Simply Put, Using Bait to Lure Bears to Their Deaths is Not "Fair Chase"

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / July 21, 2003


Now that Craig Medred has questioned my sponsorship of an initiative to ban bear baiting ("Baiting is traditional form of bear hunting," July 6), it is time for an explanation. I have always been for fair, respectful treatment of all wildlife. Perhaps Craig wasn't here in the late 1960s when, as a state senator, I waged a long battle to ban bounties -- even brought Charles Lindbergh to Juneau to address the Alaska Legislature on the need to eliminate bounties and the shooting of wolves from airplanes.

Then, just a few years ago, I co-sponsored a successful referendum to ban same-day airborne shooting of wolves, which the Legislature once again had authorized.

So my involvement in banning bear-baiting as a hunter's tool should be no surprise. My reasons are simple. Putting out a cache of food to lure a bear into the close range of a powerful rifle is the antithesis of "fair chase." To kill a bear, or any animal in that manner, is inhumane and beneath human dignity.

-- Lowell Thomas Jr. / Anchorage

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