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.

Maine outdoor writer pens great story of her first-ever hunt

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It was my privilege to introduce Maine Today Media outdoor writer Deirdre Fleming to hunting, accompanying her on her first-ever deer hunt the first week of November. I’m now calling her DEERdre. Her story of our hunt, published on the front page of the Maine Sunday Telegram yesterday, was exceptionally good. You can read it here.

Today, I’m going to tell you the rest of the story. Well, some of the rest of the story. Let’s start with a correction. Deirdre cleaned up my act a bit when she wrote that when those small deer stepped out into the field, I whispered “deer.” Actually, I loudly whispered, “Shoot! Shoot!”

Swimming for the big buck

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 Another in my series: Game Mistakes    

                This mistake had a happy ending.

                For years I had a favorite spot in woods near the far corner of a small local pond. I could sit inside a rock formation and the deer had only a narrow pathway to go past me along the shore. There were always buck scrapes there, a sure sign that a buck will be along.

                It was late November and very cold. I spotted the buck quite a ways up in the woods, and sure enough, he came right to a scrape and straddled it. He was facing me, so I waited until he turned and continued on his way to take my best shot.

Talking about a life lived outdoors with Senator Tom Saviello

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Recently I was a guest on Senator Tom Saviello’s cable TV show, the Bow Tie Boys. We spent the half hour talking about what we love about our state, focused on stories from my book, A Life Lived Outdoors, published last year by Islandport Press.

You can purchase my book from any bookseller, online at, amazon, or even from me if you’d like an autographed copy (send $19 to cover the book cost plus shipping to George Smith, 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, and be sure to tell me how you’d like the book autographed).

And you can get a good idea of what the book is all about by listening to Tom’s show. Enjoy!

The signs of country life in Maine

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When the folks at Domain.ME offered me an opportunity to provide a post about Maine to help spread the word about their services, which offers website domain names ending with .ME, I knew just the column to connect the two. This column is in my book, “A Life Lived Outdoors,” published in 2014 by Islandport Press in Yarmouth. My intention is to highlight the unique features of our state while sharing with you why a .ME domain name is great for Maine residents, both for personal and business use. Now, I should be clear, .ME domain names aren’t the official domain names of Maine, but they are a perfect expression of who we are, a state of ME.


Wouldn't you love to live closer to the ground?

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                 Here’s what Thomas McGuane says about the Tomine family: They share the challenge and fulfillment offered by the natural world because they find, gather, and catch so much of it… These are buoyant people, and it’s remarkable how absorbed the children are in foraging and how proud they are to eat and share the results.

                Dylan Tomine’s book, Closer to the Ground, published by Patagonia, is well written and engaging, a book I will reread because I learned so much and enjoyed the book so much. Tomine, his wife Stacy and kids Skyla and Weston, define the term “Outdoor Family.” They escaped from the city of Seattle to a house in the woods on an island in Puget Sound, to live “a life more connected to the earth.”

Maine highways are moose-ly safe – until there’s a moose in the road

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                 “It was pitch black,” Frank Gatto told reporter Joe Lawler. “A split second before I hit it, I realized it was a moose. All I could see was its belly and legs. We went right underneath that moose, took out its legs.”

                Despite a successful effort by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to reduce collisions with moose by increasing hunting permits in some areas of the state, collisions still happen. And when those collisions involve a moose, injuries can be serious. From 2001 to 2014, 25 people were killed in moose crashes.

How to talk to the public about hunting

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                 Words Matter. That’s the headline in a special section of a report from Responsive Management titled, “How to Talk to the Public About Hunting.” In my last outdoor news column, I told you about some of Responsive Management’s interesting research about the public’s attitudes toward hunting. Today, I’ll share their recommendations for how hunters can use that research to improve their communications with the public and build more support for hunting. And yes, we must do that. Each of us.

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