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.

Hunting Works for Maine Launches New Organization

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                From sporting goods stores to sporting camps and gas stations to country cafes, Maine hunters provide an important economic boost to thousands of businesses statewide. And that’s just part of the story you’ll be hearing from a new organization, Hunting Works for Maine.

                Supported by national organizations including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Hunting Works initiative has been launched in 11 states, Maine being the 11th to join this important effort. Washington will be number twelve when Hunting Works in Washington kicks off later this month.

Hunting Works for Maine - Frequently Asked Questions

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 Hunting Works for Maine

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Hunting Works for Maine?

Hunting Works for Maine is a local, grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting, shooting, and the economics derived from these activities. Members are advocates for public policy who support jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, we explain the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Maine.

Who is sponsoring this effort?

This effort is being sponsored by concerned organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Fishing from a kayak just got a whole lot easier!

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Linda and I purchased a couple of Old Town’s loon kayaks many years ago, and liked them so much we purchased a third one two years later so our kids could join us on the water. Almost immediately, I started fishing from the kayak, particularly on the Kennebec River between Waterville and Sidney, a section of the river where boating is nearly impossible due to shallow water, lots of rocks, and a series of rapids.

I would fish about half way to Sidney, to a series of rapids, and then paddle back to Waterville. I could return to the launch site in about an hour of paddling. I did try fly fishing for the smallmouth bass there, but found that to be difficult from the kayak, so I mostly stuck to my lightweight spinning road. The kayak is very maneuverable and I could even get into a few side waters in it. And yes, I caught tons of fish.

No, you cannot shoot or poison my cat!

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I should have known better. Cat lovers can be brutal. When my friend Paul Jacques, as a Maine legislator, proposed that cats be licensed like dogs, he got clobbered. Yesterday, when I reported that Australia has established a goal of shooting or poisoning 2 million feral cats, I got clobbered.

“George Smith - it would appear from your article that there are not enough wild animals to satisfy your desire to kill that you want to start in on cats. You sound like a scrum bag to me,” wrote one reader.

My reputation as a Maine sportsmen came under attack by several readers. “I’d sooner spay or eliminate the two legged hunters to be honest. It is not a cat fault it has to hunt... it’s all on humans.  We are putting the blame on the wrong species,” wrote one reader.

Two million cats to be shot and poisoned

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I was researching the feral cat issue in Maine when a story appeared in the Washington Post announcing that the Australian government plans to kill up to 2 million feral cats by 2020, in a last desperate attempt to save dozens of native species that face extinction because these cats are killing them.

Throughout Australia, feral cats will be baited, shot, and poisoned in a program funded by the government which claims the killings will be carried out in as “humane and effective” a manner as possible. Since being introduced by Australia’s first white settlers, feral cats have grown in both number and size.

Perhaps this will be a wakeup call for Maine. Earlier this month, I read a news story on a central Maine animal shelter that noted the shelter caught feral cats, neutered them, and then “returned them to the wild.” The report said the program “has been successful.” Indeed. I wonder by whose standard that success is managed? Certainly not by our song birds!

Holbrook’s Lobster Wharf & Grill in Harpswell

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Harpswell
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 If the stunning ocean-front location doesn’t draw you to Holbrook’s in Cundy’s Harbor, the food certainly will!

George

                My sister Edie and her son Ezra joined us for a terrific sea-side lunch here, allowing us to sample lots of different items on the extensive menu. Edie lives right across the street from Holbrook’s and eats here often. Now I know why!

Maine Hunting license fees going up – for a good cause

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                All hunting licenses issued by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will be increased by $1 in 2016 – and before you start complaining, consider how the money will be spent.

                This was a bill proposed by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, an unprecedented bill for the organization, as SAM’s Executive Director Dave Trahan testified at the public hearing, “This bill is a first for SAM in that we are asking for a fee increase.” Calling the bill, “one of the most important of the session,” Dave said, “It solves many chronic funding issues at the Department and reinforces DIF&W’s role in referendums.”

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