Baiting not humane

Letters to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Vote "yes" on Proposition 3 to ban bear baiting. Lazy "hunters" who drag food and garbage into the woods to attract bears want the public to believe this is an ethical, fair-chase hunting method. Not even close.

The video, "Phantom of the Forest," used as a training aid by Alaska Department of Fish and Game in required bear baiting clinics, tells baiters, "Stay in your tree stand for at least an hour" after shooting a bear. Meanwhile the bear's agonizing death moans are heard in the background. The video also recommends if the bear disappears into heavy cover, remain in the stand two hours. This is not humane hunting.

Bear baiting attracts black and brown bears. Between 1989 and 1999, 110 brown bears were seen at bait stations on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. These bears learn to seek human scented foods. Those not shot at bait stations sometimes become nuisance bears.

Bear baiting is really trophy hunting at its worst. Don't let "Alaskans for Professional Wildlife Management," a front for Safari Club International and Alaska Outdoor Council, fool you with glitzy lies promoting this barbaric practice. Feeding bears only for photography and viewing already is illegal. Proposition three would make feeding bears for hunting also illegal. By banning bear baiting, Alaska will join 31 other states with bears that prohibit this unsporting "hunting" method.

Nina Faust


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