On Tuesday, I was canvassing with Question 1 supporters in Augusta, Maine, and today I am door-knocking in Waterville, another central Maine community. Last night I was with our state director, Katie Hansberry, in Caribou and Presque Isle, small towns in the far north and east of Maine, near the border with Canada. Both are considered to be rural communities that might have suspicions about the motives of Question 1, the ballot initiative to ban baiting, hounding and trapping of bears for sport or trophies. Yet, as we've found, there are so many wonderful, caring people working on the ballot measure, motivated solely by their interest in protecting bears and Maine's reputation of animal welfare and sportsmanlike hunting. And they are all over the state.
I feel quite comfortable reaching people anywhere and everywhere in Maine with our message of compassion and our convictions about setting reasonable restrictions on cruel and unsporting methods of bear hunting. There's nothing extreme about our message or goals, but there is something extreme and distressing about a bear-hunting program that allows trophy hunters to shoot fed, trapped or treed bears. These practices stack the deck so badly in favor of trophy hunting that the animals have very little chance.