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.

This tortuous hiking adventure is amazing and inspiring

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 You have to give Jeff Ryan credit for his determination, stamina, and love of the outdoors. It took Jeff 28 years to hike the Appalachian Trail, and many of his sectional hikes were, well, not much fun. That’s my opinion, only. He loved every hike, and that love and enjoyment comes through in his book, Appalachian Odyssey, published by Down East Books.

Over the years, Jeff endured terrible weather, injuries, and more, all with an amazingly positive attitude. Here’s how he described one hike.

Unforgettable Quebec fishing adventure with my wife

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                 Mainers are often reluctant travelers. Many have not even traversed the entire state in which they live.

                My folks had never been to Baxter Park until Linda and I purchased a camp near there. Few Mainers have been to Acadia National Park, even though every year millions visit there from all over the world.

                Aroostook County is unknown to most Mainers, its rolling hills of farmland and forests unseen. And I have talked with folks from northern Maine who had never been south of Bangor.

                My grandmother Edith Searles lived almost all of her long life in Lubec, staring across 10 miles of water to Grand Manan Island. And she never set foot on it.

You won’t believe the farmyard adventures of this Maine veterinarian

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 You won’t believe the farmyard adventures of this Maine veterinarian. He was trampled, dragged, mauled, and more by farm animals, especially horses.

I have to admit, Dr. Bradford Brown’s book, While You’re Here, Doc, published by Tilbury House, was a lot more interesting than I expected. Once I began reading, I couldn’t stop, spending an afternoon and evening racing through the non-stop astonishing stories – like this one about the final of six cows he was checking for pregnancy.

“I managed to lasso the last cow without much trouble. As I’d done with all the others, I ran for the truck bumper with my end of the rope. Then, somehow, before I got there the cow managed to tangle the rope around my right thigh.  Two seconds later she crashed through the flimsy fence of the corral, sending parts of it twenty feet into the air.

Unforgettable Quebec fishing adventure with my wife

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                 Mainers are often reluctant travelers. Many have not even traversed the entire state in which they live.

                My folks had never been to Baxter Park until Linda and I purchased a camp near there. Few Mainers have been to Acadia National Park, even though every year millions visit there from all over the world.

                Aroostook County is unknown to most Mainers, its rolling hills of farmland and forests unseen. And I have talked with folks from northern Maine who had never been south of Bangor.

                My grandmother Edith Searles lived almost all of her long life in Lubec, staring across 10 miles of water to Grand Manan Island. And she never set foot on it.

Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating by Lynn Plourde

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 Well, you know children don’t always behave. And that includes baby bears.

Lynn Plourde’s new book, Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating, is sure to become a classic. With wonderful illustrations by Teri Weidner, it’s no surprise that Lynn has given us another great book. After all, she’s written thirty children’s books including my favorite, A Moosey Christmas, in which the reindeer take the night off and moose pull Santa’s sleigh. I’ll be reading that one, as well as Baby Bear, to my 2 ½ year old granddaughter this Christmas.

In her new book, baby bear is having too much fun with his friends, a moose, owl, and hare, to hibernate with his parents for the winter. But oh, that cold and snow is something he did not anticipate! Nor did he realize there’s nothing for him to eat in the winter.

Well, it’s a great learning experience for him, for sure! If only it was this easy with our kids.

Island Deer Hunts Use Bait

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Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council is expected next week to approve a special two-week deer hunt in Eastport, and this Portland Press Herald story by Randy Billings may be of interest to the good folks in that Down East town.

I was surprised when the folks in Eastport, which is overrun with deer, removed from their proposal the opportunity to use bait to bring the deer into the stands designated by the town. Hunters must sit in those designated stands, without the opportunity to actually hunt through the town to find their deer. They are also limited to the use of bows. No guns.

In my mind, this is less an actual deer hunt and more a controlled deer kill, designed to reduce the number of deer in Eastport. And I am skeptical that it will significantly reduce those numbers, because the number of permits is low.

Perhaps over time, Eastport will look to Maine’s islands for guidance on how to effectively reduce deer populations. Randy’s story is a good place to start. And yes, these islanders use bait.

Driving deer to distraction

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                 Sometimes small changes in hunting laws bring big benefits. My big buck one year was the result of a small law change, proposed by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, that legalized deer driving by groups of no more than three hunters, as long as noise makers are not used.

                The deer driving statute was so strict that it prohibited even two hunters from planning and implementing a hunt in which one hunter tried to move deer toward a second hunter. Many Mainers hunt together this way, but technically they were violating the law.

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