George Smith's blog

Fondly remembering our favorite inns of 2014

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Charming hosts, comfortable rooms, and fantastic food made 2014 a memorable year for the Travelin Maine(rs). This week we’ll tell you about our best experiences of the year at seven outstanding inns. Next week, we’ll give you an accounting of the restaurants that made our year special.

These are places you’ll want to put on your travel list for 2015.

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Maine must restore its hunting and fishing reputation and industry

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 Maine must restore its hunting and fishing reputation and industry        

                It’s time to market Maine’s hunting and fishing and restore out state’s reputation as THE place to hunt and fish. An Act to Market Maine’s Hunting and Fishing Opportunities, sponsored by Representative Robert Duchesne, is designed to do just that.

Ice Shack Raffle Promises Better Fishing

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               You may win an amazing ice fishing shack. And you will definitely contribute to an improvement in Maine’s fishery.

            Raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $20, and the lucky winner gets a very creatively constructed ice shack. All who buy tickets contribute to the good work of Maine’s Fishery Improvement Network (FIN). 

            “There have never been ice shacks whose purpose is more friendly to fish,” said Pat Sirois. “This is a great project to not only raise money but to raise awareness of the stream connectivity issues. This is a win for fish, snowmobilers, and fishermen.”

Correcting PETA’s Myths About Deer

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              On Friday morning, November 18, 2011, I nearly choked on my breakfast cereal when I opened my morning newspaper and saw, spread all across the top of the op-ed page, a diatribe against deer hunters by Paula Moore of PETA, a radical national animal rights organization.

Given the fact that Maine sportsmen just spent more than $2.5 million to defeat a ballot initiative from another national group, the Humane Society of the United States, perhaps this column, originally published in 2011, will be of interest.

My highly-anticipated deer hunt that morning was nearly spoiled as I read Moore’s opinion that “increased deer activity associated with hunting is a major factor in the rise in deer-collisions in the last three months of the year.”

A fascinating, informative, and historic look at Maine's fisheries management

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                Do you think you know a lot about Maine’s inland fisheries? So did I until I read Suzanne Auclair’s amazing new book. The Origin, Formation & History of Maine’s Inland Fisheries Division is a thorough, often-in-their-own-words, fascinating examination of the important and historical work of our state’s fisheries biologists.

                This book is a treasure and will be the place future fisheries managers and anglers go to understand the state’s complicated evolution of fish and fisheries management. Suzanne spent two long years creating this book, and here’s how she describes it:

Great food and a beautiful restaurant within sight of LL Bean!

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                Going to LL Bean to shop for Christmas? Don’t drive by the Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro just north of and across the street from Bean! This restaurant is charming and beautiful and the food is bountiful and delicious. This is a real find.

                We enjoyed one of our best meals of the year here two weeks ago. The restaurant was surprisingly packed for a Sunday night, yet no one hurried us and we lingered with our friends Ed and Cate Pineau of Vassalboro, who recommended the Tuscan.

Deer Wintering Areas – Going, Going, Gone

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                A new plan for dealing with an expected devastating outbreak of the Spruce Budworm insect gives deer hunters little to cheer about. The state’s effort to rebuild the deer herd in the north woods appears doomed.

                This is my second outdoor news report on a new risk assessment and plan, published on November 9, 2014, to deal with the expected arrival in Maine of the Spruce Budworm. The plan was created by a Spruce Budworm Task Force led by Robert Wagner, Director of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Forestry Unit, Patrick Strauch, Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council, and Doug Denico, Director of the Maine Forest Service.

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