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.

Buying your hunting and fishing licenses just got easier

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 What an improvement! After complaining for years about the complexities of purchasing my hunting/fishing licenses and permits online, it just got a whole lot easier. Last Friday I tried out the new system, which launched on March 1, and was even able to buy my wife’s fishing license in the same transaction.

The system is “now quicker, easier to use and packed with new features,” said Emily McCabe in a department press release. And I found that to be true.

“These improvements eliminate unnecessary steps and presents new purchasing options,” commented Bill Swan, DIF&W’s Director of Licensing. “We listened to user comments regarding the service and these changes should improve our customer’s experience.” Given that I’ve been one of the loudest complainers over the years, I’ve got to thank Bill and all who worked on this. Nice job!

Don’t miss this great wild game dinner for great causes

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Finally, I am able to attend Unity College’s very popular wild game dinner on April 8. I always seemed to have a conflict in my schedule, but I’ll be there this year, and you should join me. This is their 12th wild game dinner and it is now well known for fabulous food and fun. The event always sells out so you’ll want to order your tickets today.

The meal is prepared by the Unity staff and students, with the help of a celebrity chef, celebrates Maine’s hunting and fishing heritage, and raises money for worthy causes. This year the proceeds will benefit Operation Game Thief, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Unity College Sporting Station (the skinning and dressing shack for wild game).

Yes, they have a skinning shed, just one more reason to love this Maine college!

Injured birds get great treatment at Avian Haven

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 Avian Haven does amazing work with injured and other wild birds. Its 2015 annual report is both informative and fascinating, and was, as they report, “an unprecedented growth year.”

Will Maine legislators support fish and wildlife marketing?

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The following briefing paper and request, written by me, will be distributed in the Maine House of Representatives by Representative Bob Duchesne and in the Maine Senate by Senator Tom Saviello. If you care about this issue, please contact them and ask them to vote for Rep. Duchesne's bill to establish a marketing position and budget at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

 

Message for Legislators

Confused by fishing rules? Get this app.

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                 When Ron Cote of West Gardiner called to tell me he’d created an app for Maine’s fishing rules, I knew immediately it would be popular. It wasn’t quite ready for sale, but he said he hoped to make it available in the next couple of months.

                Well, now he has, although so far it’s only available for Android phones, for $3.99. Because you download it to your phone, you don’t need internet service to access the information. The app works on your smartphone’s GPS so you’ll know where you are and what the rules are governing that lake or pond.

Going, going, gone – the Maine Fishing Initiative

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 This week I’ve been telling you about recommendations from a 2008 Angler’s Congress, and the comprehensive Maine Fishing Initiative created by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine following the Congress. In 2009 SAM proposed the Maine Fishing Initiative in a legislative bill, sponsored at our request by Representative Bob Duchesne.

Seventy one State Representatives and 24 State Senators had endorsed the Maine Fishing Initiative’s goals in their 2008 candidate survey. So it must have been enacted, you say? Well, you’d think so, but the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed the bill, and it was defeated.

Maine Fishing Initiative - It's time to enact this!

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 In 2008, after gathering ideas at a statewide conference of organizations and clubs focused on fishing, the Fishing Initiative Committee of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine created this Maine Fishing Initiative, which SAM submitted as legislation in 2009. Seventy one State Representatives and 24 State Senators had endorsed the Maine Fishing Initiative’s goals in their 2008 candidate survey. Tomorrow I’ll tell you what happened to the initiative. Today, I present the goals, principles, and tactics that comprised the initiative.

 

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