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.

Wildfire goes to Cuba with Carroll and Lila Ware

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 The new episode of Wildfire, starting on July 5, features a fascinating talk with Master Maine Guides Carroll and Lila Ware of Fins & Furs Adventures in Skowhegan, starting with their new fishing trip to Cuba. Carroll is headed there soon to check it all out, subsequent to accompanying his clients on what will certainly be an amazing angling adventure.

From Quebec and Labrador to the Bahamas and Chile, Carroll and Lila offer truly unique hunting and fishing adventures, and we talked about many of them. They also host Maine Guides Training Programs, giving us a chance to discuss current guiding issues and concerns.

Timber Harvesting in Wildlife Management Area Generates Controversy

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 “We want to create the best wildlife habitat we can.” Those words, from Keel Kemper, a wildlife biologist with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, summed up his agency’s goals for the Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hallowell, and helped critics understand a proposed timber harvesting plan that has generated quite a bit of concern and controversy.

The Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area is 915 acres in size and features a 107 acre pond as well as 808 acres of upland habitat with is predominantly mixed wood forest. This WMA is set to undergo its first timber harvesting project in more than a decade, covering about 70 percent of the area, prompting questions from folks who enjoy this area about the size and scope of the initiative.

Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area Timber Harvesting Plan

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Crappie messages issued on invasive fish species

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                 The mixed messages about invasive fish species could not have been more evident than these summer of 2012 headlines from Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

                “A Popular Newcomer: Black Crappie,” trumpeted one headline in DIF&W’s weekly newsletter. “MDIFW Encouraging the Taking of Largemouth Bass,” headlined an agency press release.

                The latter effort came after the discovery of illegally introduced largemouth bass in the Grand Falls Flowage. The “popular crappie” is also an illegally introduced species now found in more than 300 Maine waters.

Great shooting instructions and hunting stories in Brad Varney’s new book

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Brad Varney’s new book, Maine-ly Wing Shooting, is not only an exceptional how-to instructional guide, but also an entertaining read of stories. Brad is the best shooting instructor in the state. I can say that because he significantly improved my bird shooting success in a single lesson a few years ago.

I’ve enjoyed five pheasant hunting adventures in North Dakota with some of my Maine hunting buddies. The first time I went with them, it took me 23 shots to kill my three pheasants. Jim Robbins felt sorry for me and offered me one of his side-by-side shotguns, and the next day, I got my three pheasants with four shots. But my shooting continued to be erratic, so I did two things when I got home.

George Smith’s new book, Maine Sporting Camps, is a lollapalooza!

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 Many thanks to my friend Harry Vanderweide for this wonderful review of my new book, Maine Sporting Camps, published by Down East Books. Here is Harry's review.

You’ll love this fishing song!

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 Peter Prince is a singer/songwriter who loves to fish in Maine. So it’s no surprise that he’s written a great fishing song. No, not a song you’ll sing while you are fishing. A song you will enjoy listening to before you go or after you have been out fishing. Actually, given that the song is about an encounter with a Maine game warden, perhaps you’d better listen to it before you go fishing!

Peter told me, “It all began in 1970 when, after reading an article about Smallmouth Bass fishing in Field and Stream, I decided a trip to the north country was in order. The names of the lakes were mesmerizing to me: Pocomoonshine, Scraggly, Meddybemps, Cobbosseecontee, Messalonskee, and the rivers, the Androscoggin, Kennebec, Sebasticook, and Penobscot.”

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