George's Outdoor News

George’s new outdoor issues blog. He goes all over the state. He listens. And he reports on issues of concern to sportsmen, conservationists, and environmentalists.

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:

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.

Maine trappers get caught by Canada Lynx

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                 Two down, one to go. Barely three months after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an incidental take permit (ITP) for Canada Lynx to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, two of the three Lynx Maine trappers were allowed to kill in the next 15 years are already dead.

                And so is the ITP. Or at least, DIF&W has had to implement substantial new limits on trapping in the huge area governed by the federal permit. And one more dead lynx could result in the ITP being revoked.

ITP

Spruce Budworm threatens deer yards and other fish and wildlife habitat

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            A new risk assessment and plan for dealing with the expected arrival in Maine of the very damaging Spruce Budworm is sobering for all who love Maine’s fish and wildlife, especially for those of us who had hoped that the deer herd in the north woods might be rebuilt. Wild trout advocates should also be concerned.

            This column is the first of two that examines the report, recommendations, and plan. Today we’ll provide an overview and give you access to the entire 90 page report. Tomorrow I’ll report on the details of the plan’s assessment and plan for deer wintering areas.

Senator Saviello Tackles Turkeys - Again

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               We’re coming back for what we didn’t get last time, hoping for gobbling good success. Actually, the turkey bill I proposed and Senator Tom Saviello sponsored last session was remarkably successful. But there were a couple of key things we didn’t get, and we’ll be back for them this session.

                An Act to Simplify Turkey Hunting, sponsored by Senator Tom Saviello, would:

1)     

Authorize tagging of turkeys on the website of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife or via telephone to the agency. – This was in last session’s bill.

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