George Smith's blog

If you haven’t gotcha deer yet, read this column!

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Successful deer hunters – those who “get their deer” nearly every year – don’t depend on luck. If opening day is the first day you step into the woods, you’ve got little more than luck going for you. If you are not lucky enough to bag a deer on opening day, your odds deteriorate every day as the season progresses.

There are a few very easy steps you can take, however, to improve your chances and turn you into a skillful hunter who is not dependent on blind luck each season. Many Maine deer hunters don’t see a deer the entire season, and only 10 to 12 percent get a deer each year. Those who are successful year after year comprise a very small percentage of all deer hunters. They use all of the techniques outlined in this column.

Women hunters taking over the Maine woods

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                 When we moved to Mount Vernon 38 years ago, many of the deer tagged on opening day were registered by women – but not women who hunted. These women tagged the deer killed by their husbands, so the husbands could continue to hunt. One day, a young boy at an elementary school gathering announced, “My Mom got a huge buck on opening day. But she didn’t shoot it.” Too much information!

                Today, that has changed dramatically, and some of the most successful hunters in our community and throughout the state are women. Deirdre Fleming, the outdoor writer for Maine Today Media, wrote a great column recently about the increase in Maine women hunters. She reported, “The percentage of hunting licenses sold to women has grown steadily over the past 10 years, rising from 8.1 percent in 2005 to 12.4 percent in 2014.” That translates into 24,000 women hunting today in Maine.

To All the Deer I’ve Missed Before

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Another in my series of hunting stories, including missed shots and other mistakes.


“To all the deer I’ve missed before,

Who’ve traveled in the great outdoors,

I’m glad they came along,

I dedicate this song,

To all the deer I’ve missed before.”


Great stories about Vacationland - from a guy from away!

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 A special thank you goes to Down East Books for republishing David Morine’s book, Vacationland: A Half Century of Summering in Maine. I absolutely loved this book and have to say that David Morine has qualified himself as a real Mainer in these very entertaining stories. Most of the stories were published in an earlier edition, but David did write a few new ones for this edition.

David first arrived here in 1946, at the age of 3, when his parents rented a lakeside cabin in Fryeburg. He later purchased shore frontage and built camps on Horseshoe Pond and Kezar Lake, spending as much time here as he possibly could. David’s been recognized as an international conservationist and served for fifteen years as the head of land conservation for The Nature Conservancy in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Heart of Stone by Cheryl Blaydon

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                 Prudence Stone comes to Maine reluctantly, from her Caribbean home, after inheriting her grandmother’s  house on the Maine coast. She’s not comfortable here, had recently been left at the alter by her fiancé, and was anxious to get back to the Caribbean. But she never did.

                Author Cheryl Blaydon of East Boothbay , in her novel Heart of Stone published by North Country Press, gives us a look at this state we love, through the eyes of a main character from away, that is convincing and real. While it was the beauty of our state that grabbed Prudence initially, it was the people who kept her here.

Four grandchildren in the same family get deer on Youth Day

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                 Jim Robbins of Searsmont and four of his grandchildren experienced an amazing – and unprecedented – day of deer hunting on October 24, Maine’s Youth Deer Hunting Day. Jim described it in an emailed message to me as “fabulous.” It was all of that and more.

                The adventure began at 8:30 am when Jim’s ten-year-old grandson Will shot his first deer, hunting close to the Robbins Lumber mill along the St. George River in Searsmont. The deer was about 200 yards away and young Will made a terrific shot.

Apple Shed Bakery’s customers rave about the meals and baked goods.

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                As we picked out lunch and dinner items at the Apple Shed Bakery, customers were raving about the food. Wayne Niles told me he and his wife Diane love the chicken stew with dumplings. Marcie Hastings was disappointed that there’d be no more tomato pie. But she saved the day by telling owner Trina Beaulier where she could still get fresh tomatoes, and Trina promised to do that and call Marcie when the pies were ready. That’s the kind of customer service you get here.

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