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.

National Expert chosen to improve communications and marketing of fish and wildlife

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Mark Duda has worked on more than 1000 marketing, communications, and public relations research, plans, and projects involving fisheries and wildlife, for state agencies, universities, businesses, and all the major hunting and fishing national organizations. And now he’s coming to Maine.

Our Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has launched a very-much-needed and very-exciting project to improve its communications with the public and, eventually, grow its market. In the Request for Proposals that the agency advertised, they noted, “In order to maintain and enhance current programs, mandates, and projects, MDIFW must continue to maintain support for its programs amongst its current constituents while generating new support from the general public who value wildlife and its associated recreational opportunities.”

My Naked Safari is not what you think!

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Peter Popieniuck is a lucky sportsman. Not just in the fish and wildlife he has harvested, but in the adventures he’s enjoyed from Maine to Africa. His autobiography is timely, given the recent unfortunate incidents with big game hunters who killed African lions. For the record, Peter killed no lions.

Peter’s book, My Naked Safari – from Maine to Africa – Adventures of an Amateur Sportsman, published by North Country Press, is a very good read.

Peter’s story is of special interest to Mainers because many of his adventures were with Maine guides, and his favorite place on earth seems to be his camp on Lower Richardson Pond, just west of Rangeley. His hunting trip to Africa is certainly an amazing story, but I most enjoyed his trips to places I’ve been myself, most especially the Leaf River in northern Quebec.

Surprising opinions expressed on outdoor issues from moose to brook trout

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Moose and private land access have been major issues this year for readers of this outdoor news column, and it’s time to share with you the views of readers on these and a few other important issues including brook trout.

The Sportsmen Say Survey on my website,, is sponsored by Moody’s Collision Centers and named for Gene Letourneau, whose Sportsmen Say column appeared in southern Maine’s daily newspapers every day for 50 years.


A series of Sportsmen Say Survey questions on moose found strong agreement on two issues. 68 percent think Maine’s moose population is in decline, while 32% do not. I want to know where those 32% are seeing moose these days!

How do you think DIF&W's increased revenue should be spent?

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 Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, ATV registrations and the moose lottery increased this year by nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($700,250).

Hunting and fishing combination license revenue was up 6% over last year, an increase of $222,443.  Fishing license revenue is up by 7% over last year, generating $5,591,188 in revenue. And ATV registrations continue to increase, generating a 6% increase in revenue. Overall, the department generated $22,169,289 in revenue from the sale of licenses, registrations and permits, up 3% from last years $21,469,039. DIF&W’s fiscal year ended on June 31.

SAM Sportsman's Congress - Learning by looking back

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One of the best things I did during my 18 years as executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine was to organize an annual Sportsman’s Congress, bringing together leaders of the groups representing sportsmen, environmentalists, and landowners, for a day-long examination of key issues coming up in the next twelve months.

I stumbled onto a news report on one of these events, conducted during Governor John Baldacci’s time in Augusta. Here it is. It’s sometimes a good thing to look back. You will note that we’re still fighting many of the same issues.

News Report

Boy escapes poverty by living life outdoors in Maine

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                The cover photo will grab you. It features a young woman in a dress, wearing a red felt hat, holding a dead fox in one hand and a rifle in the other, with a dead deer hanging two feet from her, just in front of the clothes line. Bud Simpson’s mother didn’t bag the fox or deer, and the hat and rifle were not hers, but obviously, she was game for anything her family came up with.

Hunting Works for Maine Launches New Organization

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                From sporting goods stores to sporting camps and gas stations to country cafes, Maine hunters provide an important economic boost to thousands of businesses statewide. And that’s just part of the story you’ll be hearing from a new organization, Hunting Works for Maine.

                Supported by national organizations including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Hunting Works initiative has been launched in 11 states, Maine being the 11th to join this important effort. Washington will be number twelve when Hunting Works in Washington kicks off later this month.

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