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.

Poland Spring Supports Conservation and Community

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Poland Spring is about a lot more than bottled water. Yes, they have three bottling plants in Poland Spring, Hollis, and Kingfield and employ 800 Mainers full-time or seasonally in places where jobs are hard to come by, with a $42 million annual payroll. And they’ve invested over $500 million here since 2000. They also spend $60 million each year with other Maine companies.

But what I most admire – and appreciate – is the $6 million that Poland Spring has contributed since 2000 to conservation and community each year, supporting schools, fire and rescue services, environmental conservation and lots of causes from the local to the state level.

Threaded Journeys is not your typical book of hunting and fishing stories.

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 Threaded Journeys by Tom Johnson is an unusual book, with a subtitle that gives you a hint of what’s inside: “Fishing, Hunting, Conservation, Adventure… and America’s Future.” Yes, Tom covers it all.

You’ll get provocative opinion pieces on important issues from climate change to the endangered species act to fracking. And there are lots of great hunting and fishing stories, as Tom roams North America and beyond. I particularly enjoyed his stories of deer hunting in Maine and fishing some of my favorite rivers in Montana. And his favorite brook trout spot in Quebec sounds a lot like mine, although it’s not.

What can you keep and when can you keep it?

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                 You are breaking the law. I am sure of it. Somewhere in your house is a feather from a wild bird, maybe even a nest with eggs in it. You’ve got a skull from a wild animal, perhaps, that you found in the woods or along the road. Whatever it is, you most assuredly don’t have the required possession permit.

                I’d also bet that you are entirely unaware that it is illegal to possess wild birds or animals, or any part of a wild bird or animal, including feathers and bones, without a permit issued by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Fun in Boothbay Harbor

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Boothbay Harbor
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                A sunny September day in the Boothbay Harbor area featured a lengthy visit to the fascinating Botanical Gardens, and a great lunch on the deck at Tug’s Pub on Robinson’s Wharf in Southport, just a few minutes from downtown Boothbay Harbor.

                Seals cavorted in the harbor as we enjoyed a very tasty lunch, starting with Linda’s favorite Geaghan Brother’s Honey Blonde brew.  The menu of seafood dishes is lengthy, as you might expect, but there are lots of other choices from burgers to roast beef and chicken wraps.

Wildfire focuses on what the legislature did and didn’t do

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The new edition of our TV Talk show Wildlife, which airs for the first time tonight, features two outstanding state legislators: Senator Tom Saviello and Representative Bob Duchesne.

We talked about what’s at stake in this election, and our biggest successes and disappointments in the last legislative session. Cohost James Cote and I enjoyed the very lively discussion about everything from mining to landowner rights to forest harvesting to fish hatcheries.

Moose will be gone from this state in 20 years

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 “That’s right, in less than 20 years moose will be gone from this state save for a remnant population. How sad of a legacy we are leaving our grandchildren.”

Those are the words of Eric Orff in his New Hampshire Fish & Wildlife News published in the October 2016 edition of the Northwoods Sporting Journal.

As we approach the end of Maine’s first week of moose hunting, this sobering news from New Hampshire is certainly troubling. New Hampshire’s moose population, according to Orff, has declined from 7500 to 3500, due to warmer winters and ticks.

“An ongoing UNH/Fish and Game moose study (found that there) was an average of 42,000 ticks on each moose. Moose calves cannot support those numbers and 81 percent of the moose calves died last winter along with nearly 25 percent of adult cows,” reported Orff.

Remembering our 2015 trip to Italy

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