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.

Moose: big game animal, tourist attraction, and a disaster waiting to happen.

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How many moose are too many moose?

State Trooper Dennis Quint, responding to a car-moose collision in July, collided with a moose on Route 1 in Cyr Plantation. Fortunately, with some cuts on his head, he was ok. So were the folks in the car crash to which Quint was responding.

Others have not been as lucky. Just days before Quint’s collision, newspapers reported the death of a Brewer man who hit a moose in Howland, and another collision in Monson. That one involved David Richards, the exceptional director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan.

David was lucky. The moose landed right on top of his small Hyundai sedan, trapping him inside the car with a variety of injuries including cuts and bruises to his head. But he survived relatively unharmed, a miracle, really.

Baby Ada’s screeching brings deer out of the woods

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 My 3 month old granddaughter, Ada Claire Smith, was wailing away on my shoulder, so I stepped out onto the second-story deck of our son Josh and daughter-in-law Kelly’s Bridgewater, Massachusetts home, thinking the change of scenery might quiet her. Unfortunately not.

As she continued to screech, I was startled when a doe deer burst out of the bushes from the woods in back of the house, a look of alarm on her face, and dashed to the stairs leading up to the deck. She looked up at us and snorted. I thought she was going to come right up the stairs, and I’d started to back up toward the door into the house when she turned and leaped back toward the woods.

But the deer stayed on the lawn, darting all over the place, stopping suddenly here and there, pawing up the ground, looking up at us, and snorting. Finally, she ran back into the woods and I took a deep breath.

Sportsmen are vulnerable on bear hounding and trapping

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Sportsmen are vulnerable on bear hounding and trapping, making the defeat of the referendum that would ban bear trapping and bear hunting with bait and dogs more difficult. The Humane Society of the United States will focus its fall campaign on hounding and trapping – emphasizing that “Maine is the only state that allows all three practices.” That’s true only because we’re the only state that allows bear trapping.

It’s much easier to defend baiting. The majority of states that have bear hunts allow baiting. Some states even allow hunters to bait deer. But the fact that Maine allows bears to be baited but not deer (or even turkeys) invites nonhunters to question the fairness of baiting.

It's time to celebrate Tom Hennessey's new book - and you are invited!

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 Tom Hennessey has combined a talent for art and the skills of an outdoor writer to create his own special place in Maine. In Leave Some For Seed, his new book published this month by Islandport Press, he’s done it again, with wonderful stories and amazing drawings and paintings.

On Thursday, August 28, from 6 pm to 8 pm, you are invited to a celebration for Tom’s new book at the Penobscot Country Conservation Association in Brewer. Tom will decorate the club house with his art, there will be a plentiful supply of beverages and food, and best of all, you can get an autographed copy of the book and hear Tom talk about it.  It’s going to be a lot of fun and I encourage you to join us that night.

Your pet is unhealthy and unhappy, says former Veterinarian

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Got a pet? Former Veterinarian Charles Danten says he or she is probably unhealthy and definitely unhappy. Perhaps that smile you see on your pet’s face is actually a grimace.

Slaves of our Affection, subtitled The Myth of the Happy Pet, exposes the dark and disastrous underbelly of the pet world. And it ain’t pretty.

Criticism of LePage Brings Wild Crazy Just Plain Wrong Charges

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I’ve suffered the slings and arrows of criticism in nearly all of my jobs over the last 40 years. It comes with the territory when you are active politically, when you are willing to share your opinions in such public ways (including once a week for 24 years in an editorial column in two daily newspapers and for 14 years on a TV talk show), and when – yes – you dare to speak the truth.

But even I was astonished by the false and ridiculous comments and charges posted at the end of my recent outdoor news blog column about Paul LePage’s broken promises to sportsmen. Many of those comments found their way onto Facebook pages. So – against my better judgment, because I know this will only encourage those who made them, I will respond to those comments and charges, mostly because so many of my friends have asked me to do this.

LePage Should Not Get Votes of Maine Sportsmen or SAM’s endorsement

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Governor Paul LePage does not deserve a good grade from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, nor should he get the group’s valuable endorsement for his reelection campaign. And if you are a Maine sportsman who plans to vote for the Governor, you really ought to take a closer look at his record and performance.

As SAM’s Board of Directors approaches its interviews with the three candidates for governor, the group faces a major challenge in figuring out how to deal with the incumbent, who broke key promises that he made to the organization in 2010.

As SAM’s executive director at the time, I prepared the candidate survey and spent a couple of hours with Paul LePage and his campaign manager, John Norris, first in their office and later in mine, going over the survey in detail and answering LePage’s questions. He understood what he was promising. And I believed him.

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