Maine Hunting Laws Getting Reviewed

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SAM’s Pickering Commission will meet on September 23 to review Maine’s hunting laws, rules, and publications, and create recommendations to simplify and clarify those laws and rules and make hunting – for both novices and longtime hunters – easier and more enjoyable.

 If you have suggestions for the Commission’s consideration, please email them to me (georgesmithmaine@gmail.com) as soon as you can.

 History

SAM organized a Commission to Reduce and Clarify Maine’s Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Laws and Rules in 1998 and selected Cape Elizabeth’s Chief of Police, David Pickering, to chair the commission.

Harraseeket Offers Maine's Most Elegant Brunch

City or Town: 
Freeport
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The dictionary defines brunch as, “a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch.”

Here’s our definition of brunch: a room full of fabulous food, with unique and diverse dishes, where gluttony is encouraged. Posted over the door would be this quote from Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD), “Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as in a feast.”

We got this quote from the top of the brunch section of the Harraseeket Inn’s website, where we also found an excellent description of what we look for in a great brunch, written by Harraseeket chef Elizabeth DiFranco.

Of Cottontails and Ducks

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Beth Quimby's story in today's Maine Sunday Telegram about the money being spent in Maine on cottontail rabbits is astonishing.

And Bob Humprhey's account of the difficulties of duck hunting, titled "When duck hunting, you might need an attorney," also in today's Sunday Telegram, is priceless.

Fishing a Hot Topic This Fall

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Although we're angling into fall hunting seasons, you need to pay attention to fishing issues now.

Many proposed changes in fishing rules are working their way through the process, and it's time to put in your two cents worth.

Department staff – particularly Commissioner Woodcock and Fisheries and Wildlife Director John Boland – have proposed many of the changes in fishing rules. The initial rule changes went to the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council in September. They will also be on the Council’s agenda for October before being finally enacted – with the approval of the Council and the Commissioner – in November.

Proposed rule changes will be available soon on the department’s website.  Your comments and suggestions need to be submitted now  and can be directed to john.boland@maine.gov or andrea.erskine@maine.gov.

Top DIF&W Staff Retiring – Erskine May Be Next

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Changes to the state retirement system, along with $5000 incentive payments, have caused a significant exodus of key staff members at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

 The legislature offered $5,000 incentives to state employees who are eligible to retire but have not yet done so. Legislators also changed the state retirement system, requiring those who retire before age 60 (beginning on January 1, 2012), to pay for their health insurance until they reach the age of 60.

 I’ve already reported on Sandy Ritchie’s retirement. But her exit is just the start of key staffers who will retire in the next few months.

 Here is a list of those I know for sure are retiring.

 Mark Stadler, Director of the Wildlife Division

George Matula, Supervisor of the Wildlife Resource Assessment Section in Bangor

Cohill's Inn and Pub brings Ireland to Lubec Maine

City or Town: 
Lubec
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We’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. We didn’t realize it was in Lubec, Maine.

Jack and Ellen Gearren, Irish to the core, left their law enforcement jobs in New Jersey to settle into the one place in the states that reminded them of Ireland.

 “It’s the fog, the environment, the houses, the people,” that convinced them they need not migrate all the way to Ireland to live, Ellen told us.

At the end of Lubec’s Main Street, the Gearren’s opened their inn five years ago, providing nine small rooms with big views of Quoddy Bay.

 Downstairs they created an Irish Pub, authentic from the Smithwick and Guiness draft beers to the Shepards Pie.

DIF&W Reorganization Plan Delayed

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A reorganization plan for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been delayed until at least November.

Commissioner Chandler Woodcock had hoped to submit his plan to Governor Paul LePage by early September, but two pending issues caused the delay.

The first issue is the legislature’s effort to cut $25 million from the next biennial budget. An ad-hoc group organized by legislative leaders and Governor LePage is working on a plan that would reduce the budget by $25 million, although the Governor has challenged the group to cut $100 million.

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