When do the turtles cross the road? Now! Don’t run over them!

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 Decades ago, whenever I saw a snapping turtle alongside or in Blake Hill Road, I’d run over it, sometimes backing up to do it again. Snappers kill too many baby ducks to deserve life. That was my thinking at the time.

Eventually I got educated about the value of all wild critters, and stopped killing snappers. And then one night, I was able to achieve a bit of redemption.

Driving home in the rain, approaching the bridge over Hopkins Stream in front of my house, I noticed a bunch of small turtles in the road. Emerging from the car, I discovered about a hundred tiny snapping turtles, apparently just hatched, and laying all over the road. Many had been run over and killed.

I searched through the lot of them and picked up the live ones, moving them to the grassy bank by the stream. It took quite a while. Actually, they were kind of cute.

Time to make your voice heard on private land access, deer, bear and brook trout issues

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 The Sportsmen Say Surveys on my website are off to a great start. Thanks to all who have participated so far. If you haven’t voiced your opinions yet, there is still time on a host of key questions including private land access, any-deer permits, deer yard protection, wild and native brook trout, and spring bear hunting.

This new survey, sponsored by Moody’s Collision Centers, gives sportsmen and other outdoor recreationists an opportunity to voice their opinions on key issues. The survey questions can be found on at the top right of  this website. The survey is named for long-time outdoor newspaper reporter Gene Letourneau.

One of the best things about Gene’s column, called Sportsmen Say, was the way he let his readers and fans speak, by constantly soliciting and printing their comments. This is exactly what I hope to do with this survey – help Mainers make their voices heard.

Adriana is back! And Roger Woodbury’s new novel is a must-read this-summer.

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 After reading and writing about Roger Woodbury’s first novel, The Mists of Adriana, I couldn’t wait for the sequel. Well, wait no longer. The Mists of Adriana – Book II has arrived! And it’s every bit as good as the first book.

Roger calls these novels “romantic thrillers.” His stories take place in Maine, which drew me to the first book because I focus my book reviews on Maine authors and books set in or about Maine.

We have many talented writers in Maine. Roger Woodbury is one of those writers. Now a full-time author of short stories and novels, Roger has an interesting background. He taught socially and economically disadvantaged children in an inner city school, sold insurance, purchased and restored antique buildings, and even acted in theater productions. Great fodder for his novels!

Man kills neighbor over Lyme disease

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If you needed any encouragement to stop feeding deer, this might be it. An angry and distressed Minneapolis man shot and killed his neighbor, thinking he’d gotten Lyme disease from the deer his neighbor was feeding in the yard.

Neil Zumberge also wounded the neighbor’s girlfriend. Zumberge’s son was arrested the day before, accused of threatening to burn the neighbor’s barn down and kill them. Google Zumberge’s name and you can read all about it.

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife discourages deer feeding. If that is not enough to make you stop, this latest unfortunate and tragic incident might do it.

After posting three columns on deer ticks and Lyme disease, I continue to receive advice and information from people in and outside of Maine about this terrible affliction.


Doiron packs plot into The Bone Orchard

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Author Paul Doiron is packing more and more plot into his novels. After publishing four very popular award-winning novels, Paul left his job as managing editor of Down East magazine to focus all of his attention on writing. That decision appears to be paying off.

Paul’s new book, The Bone Orchard, scheduled for publication by Minotaur Books on July 15, is riveting. I was surprised right off the bat to discover that Paul’s central character, Mike Bowditch, had quit his job as a Maine game warden and become a Maine guide. But not to worry, game wardens are front and center is this novel.

Great hotels, food, and shops make Kennebunk and Kennebunkport prime destinations for travelers

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Kennebunk’s Grand Hotel offers superb service and is surrounded by wonderful shops, markets, and restaurants.


I (of course) noticed (and grabbed) the small box of chocolates at the reception desk of the Grand Hotel in Kennebunk, while the very-friendly Patrick was checking us in. And another bag of goodies awaited in our room on the second floor overlooking a charming street of stores and the Kennebunk River.

But it was the next morning, when Linda opened the door to go downstairs to see what might be offered for breakfast, that I was really impressed. A bag of muffins and juice had already been delivered to our door.

The very best of inns pay attention to every detail of a customer’s comfort, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. And the Grand Hotel pays attention to the details.

Twenty percent cut in Maine’s any-deer permits will give resident adult hunters only 12,395 permits

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 Maine’s any-deer permits will be slashed 20 percent this fall. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reports “the winter of 2013-14 was of above average severity, which may have resulted in increased winter mortality rates for over-wintering deer.”

Focus on the word “may.” The sad fact is that the agency doesn’t know how many deer died this past winter, or how many deer we have in the state. Maine’s #1 game animal isn’t getting the attention and research needed to assure good decisions on harvest, habitat, and other critical issues. The Maine Game Plan for Deer has fallen far short of its goals. This year 17 of the 29 Wildlife Management Districts will get no any-deer permits, 4 more than last year.

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