, bears are not “needed” to keep deer populations in check. Maine is on the northern fringe of the habitat range for white-tailed deer and the Pine Tree State has never had a problem with too many deer. As a matter of fact, too many black bears at this time are contributing to a very unhealthy and in some instances unsustainable deer population. And WILD BOAR POPULATIONS? There is help for people who see pink elephants and hear voices talking to them in their heads.

8. …bears will dispatch sick deer and excess feral pigs, keeping their herds healthy. Again this is romance biology crap. All predators are opportunistic hunters. Bear tend to target newly born deer fawns. Adult deer can be killed but usually is done in “ambush” but is difficult to do. Like all other misinformed romance biologists, predators do NOT selectively cull sick and lame prey species. To make such a claim is to suggest that a predator is intelligent enough to recognize a “sick” deer while disregarding that if they are that intelligent they are also intelligent enough to pick out the most desirable of the prey species, like pregnant animals. Fetuses are a delicacy you know. Note: Still not sure what part of Texas this writer came from but I suppose for this person’s benefit, I’ll say that so far the black bears in Maine have done a stellar job of keeping feral pig populations in check.

9. Bear populations are subject to the same pressures other animal species face, and their own young are often prey for bobcats, coyotes, and other male bears. Oh, my! Bears are NOT subject to the same pressures. All animals within a dynamic ecosystem are pressured by completely different variants. It is a known fact that some male bears will kill bear cubs, however, I would like to see this writer’s evidence that bobcats and coyotes regularly prey on bear cubs.

10. In other states that have restricted baiting and trapping, they have seen bear populations stabilize and fewer encounters in towns and cities. This simply is not the case. If you believe the media reports, spoon fed by the predator protectors, you are a fool. When you examine the actual data that is being collected, we discover that bear populations have NOT stabilized nor have human encounters gone down. Most often human/bear encounters happen more frequently for two reasons. One, there are too many bears competing for the same habitat, including food supply. Two, the amount of natural food available, due to environmental circumstances, is in short supply forcing bears to find food anywhere they can.

11. Bear baiting encourages bear forays into populated areas, This is another example of romance biology’s talking points and unfounded rhetoric. While it may be true that bears that frequent human settlements do so because they have discovered where the source is, bear baiters do not set up shop in town. The overwhelming majority of bear baiting takes place is remote and isolated areas. It is fact that during many years when natural food for bears is in abundance, bear hunters who use bait have a very difficult time in getting bears to come to bait. Perhaps the one item in the editorial that was correct was: “…bears are more likely to consume grubs, other insects, and vegetative matter, including berries and nuts, and fish.” Bears do NOT prefer stale, day-old donuts.

Old Hunter says:

CommonSense

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Proposed Ballot Question to End Bear Hunting Ready for Public Comment

The proposed wording for the initiative question that voters will decide on, along with a link to the text of the initiated legislation, is as follows:

**Do you want to ban bear hunting using bait, traps or dogs except to protect property, public safety or for research?** Link to legislation: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/IB000101.asp

The question was drafted by the Secretary of State with assistance from senior staff, the Attorney General’s office, and volunteer experts serving as Ballot Clarity Advisors. Secretary Dunlap noted that Maine law, Title 21-A MRSA Section 905-A, http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/21-A/title21-Asec905-A.html requires that the Secretary of State “provide a 30-day public comment period for the purpose of receiving comments on the content and form of proposed questions to be placed on the ballot for any pending initiatives.”<<<Read More>>>

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Understanding Bear Trapping and The Humane Society of the United States

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With a Choice Between “Bait” and Acorns, Bears Will Choose Acorns

Part of the argument the promoters of the anti bearing hunting referendum that will be before Maine voters in November is that baiting bears, to lure them into a shooting area, habituates bears to human conditions and trains bears to become reliant on man-provided food sources. Neither condition holds any merit.

The majority of those who oppose hunting bears, and in particular the use of bait, probably have never bear hunted or been involved with any kind of bear baiting stations. Therefore, one has to wonder where they gathered their information about bears. Nothing is more reliable for information than what comes from hunters and trappers with the experience and knowledge to completely understand the effort, tactics and strategies behind baiting bears.

In December of 2007, Bear Hunting Magazine published an article written by Bernie Barringer. This is what he had to say about baiting bears in competition with natural foods:

Where I live in Minnesota, the annual numbers of bears harvested can be directly linked to the quality and availability of the mast crop. And when we talk mast crop in Minnesota, we are primarily talking acorns and to a lesser extent hazelnuts.

Since there is no way to truly overcome the power of the acorn, we must simply be patient and wait it out. The bears will be back, we must just work hard to be ready for them.

As much as some would like to project their human emotions, i.e. their own lust for Dunkin’Donuts, candy, pastries and all junk food, it just is not a bear’s first choice in cuisine. So long as there is the presence of the natural food supply, the power of the acorn will spare the life of many bears who choose not to fill up on bait food.

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