George Smith's blog

Stop Complaining and Start Commenting on Fish Stocking Plans

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If you’ve been complaining, or even just concerned, about fish stocking on your favorite lake or pond, then it’s time to step up and speak out. And even if you are perfectly satisfied with the species and numbers of fish stocked in your favorite places, you ought to monitor new stocking plans when they are proposed.

Now, you have that opportunity. And the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has just made it easier for you to do this.

Proposed stocking plans that have been peer reviewed and are ready for public scrutiny and comment are now available on DIF&W’s website. You will find them here:

http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/reports/stocking/StockingProposals.htm

In addition to the agency’s plans to stock waters, you will also find information here if DIF&W is planning to stop stocking a water.

New Trail Camera Law Angers Hunters

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Many hunters have reacted negatively to the new law that requires the written permission of private landowners for the placement of trail cameras. The law also requires that each camera be labeled with the owner’s name and contact information.

There is some good news.  North Maine Woods, that manages 3 million acres of private land, and several large private landowners, are working on ways to expedite this process and make it easy to obtain their permission for the placement of cameras on their lands.

I have asked for information on their process, as soon as it is available, and will report that information here. I am also trying to find out how the Maine Warden Service intends to enforce this new law. My hope is that enforcement will occur only when a landowner complains about a camera on his or her property, but we’ll see.

It’s time to celebrate hunting, fishing, and public lands!

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You’ve got to get outside on September 28, and lots of groups are stepping up to make that day special for you. For starters, it is National Hunting & Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day. What a great excuse to go hunting or fishing on public lands!

But how about this: 3 days and more than 90 outdoor events and opportunities, all over Maine, on September 27, 28, and 29. There’s birding, photography, paddling our finest rivers and streams, hiking and biking, stargazing, mushrooming (one of my favorite activities), geocaching, a Yak attack, and an outdoor film festival.

You can follow the footsteps of Fly Rod Crosby (I’ve been there and done that and it’s really interesting), or take a family hike into Gulf Hagas. How about the Ferry Beach ecosystem scavenger hunt? Oh yea, there’s a ton of fun for kids at many of these events.

There’s even an event for dogs!

Bar Harbor isn't just for summer anymore

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Bar Harbor
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 We love to visit Bar Harbor in the fall, when most of the tourists have left. The weather is cooler and more comfortable, and our favorite places are less crowded.

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Food, fun, and famous people - in Thorndike!

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Don’t miss Maine Sportsman’s Night in Thorndike on Saturday, October 12 at Mount View High School. This will be an amazing event of food, fun, and famous people. Here’s a peak at what you can expect.

An expo filled with vendors. Seminars on sea duck and deer hunting and predator calling. A presentation on Unity College’s fascinating bear study (and yes, it’s still going on after that plane crash!).

You can bring your deer, moose, and bear skulls to be measured by an official of the Maine Antler & Skull Trophy Club. I’ve got one buck whose antlers made the club by a scant one-inch, and another that fell short by that same margin.

You’ll be entertained by the most entertaining game warden in history, John Ford, who will be signing copies of his two fabulous books. In the book review section of this website you can read my review of John’s books.

A Whale of a Week in Lubec

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Lubec
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 It was the perfect ending to a wonderful summer: a week in Lubec, including dinner at the Water Street Tavern, our favorite restaurant there, and a very exciting whale watching adventure with Campobello’s Island Cruises.

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Backtracking on our hunting and fishing memories

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Who among us doesn’t spend a lot of time backtracking on our trail of hunting and fishing memories? I certainly do, and so does V. Paul Reynolds.

It was a real pleasure recently to backtrack through Paul’s memories, in his new book Backtrack, published this year by Islandport Press. Paul’s tracks can be found all across Maine, in his jobs as general manager of the Bangor Daily News, spokesman for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and editor and publisher of Northwoods Sporting Journal.

Despite all of that, his has been a life lived outdoors. More than 50 great memories and moments, presented in these stories of his outdoor adventures, will entertain, inform, and inspire you – perhaps to write your own book of memories, perhaps to just get outside that day to hunt or fish. Or just maybe you will head to the kitchen to make Diane’s beerburger soup. Yummy!

Approaching my 65th birthday, I paid close attention to Tree Stands for Seniors. Good advice, Paul!

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