George Smith's blog

Mysterious beast gets caught in Maine wildfire

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 Can you identify the mysterious beast above? He recently got caught in a wildfire.

Wildfire’s cohosts, Harry Vanderweide and George Smith, wrestled the beast into the guest chair and grilled him.

Judging the beast well-done, they turned their attention to Aislinn Sarnacki, whose outdoor columns in the Bangor Daily News are very popular. George and Harry acted out with Aislinn – ok, Acting Out is the name of her newspaper column.

They did not sign up for Aislinn’s “One Minute Hikes,” having figured out that the hikes were a lot longer than that!

Wildfire is produced by Maine Audubon and aired on Time Warner’s cable TV station (usually channel 9). It can be seen:

Wednesday at 7 pm

Friday at 7:30 m

Resident adult hunters will get fewer any-deer permits this year

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 NOTE: take the Sportsmen Say Survey questions about this issue, by clicking on the survey's link on this website, after you read this column! I will let the legislature know your opinions.

Many resident adult hunters who got 2013 any-deer permits won’t have one this year. A remarkable change in the deer lottery enacted last year by the Maine legislature allocated 25 percent of the any-deer permits to junior hunters, beginning with the 2014 lottery.

Twenty five percent of the any-deer permits currently go to landowners, 15 percent to nonresidents, and 2.5 percent to Superpack licensees. With the new requirement that 25 percent go to junior hunters, only a third of the permits will be available for resident adult hunters.

Salt Water Farm Café is just the place to linger over Sunday brunch.

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                Walking into the Salt Water Farm Restaurant at Rockport’s Union Hall felt like Paradise. While snow was falling and a brisk wind was blowing outside, doors opened to a brightly lit, cheery restaurant with jazz playing in the background. Rustic wooden tables are anchored by antique iron bases. Weathered barn board columns mix with high ceilings and contemporary hanging lights. And its white walls make this open space seem huge.

A solution to scary climate change predictions

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 Small Change, Big Gains by Thomas H. Stoner Jr.

I wore out a highlighter reading and marking passages in Thomas H. Stoner Jr.’s 500 page book, Small Change, Big Gains, subtitled Reflections of an energy entrepreneur.

The hefty tome not only scared the heck out of me about where we are driving our planet, but also gave me hope with a path to salvation for Planet Earth. The book is really all about a comprehensive solution to climate change, created by Project Butterfly, an entity organized by Stoner to address climate change problems.

The book is not an easy read. Lots of complex information about the current state of our planet, deep background on all current sources of energy, and tons of detail about the solution. I didn’t really get any momentum into the book until I got to page 331 and the chapter titled, “Coming of Age: Renewable Energy.”

Surprising survey responses are in on brook trout and wild game dinners

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 My thanks to those who completed the first two surveys in my new Sportsmen Say Survey, found on my website: I am delighted by the initial response to this new opportunity to make your voices heard, and look forward to gaining more participants as we progress. As promised, I have shared the results with the news media, legislators, and outdoor leaders.

The first survey question concerned a major issue before the legislature this session, protection of native and wild brook trout. Last week I posted a column in my outdoor news blog about the amazing result fashioned by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with the help of two working groups, one on bait fish and another on brook trout. The legislature’s IFW Committee will be briefed on the department’s proposed policy and plan for brook trout next Tuesday, February 11, and I will post the details of the plan that afternoon.

Here are the brook trout question and  survey responses.

Wild game public dinners are plentiful in Maine - and illegal

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 The newspaper headline caught my attention: “Wild game dinner serving boar, moose in Skowhegan.”

It is illegal to sell wild game in Maine. But wild game dinners are a tradition at some sporting clubs, and each year at the legislature, for Sportsmen’s Day, the Maine Trappers Association served beaver stew. It was a big hit.

Wild game can be legally served to the public, but the hosts of wild game dinners cannot charge for the event. They are allowed by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to seek “voluntary contributions.” And they must adhere to the labeling requirement, outlined this way in the current hunting law book:

A person may not possess any part or parts of a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey given to that person unless that gift bear, deer, moose or wild turkey is plainly labeled with the name and address of the person who registered it and the year it was registered.

Is Bill Green his real name and why is he on Wildfire?

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TV celebrity Bill Green, who covers the outdoors and all-things-Maine in an entertaining way on Bill Green’s Maine, seen every Saturday night on TV 6, is the guest in the current episode of Maine Audubon’s Wildfire.

My friend Harry Vanderweide and I host the show and have been eager to get Bill on. As expected, he was entertaining and engaging. We talked about a lot of things from his Bangor upbringing to some of his favorite guests and shows.

Harry’s first question was, “Is Bill Green your real name?” You’ll have to watch the show to hear the answer.

You can watch Wildfire on Time Warner’s statewide cable network (usually channel 9). It can be seen

Wednesday at 7 pm

Friday at 7:30 m

Saturday at 2:30 pm

Sunday at 9:30 pm.

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