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.

Criticism of LePage Brings Wild Crazy Just Plain Wrong Charges

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I’ve suffered the slings and arrows of criticism in nearly all of my jobs over the last 40 years. It comes with the territory when you are active politically, when you are willing to share your opinions in such public ways (including once a week for 24 years in an editorial column in two daily newspapers and for 14 years on a TV talk show), and when – yes – you dare to speak the truth.

But even I was astonished by the false and ridiculous comments and charges posted at the end of my recent outdoor news blog column about Paul LePage’s broken promises to sportsmen. Many of those comments found their way onto Facebook pages. So – against my better judgment, because I know this will only encourage those who made them, I will respond to those comments and charges, mostly because so many of my friends have asked me to do this.

LePage Should Not Get Votes of Maine Sportsmen or SAM’s endorsement

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Governor Paul LePage does not deserve a good grade from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, nor should he get the group’s valuable endorsement for his reelection campaign. And if you are a Maine sportsman who plans to vote for the Governor, you really ought to take a closer look at his record and performance.

As SAM’s Board of Directors approaches its interviews with the three candidates for governor, the group faces a major challenge in figuring out how to deal with the incumbent, who broke key promises that he made to the organization in 2010.

As SAM’s executive director at the time, I prepared the candidate survey and spent a couple of hours with Paul LePage and his campaign manager, John Norris, first in their office and later in mine, going over the survey in detail and answering LePage’s questions. He understood what he was promising. And I believed him.

He killed 1000 deer using dogs

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 “The year 1805 will long be remembered on account of the advent of the wolves from Canada to the State of Maine and other parts of New England. They came in droves, and their howling was a terror to everyone.”

This important event may not be remembered these days, but it won’t be forgotten either, thanks to a valuable new book, Early Maine Wildlife, by William Krohne and Christopher Hoving, published in 2010 by the University of Maine Press.

Drawing from old magazines, journals, and government reports, Krohne and Hoving compiled fascinating accounts about Canada lynx, moose, mountain lions, white-tailed deer, wolverines, wolves, and woodland caribou in the period from 1603 to 1930. Most of the references fall between 1830 and 1930, a period rich with sportsmen’s publications and journals.

You just bought 50,000 acres for $7

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 You just purchased 50,000 stunningly beautiful acres for $7. That’s not a typo. Each Maine resident contributed $7 to purchase an amazing list of our very best places – great places to hunt, spectacular places to fish, critical deer wintering areas and trout spawning grounds, farms, lake and pond frontage and access, snowmobile trails, important working waterfronts, and lots more.

We Mainers do drive a hard bargain! The $9 million we put up for these projects in 37 communities was matched by $24.8 million from 60 partners. Good deals!

 

Poland Spring cited for being a great neighbor

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 I was reading Dad’s Lewiston Sun Journal the other day, in his room at the Togus VA Hospice Unit, when a full page ad grabbed my attention.

Sponsored by individual board members of the Poland Spring Preservation Society, the ad was a very big thank you to Poland Spring Bottling Company for “being a great neighbor.”

“The Poland Spring Preservation Society was formed in 1976,” noted the ad, “to maintain the Maine State Building and All Soul Chapel. Without the support of Poland Spring Bottling and other generous sponsors, these buildings would not be here today.

“We are very proud of our neighbor for their continued support of us and many other nonprofit organizations, food pantries, environmental organizations, fire departments across the state and so many more have been touched by their community awareness.”

Getting the lead out just got easier – and it’s the law

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 Free fishing sinkers and jigs were handed around the table at the annual meeting of the Minnehonk Lake Association a couple weeks ago. I didn’t take any because I’ve already swapped out my lead sinkers and jigs for those that don’t kill loons and other critters.

            If you haven’t gotten around to that yet, I’ve got good news. And you ought to be paying attention because larger lead sinkers and jigs will be illegal soon.

Shooting bear cubs in their den, killing 100 trout in a day – these Old Tales of the Maine Woods will amaze and appall you

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I had been fishing for about two hours. On counting the catch, we had one hundred and thirty-seven trout.

This might be my dream fishing experience but it is not my story. Its Heber Bishop’s story, written in the Guide Book to the Megantic, Spider, and Upper Dead River Regions in 1887, and reprinted in Steve Pinkham’s amazing (and sometimes appalling) Old Tales of the Maine Woods published by Merrimak Media in 2012.

Bishop’s story continued: My heart smote me for taking so many, but we had carried them up to camp before counting them and it was too late to put any of them back then. So we did the best we could to prevent willful waste, by gutting them, building a smoke house, and giving what we did not eat that day a smoking all that afternoon, night and until noon the next day.

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