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.

The Last Minute Moose

Blog Showcase Image: 

 This is a terrific moose hunting story, written by my friend James Cote who managed the referendum campaign that successfully defended bear hunting, and who is now very active in a variety of sportsmen’s issues and projects. I was particularly pleased by the key role played by my friends Greg Drummond and Ron Joseph.

The Last Minute Moose, by James Cote, October 15, 2015


Some define the last minute of Maine’s annual moose hunt as those waning minutes before sundown on the last day of the hunt when those moose hunters not fortunate enough to harvest a moose feel their chances slipping away.


For the purposes of this story, we will define the last minute as the time when the moose permit holder’s hunting party is scheduled to head home and leave him alone to find his moose for the remainder of the week. 

Blue fishing like you’ve never experienced it!

Blog Showcase Image: 

Rooting around in some old stories I wrote about deer hunting years ago, I discovered this October, 1988 story I wrote for The Maine Sportsman. There’s a version of this story in Chris Potholm’s wonderful book, “Tall Tales from the Tall Pines,” published in September by Down East Books. You may think Chris’ amazing tall tale about a blue fishing experience is fictional, but it’s the mostly truth. Here’s how I told it.

                He was sitting in the hot tub when his wife Sandy reported, “Bluefish are in the bay in front of the house.”

Killing the moose was the easiest part of the hunt

Blog Showcase Image: 

                At moose/deer/and grouse camp, it all starts with breakfast, the eggs and bacon sizzling, the stories flying, the laughing and (sometimes) lying going on and on. But then, it’s time to get serious and hit the road. At moose camp in October, we had to leave the camp at 4:30 am for an hour and a half ride to the hunting district to our north where Scott Ireland had won a permit in the June lottery. Scott’s friend Greg James was his subpermittee.

Here’s why Maine will never restrict deer antler size

Blog Showcase Image: 

Senator David Burns (R-Washington County) sponsored a bill to require deer hunters to only shoot bucks with a minimum antler size. Other states have done this and there’s even a group of hunters in Maine who have been advocating for it for many years.

But we’ll never have it because the wildlife biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are strongly opposed. Gerry Lavigne, during his many years as DIF&W’s deer biologist, felt it would be a mistake, and nothing has changed since Gerry’s retirement a few years ago.

At the public hearing on Senator Burns’ bill this year, Judy Camuso, DIF&W’s Wildlife Division Director, delivered the agency’s testimony in opposition to the bill. Judy provided an excellent explanation of why the department believes antler restrictions would be a mistake. Here is her testimony.

Camuso’s Testimony

Tall Tales from the Tall Pines by Christian P. Potholm

Blog Showcase Image: 

 Chris Potholm’s tall tales may be more truth than fiction. Tall Tales from the Tall Pines is a book of hunting and other outdoor stories that will be read, re-read, and put up on the shelves with outdoor books that are handed down from generation to generation. And not just because some of the stories are based on true amazing experiences that happened to author Christian Potholm – some of them with me.

Wild animals plague Mainers and Game Wardens

Blog Showcase Image: 

While Mainers love wildlife, those critters cause lots of problems for all of us. Maine game wardens handle 6,000 calls for help with nuisance wildlife each year, an astonishing 1/3 of all the calls they get. A 2013 report on public attitudes toward nuisance wildlife found that Maine led the 13 Northeastern states in nuisance wildlife problems. Thirty five percent of Mainers who were surveyed reported that’d had problems with wildlife in the past year.

I’ve had plenty of problems myself over the years. My book, A Life Lived Outdoors, published by Islandport Press last year, related the some of the battles I’ve fought with wildlife inside my home. I’ll give you that story at the end of this report. We’ve had snakes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and more, all inside our house. And of course, I’ve had lots of battles with wild critters outside the house from woodchucks to red squirrels.

You better pay attention to these new hunting and fishing laws!

Blog Showcase Image: 

 While you may think the legislature didn’t accomplish much this year, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee churned out a whole lot of work, resulting in dozens of law changes that govern our favorite outdoor pursuits. Thankfully, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has provided us with a summary of all those law changes.

They range from the transfer of any-deer permits to junior hunters and moose permits to family members, to increases in fees for hunting licenses and snowmobile registrations. There’s a good explanation of how the elimination of the concealed weapon permit requirement impacts those who are hunting. There are a lot of changes in licensing and registration laws.

And then there are the major changes, such as eliminating the minimum age for hunting and a complete rewrite of the laws governing possession of exotic animals. I have written extensively about both of those issues in previous outdoor columns.

Site by Fieldstone Media