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.

Fun in Boothbay Harbor

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Boothbay Harbor
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                A sunny September day in the Boothbay Harbor area featured a lengthy visit to the fascinating Botanical Gardens, and a great lunch on the deck at Tug’s Pub on Robinson’s Wharf in Southport, just a few minutes from downtown Boothbay Harbor.

                Seals cavorted in the harbor as we enjoyed a very tasty lunch, starting with Linda’s favorite Geaghan Brother’s Honey Blonde brew.  The menu of seafood dishes is lengthy, as you might expect, but there are lots of other choices from burgers to roast beef and chicken wraps.

Wildfire focuses on what the legislature did and didn’t do

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The new edition of our TV Talk show Wildlife, which airs for the first time tonight, features two outstanding state legislators: Senator Tom Saviello and Representative Bob Duchesne.

We talked about what’s at stake in this election, and our biggest successes and disappointments in the last legislative session. Cohost James Cote and I enjoyed the very lively discussion about everything from mining to landowner rights to forest harvesting to fish hatcheries.

Moose will be gone from this state in 20 years

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 “That’s right, in less than 20 years moose will be gone from this state save for a remnant population. How sad of a legacy we are leaving our grandchildren.”

Those are the words of Eric Orff in his New Hampshire Fish & Wildlife News published in the October 2016 edition of the Northwoods Sporting Journal.

As we approach the end of Maine’s first week of moose hunting, this sobering news from New Hampshire is certainly troubling. New Hampshire’s moose population, according to Orff, has declined from 7500 to 3500, due to warmer winters and ticks.

“An ongoing UNH/Fish and Game moose study (found that there) was an average of 42,000 ticks on each moose. Moose calves cannot support those numbers and 81 percent of the moose calves died last winter along with nearly 25 percent of adult cows,” reported Orff.

Remembering our 2015 trip to Italy

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There’s a lot more going on in Maine’s forests than you know about

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                 The Pine Tree Camp on North Pond in Rome hosted a fantastic SWOAM/Maine Tree Farm Forestry Field Day on September 10, and I was very glad I decided to attend. I thought I knew a lot about what’s going on in our forests, including the programs and projects currently underway, but boy, did I learn a lot at this great event, the 62nd annual forestry field day.

                Special thanks to the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine for alerting me to this event. As the owner of a 150 acre woodlot and a SWOAM member, I find their work and services to be very valuable.

Awesome mounted fish – and fishing stories – at Rangeley B&B

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                 I first met Rob Welch at the annual meeting of the Maine Woods Consortium, a group that works to improve the rural Maine economy. We hit it off immediately, because Rob is an avid angler in one of my favorite regions, Rangeley, where I’ve spent a lot of time fishing over the years.

                So Linda and I scheduled a travel column visit to the Pleasant Street Inn B&B owned by Rob and his wife Jan. The 5 room B&B is wonderful, as is the hospitality. Rob’s a retired school principal and Jan teaches fourth grade math at the Rangeley school.

Predictions for grouse, woodcock, and turkey hunting

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 Grouse hunters may be frustrated this year, depending on where they hunt, but predictions for an increase in woodcock are exciting, and of course, turkey populations have exploded.

Kelsey Sullivan wrote an interesting and informative article about DIF&W’s grouse research, for the North Maine Woods magazine, and I’ll include that article at the end of this column.

I asked DIF&W’s Brad Allen for predictions for grouse hunters this fall, and here’s what Brad told me.

“My thoughts are that grouse hunting and success will be mixed or spotty this fall but at least average statewide…’s why….if turkey production is an indication of successful  grouse hatch we should be in great  shape….I predicted an excellent turkey hatch given the drought we experienced in May! 

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