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.

Maine’s deer habitat goals are unrealistic and unattainable report forestry experts

Blog Showcase Image: 

A new study by several forestry experts at the University of Maine is depressing for all who are counting on more deer in the northern forest.

“State-level management goals for white-tailed deer may need to be readjusted to reflect the profound habitat changes that have occurred on commercially managed forestlands in the Northern Forest Region from 1975-2007,” is just one of several discouraging recommendations and findings in this report.

Titled the “Effectiveness of State Regulations to Protect Deer Wintering Habitats in Maine,” the study focused on whether or not the designation of LURC-zoned deeryards achieved desired objectives during the period 1975-2007.

Principal investigator Daniel Harrison, a widely respected longtime professor and forestry expert at UMO’s Wildlife Ecology Department, was assisted by several co-investigators in the School of Forest Resources. The study was funded by the Maine Cooperative Forestry Research Unit at the University of Maine.

Imagine getting all of Maine’s hunting seasons and bag limits for just $38!

Blog Showcase Image: 

 It could be a belated Christmas gift from the legislature to Mainers who hunt: a comprehensive hunting license costing just $38 and offering all seasons and bag limits. But this remarkable opportunity will probably be lost if members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee don’t hear from you.

This morning Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife emailed a survey on this issue to licensed hunters who shared their email address with the agency. IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS SURVEY IMMEDIATELY!

The results of the survey will be reported to the IF&W Committee when it works on this bill, LD 153, on Thursday, January 9, at 1 pm in Room 206 of the Cross State Office Building. The bill was sponsored at my request by Representative Dennis Keschl and carried over from the last session.

Bill Swan

D. Dauphinee catches the big one with his novel The River Home

Blog Showcase Image: 

 Most of us who write want to write a novel, plan to write a novel, have tried to write a novel, or have written an unpublished novel. I recently launched my third attempt at writing a novel, fervently believing the mantra: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.

I am learning that it takes a great idea, a ton of effort, some real writing talent, and a lot of luck to write and publish a novel. I actually ran out of story at about 2000 words in my previous attempts, but this time, I’m already up to 6,000! Just 44,000 to go.

So let’s start by applauding Denis D Dauphinee’s perseverance in not only writing a very good novel, but in finding a publisher who believed in it.

Simpler fishing rules require book twice as thick!

Blog Showcase Image: 

 Only the government could double the size of the fishing rule book and call it simplification.

A recent new story by the Sun Journal’s Terry Karkos reports some of the many fishing rule changes and initiatives undertaken by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. DIF&W fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam, definitely one of the good guys at the department, outlines rule changes governing ice fishing as well as open water fishing.

Many are welcomed, including those governing the capture of live fish for bait by individuals. A lot of the rules were driven by a desire to make fishing simpler, and they will.

You can read Terry’s story here.

Patty Limerick has a fracking good sense of humor

Blog Showcase Image: 

Patty Limerick is not a standup comedian, but she could be. I met Patty years ago at a conference for journalists, sponsored by The Property and Environment Research Center, and held at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana. Since that time I have followed, and valued, the work of the Center of the American West that Patty cofounded at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She continues to serve the Center as the Faculty Director and a member of the Board.

Consider the Center’s mission statement: “the creation of forums for the respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives in the pursuit of solutions to the region’s difficulties.”

Don’t you think Maine could use something like this?

I'm dreaming of a fly fishing Christmas!

Blog Showcase Image: 

Most of us who fly fish have far more rods and reels than we need – and for sure, we’ve got hundreds if not thousands of flies. So a good choice of gift this Christmas for that fly fisher in your family is D. Dauphinee’s new book, Stoneflies & Turtleheads, published by North Country Press in Unity. Or you can just buy it for yourself!

This is neither a “my best fishing stories” book, nor a “how-to” boring and tedious recitation. For starters, Denis Dauphinee wrote the book for himself. While he’s done a bit of writing before, he says Stoneflies & Turtleheads “is my first attempt at writing something which I’ve wanted to write.”

His passion for fly fishing and writing combine very nicely in this unusual collection of interesting – and sometimes fascinating – stories. There is a bit of how-to here, well presented, and plenty of truth telling about getting skunked. I particularly related to those stories!

Legislature tackles issues from brook trout to bears to boa constrictors

Blog Showcase Image: 

When the Maine legislature convenes in early January, things promise to be ugly. It’s an election year, the Governor and legislative leaders are feuding, the budget is short at least $40 million, and there are lots of problems at the Health and Human Services Department. I plan to hunker down in Room 206 where the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee will tackle some very interesting issues.

This is the second of a two-part series looking at some of those interesting issues. Part one was posted on Wednesday of this week.

Brook Trout

A management plan for wild brook trout in waters that haven’t been stocked in 25 years, the so-called “B list,” along with a list of those waters, is due for delivery to the IFW Committee by January 15. This will be a hot topic, focused on the use of live fish as bait in some of those waters.

Site by Fieldstone Media