George Smith's blog

Labrador is a brook trout angler's dream - Photo Essay

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 Harvey and Betty Calden are veteran sporting camp owners who offer the very best in hospitality and outdoor experiences, focused on hunting and fishing. Tim Pond Camps in Eustis, Maine was always Betty’s project while Harvey focused on their camps in northern Quebec and Labrador. In August of 1999 I took my son Josh, when he was 16, to Harvey’s Little Minipi Camp in Labrador and we had a phenomenal experience, catching huge brook trout. Here’s our story, with lots of photos.

Sportsmen step up to support extending firearms background checks

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                 Two accomplished and popular leaders of sportsmen have stepped up to support extension of background checks to all gun sales in Maine. Bucky Owen and Bill Vail, former Commissioners of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will lead a group of sportsmen who support the initiative.

                At a Tuesday morning press conference, representatives of the group, Maine Moms Demand Action, stood in front of boxes filled with petitions bearing the signatures of 85,436 citizens from all 503 Maine cities and towns, an impressive effort. One third of the signatures came from Maine’s Second Congressional District.

40 Paper in Camden is Exceptional

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 If you are enjoying the Samoset Resort’s ice bar this weekend, lucky you! If not, there’s still opportunity to do that next weekend. For two weekends every January, the Resort features this amazing structure and display, chiseled from 50,000 pounds of ice, and you really have to see it to believe it.

Walk my woodlot with me – Day One

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                 Hunting with a friend on my woodlot in November, I found myself stopping often to tell him a story about something that happened at that spot. Thinking about it later, I decided that would be a good way to share my hunting stories with you. So let’s begin to do that today, starting right in my home office.

                My 150 acre woodlot is located between Hopkins Stream and Route 41, while my house is a quarter mile away on Blake Hill Road. The woodlot is dedicated to my Dad. Up on Route 41 is a sign: The Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area. I access my lot from Route 41, by canoing down the stream, or by crossing the road from my house and hunting through the woodlots of two of my neighbors until I get to my woodlot.

Novel set in Baxter Park is powerful and insightful

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 Bryan Wiggins began visiting Baxter Park 34 years ago about ten years before Linda and I purchased our camp at Camp Phoenix just outside the northwest corner of the park, and clearly, he loves the park as much as we do. That’s why, when I learned that he’d written a novel set in Baxter Park, I was eager to read it.

I didn’t realize this would be a learning experience, but thanks to Bryan’s generosity in arranging for a free download of his book from Amazon, it was. I’ve not been eager to read books online because there is something special about holding a book in my hands as I read it. But hey, I guess it’s time to step up to the new technology! So I downloaded a Kindle reader onto my laptop computer, followed by Bryan’s book, Autumn Imago. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

My Suggestions for the Maine Legislative Session

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 With only a few issues and bills before you this session, I hope you will be able to devote some time to the issues and projects outlined in this memo.


Big Game Management Plans

Constitutional amendment to protect hunting re-launched at the Maine legislature

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 The Maine legislature may revive a proposal that legislators killed just last year: a Constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to hunt.

Four Constitutional amendments were proposed by legislators and sporting groups at the 2015 session. Two would have prohibited citizen ballot initiatives on fisheries and wildlife issues. The other two sought to guarantee the right to hunt and fish. The latter, by my research, were not worded correctly to actually achieve the sponsors’ goals.

Although the bills drew strong support from sporting groups and big turnouts at public hearings, the truth is that sportsmen didn’t have nearly enough support in either the House or Senate to win the necessary 2/3 vote to get these Constitutional amendments on the ballot. So most of the lobbyists for sporting groups quietly spread the word that the bills could be killed.

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