Most Hunters Prefer Fair Chase;
Those Who Bait are too
Lazy to Hunt
Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / January 18,
Daily News recent article regarding submission of 33,500
names for an initiative banning the egregious practice
of bear baiting was gratifying ("Bear baiting
opponents deliver signatures aplenty," Jan. 9). Contrary to the U.S. Sportsmen's
Alliance and Alaska Outdoor Council, bear baiting is not a hunter versus non-hunter
issue. In fact, two primary initiative sponsors are master guides, and the most
extensive poll on bear baiting revealed 55 percent of hunters disapproved of
baiting. The Sportsmen's Alliance spokesman indicated this initiative threatened
hunters' rights nationwide and "could lead to the death of hunting." This hyperbole
is totally false. Bear baiting is illegal in all but nine states and most Canadian
provinces, yet hunting other than baiting still thrives in Oregon, Washington
and other states where initiatives banned it.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports less than 20 percent of black bears
are killed over bait, and only 2 percent of hunters bait bears. Fortunately most
hunters believe in fair chase, contrary to the AOC's position that baiting is
ethical because "hunters can clearly see which animal they're shooting." Skilled
sportsmen who stalk game know what they are shooting!
Using spoiled meat, syrup-covered dog food and pastries, pouring fryer grease
on the ground and burning honey to attract bears is not really hunting. Garbage
piles in the woods also attract brown bears. One master guide described bear
baiters succinctly -- most are simply too lazy to really hunt!
-- Edgar Bailey, Wildlife Biologist / Homer
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