This perfect ice shack could be yours!

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Cianbro built the best ice shack in Maine. And you can buy it.

On November 18, The Maine Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors hosted its first annual Maine Super Shack Build at the Augusta Civic Center. I was one of the judges, along with Harry Vanderweide, editor of The Maine Sportsman, Doug Denico, Director of the Maine Forest Service, Pat Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and State Senator Tom Martin, an ABC member.

ABC Maine President James Cote escorted us through four imaginative shacks constructed by competitors RJ Grondin & Sons, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, Cianbro, and Storey Brothers Excavation.

The Amazing Life of a Maine Pioneer and Wildlife Writer

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Born in New Sharon, Maine, close to my Mount Vernon home, Joshua Rich experienced a life I can only envy.

Rich hunted, fished, trapped, guided, and farmed. At times he owned a hotel, general store, and what may have been Maine’s first sporting camp. He served as a trial justice, pension agent, humane officer, and newspaper columnist. Well, I have that in common with Rich!

William “Bill” Krohn, whose fascinating account of Manley Hardy remains among my all-time favorite biographies, has given us another interesting look at a Maine pioneer and sportsman who lived from 1820 to 1897. Joshua Cross Rich – The Life and Works of a Western Maine Pioneer and Wildlife Writer, was published in paperback by the Maine Folklife Center in 2010.

Deer Predation System Needs Fixing

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The system governing the killing of deer and other animals that are damaging property or crops is a mess, sloppily managed, and lacking many of the required reports.

I asked Colonel Joel Wilkins of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for a chance to look at all of the required permits and reports for 2010, waiting patiently for several months while the material was collected at the agency’s Augusta headquarters, and finally receiving copies of the documents a few weeks ago.

Treat Yourself to a Shaker Village Christmas

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New Gloucester
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What do people from Georgia, Rhode Island, Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey know that you don’t?

They know that Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester is an amazing place. There were people at Shaker Village from each of those states, as well as England, on the October morning we visited.

Shaker Village includes a store with many interesting products, a fascinating museum, a craft store with locally made crafts from lamps to baskets to cheese balls, a farm with sheep and goats, and several historical buildings.

Pickering Commission Recommends Hunting Law Changes

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SAM’s Pickering Commission to Reduce and Clarify Maine’s Hunting Laws was organized in 2011 with the help of a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. I was hired to organize and lead the Commission.

A distinguished group of Commission members met twice and did a lot of work before, between, and after meetings. Included were three legislators who serve on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, two members of DIF&W’s Advisory Council, DIF&W’s Deputy Commissioner, a Captain of the Warden Service, and a good cross section of sportsmen from state organizations and local fish and game clubs.

The Commission’s final report and recommendations are attached to this column.

Experience Natalie's At Least Once in Your Life

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Natalie’s restaurant in the elegant Camden Harbour Inn offers a dining experience that is amazing. Unique. Best we’ve had since beginning this column in January. Can’t wait to return. Been dreaming about it.

 Well, you get the idea. This is a high-end splurge that delivers an unforgettable dining experience.

Read More.

DIF&W Reorganization and New Hatchery May Be Coming in 2011

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Commissioner Chandler Woodcock says his meeting last Friday (November 18) with Governor Paul LePage went well. Woodcock presented his plan to reorganize his agency, in the form of a chart, and said the Governor asked good questions and was supportive.

The Governor will ponder the plan for a while, with no particular timetable for the adoption and implementation of the plan, although it will certainly be moving forward in 2012. Woodcock expects to meet again with the Governor to answer any additional questions he may have about the plan.

Woodcock also has some interest in a proposal from Poland Spring to turn over the Dead River fish hatchery to the department. Poland Spring got the hatchery when it purchased the land for a new source of spring water, and has kept the hatchery going, at a minimal level, with the hope that the department – or a private entity – would have an interest in it.

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