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.

Great stories about wild critters in a Falmouth home

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 Thomas Urquhart has written an hilarious story about the wild critters that got into his Falmouth home. Just imagine, a skunk in the stove’s gas line, a raccoon with babies in the ceiling, a possum on the piano.

Well, you don’t have to imagine any of this, because it all happened at Thomas’ house, and a lot more.

Thomas’ story reminds me of a chapter in my first book, A Life Lived Outdoors, that tells about all the wild critters that got into our Mount Vernon home.

What is deer bait? Hunters need to know.

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 After reading my column about the new severe penalties for hunters who bait deer, and the expansion of the months when deer feeding is prohibited, a reader asked me if mineral blocks are considered to be bait. I sought clarification from DIFW and will give you their response in this column.

If you missed that previous column, it reported on the new law that takes away your hunting privilege for a year if you are caught using bait to lure in deer. But what was very surprising is that the legislature amended that bill, which originally called for a two-year suspension of hunting privileges for a second baiting offense, and required a lifetime loss of hunting privileges for that second offense.

These 90 second Nature Moments are fascinating

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Nat Wheelwright has started a fascinating series of 90 second videos titled “Nature Moments.” Nat is a Natural Science Professor at Bowdoin College and a Maine Audubon Trustee. His videos are posted on Maine Audubon’s website.

I was particularly intrigued by his video of the amazing and beautiful plants that took root after he stopped mowing his lawn. Yup, no more lawn mowing!

Here’s how they described this: “Mowing lawns costs time, burns fossil fuels, and produces a biological desert. When Nat let his grass grow, three dozen flower species appeared, attracting a diversity of insects that fed birds in this backyard.”

The Forgotten Lawmen by D.B. McCrea

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The Forgotten Lawmen by D.B. McCrea

DB McCrea, the author of The Forgotten Law Men – The Life and Adventures of a South Dakota Game Warden - has written a wonderful account of his 23 years as a game warden in South Dakota.

Actually, shortly after McCrea began his job they changed his title to conservation officer, something he never liked. Starting his career in a location that had not had a warden for a long time, he found himself in the land of poachers, some of whom were very dangerous.

Defending our hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage

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          Hunting, fishing, and trapping are key parts of Maine’s outdoor economy and an important part of our heritage. So it troubles me greatly when I hear or read ugly statements about these outdoor activities.

          In a column published here in August, Karen Coker of a new anti-hunting and anti-trapping group, WildWatch Maine, sharply criticized beaver trapping, claiming “Mainers are becoming increasingly intolerant of the brutal methods used to trap these charismatic animals.”

Hunting in Europe is amazingly different and challenging

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 Si Balch has traveled throughout Europe, mostly for forestry purposes, but he always comes home with amazing stories about hunting in these countries.

A while back I posted Si’s story about hunting in Italy. I also wrote a column about wild boar hunting in Italy, something I witnessed last fall when Linda and I were there.

Today, I’m going to share with you Si’s story about hunting in Germany and France. Here it is.

European Traditions Contrast with Maine

Audubon speech covers everything from moose to our outdoor heritage

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 In a recent speech at a Maine Audubon fundraiser, I talked about my hunting/fishing heritage, my career as an advocate for that heritage, and about my work at the legislature. I also spoke about some of the challenges we face, including saving our moose herd.

I want to share that speech with you today. Here it is.

Audubon Speech

When I took on the job of reviving the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, which had fallen on hard times, in 1991, the first person who reached out to me at the legislature was Beth Ahearn, the longtime lobbyist for Maine Audubon. Many of you probably know that Beth is now the lobbyist for the Maine Conservation Voters.

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