This is the only agency in the country that allows bear baiting, hounding and trapping. Essentially, it operates a bear farming program, dumping seven million pounds of junk food into Maine's woods each year, to grow the bear population and to teach them to seek out human foods. With the deck stacked so badly against the bears, out-of-state hunters need waste little time to get a "guaranteed kill" of a trophy bear, essentially by hunting right on top of a garbage pile.
This political campaign has culminated in a recent television advertisement created by the IF&W;, featuring the agency's employees. The ad not only attacks Question 1's merits, but also hurls personal attacks at supporters of Question 1 and accuses them of nefarious motives.
The IF&W;'s commissioner, Chandler Woodcock, himself launched this campaign in the fall of 2013, when he appeared at an opposition kick-off rally held on the steps of the agency's headquarters, during business hours. As he stood flanked by uniformed IF&W; employees and Question 1 opposition groups, Woodcock encouraged the crowd and assembled media to reject the measure. Woodcock did not confine his statements to science and facts about bears, but rather argued that Question 1 was being advanced by "a group of well-funded, out-of-state activists who are more concerned about advancing their agenda than they are the welfare of our own residents, our traditions, and the natural resources economy." He also bragged that "ten years ago, this same referendum question, funded by the same national animal rights group was defeated at the ballot box."