James Cote delivers exceptional testimony on Constitutional amendments

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 Testimony of James Cote on behalf of the Maine Trappers Association

in Support of a Constitutional Amendment to

Protect Scientific Wildlife Management in Maine


April 6, 2015


Gobbling up a turkey bill at the Maine Legislature

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Winning support for a bill at the Maine legislature is a lot like turkey hunting. You’ve got to call them in, convince them you are not dangerous, and get them while they are in close range. We did that with our turkey bill last week, although we didn’t get the biggest gobbler. More like a Jake.

LD 781, An Act to Eliminate Permits for Turkey Hunting and Expand Turkey Hunting, was sponsored by Senator Tom Saviello at my request. This bill was designed to increase the number of turkey hunters by eliminating turkey permits and fees, adding turkeys to the big and small game licenses, and allowing us to register turkeys by phone or on the department’s website. I did toss in one new idea: to require deer registration stations to also register turkeys. Many of them don’t, requiring turkey hunters to drive long distances to register their birds.

These paintings by a young Maine artist will amaze you!

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 This is the first in a series on Maine outdoor artists, authors, and craftsmen. We are blessed with amazing talent here in our state.


                Wandering around the very interesting Fly Fishing Expo in Bethel on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I was amazed by huge paintings of fish. I spent a lot of time visiting with the young artist, Alex Poland of Oxford.

                Alex is a fourth generation artist who was inspired by the art of his great grandmother and encouraged by his mother to develop what he calls his “visual fascination.” He remembers his mother “covering an entire wall in my room with paper so I could draw and color a sea wall mural!”

Tourists aren't always welcomed to Maine.

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                 Western Maine, from Bethel to Greenville, has always drawn tourists with a good range of lodging, restaurants, and outdoor activities from hunting and fishing to skiing and snowmobiling. But from the get-go, we Mainers have had a love-hate relationship with people from away, whether they were here for the summer or just a week of hunting.

                 Leon Leonwood Bean offered the following advice for nonresident hunters in his book, Hunting-Fishing-Camping, republished in 2012 by Down East Books for Bean’s 100th anniversary. “When on your hunting trips do not try to belittle the back woods folk even though you are a college man and your home is in a big city,” wrote Bean.

It was a batty day at the State Capitol

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Bats and bugs took over the second floor of the Cross Building at the State Capitol today. In one room, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee tackled a bill to list the Northern long-eared bat and other species as endangered or threatened, while in another room, the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee debated responses to the expected infestation of the Spruce budworm in the northern forest. Both issues proved to be contentious.

Today we’ll take a look at the bat bill. Tomorrow I’ll post a report on the budworm issues.


Birding adventure scheduled at Claybrook Lodge in Maine’s western mountains

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It’s a combination that’s hard to beat. Claybrook Lodge, a wonderful place in the woods of western Maine, and Ron Joseph, a retired federal wildlife biologist and champion birder. Along with Greg Drummond, a Master Maine guide who owns the lodge with his wife Patrice, Joseph will spend the weekend of May 15 birding the local woods and mountains with Lodge guests.

The weekend is sponsored by Maine Audubon. The cost is $310.00 per person and covers all meals, lodging, sales tax, two nights lodging, and van transport to and from the lodge. Linda and I have been trying to get this on our schedule for two years, and finally got it done. We’ll be there for the May 15 – 17 weekend, but the Lodge offers a second weekend of birding on May 22-24.

Elegance combined with great food makes 22 Broad Street a destination

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                I still remember the amazing dining experience we had four years ago when we first visited 22 Broad Street in Bethel. It was a perfect fall evening and we dined in their charming screened in porch. Tiny decorative white lights, intimate tables, a gentle breeze, and an extraordinary Italian meal remain in my mind.

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