Buying a muzzleloading permit isn’t easy!

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 Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife doesn’t make it easy to enjoy the muzzleloading deer season which starts today. This opportunity is not included in the big game hunting license, so yesterday morning, I endured the lengthy process of purchasing my permit online.

On the first page of DIFW’s website, after I selected Hunting and Fishing Licenses, I got a long page with a list of licenses, permits and fees. I selected “Muzzleloading 16 years and older $13” and got another long page that included a one sentence explanation of who is required to buy the permit. And I noticed, at the very bottom of the page, a note that said that said, “Exceptions – see muzzleloading permit.” I clicked on that, and got… nothing. The same page kept coming up.

Not getting a chance to buy the permit, I started over, returning to the first page and trying the more general selection of hunting and fishing licenses. Hooray! That got me started.

Let's go to the hospital - to eat!

City or Town: 
Augusta
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 George

                When Nona Boyink suggested we write a travel column about Maine General Hospital’s cafeteria, I was incredulous. “People don’t go to the hospital to dine, do they?” I asked. “Yes they do!” Nona exclaimed.

                And she was right. In the last two months, I’ve had occasion to eat breakfast at the hospital twice. The first time I had a wonderful omelet with bacon and cheese, a bagel with cream cheese, and coffee, for $5.02. Yup. Just $5.02.

                So now you know why the hospital has become my breakfast place! I’m cheap, and so’s the food here. But cheap isn’t enough to draw a crowd, and I have to say, I’ve been very surprised by the quality of the food served here.

Battle rages over Rangeley fishing between bait and fly fishermen

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                Here’s another fascinating lesson from the past, as related by Richard Judd in his book Common Lands, Common People, published by Harvard University Press in 1997. This one is about a debate over inland fishing.

                Typical was a dispute over Maine’s Rangeley Lakes. For generations local inhabitants had come down to the shores during the late summer to take fish, which provided an important food supplement during the busy harvest season. When branch railroads reached the lakes in the 1880s, city anglers began crowding these locals at the good fishing spots.

Fights over fish and game are not new!

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Common Lands, Common People, by Richard W. Judd, is a fascinating account of the origins of conservation in Northern New England. Published by Harvard University Press in 1997, Judd’s book has been an important reference for me for the last 15 years.

There are all kinds of lessons for us in this book, on contemporary issues from commercial fishing to tourism, and of course many impacting hunting and fishing. I will share these, along with passages from the book, with you from time to time over the next few months.

Let’s start with this, from a section titled “Farmers, Fish, and Tourism,” about “a sharp debate over game and fish management in the 1890s.”

Fabulous Food in Farmington

City or Town: 
Farmington
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 Linda

                The Greenwood Dining Room at the Stone Hearth Cafe is Farmington’s newest eatery. Even though the Dining Room has only been open for two months, things are running smoothly and the food is creative and inviting.  Chef Doug Winslow has been in Maine’s restaurant business for decades and his expertise certainly shines through in his food.

                As you peruse the menu you can see that they offer variety - there’s something for everyone. They take advantage of fresh produce, are sure to include vegetarian and gluten free offerings, and also have a nice selection of meat and seafood entrees. You can even order their wood-fired pizza from the Stone Hearth in the same building, and it will come with a small salad. The Greenwood and the Stone Hearth share the same kitchen.

Lewiston's Forage Market will surprise you

City or Town: 
Lewiston
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 Linda

                Downtown Lewiston now boasts many great eateries and shops and the newest one we’ve discovered is Forage Market. We popped in for a quick look several months ago after a friend recommend it. We were impressed with their focus on locally farmed produce and dairy, not to mention the wood fired bagels and breads, (I counted 12 varieties on their website), made there. So on a recent Sunday we headed there for lunch before a visit to The Public Theater.

        One step inside told us the market has a strong following. It attracts Bates College students and patrons who look for great, freshly made food. A long line of customers were ready to place orders and all the tables were full when we arrived. They all seemed to know how to go about it. We did not, and needed to head up to the menu board to get a grasp of what was being offered that day.

Great Octoberfest celebration at Brunswick Tavern

City or Town: 
Brunswick
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Octoberfest’s wine and beer dinner at the Brunswick Tavern brought back fond memories.

Linda

                An invitation to The Brunswick Tavern to celebrate their 3rd annual Beer vs Wine dinner was a welcome one. But the fact that this one focused on German Food and was celebrating Octoberfest made it even better for me. Fond memories of visiting Munich, Germany many years ago during Octoberfest came back.

                I love German food and now find myself craving sauerkraut. I grew lots of cabbage this year with that in mind and have preserved a gallon of this delicious stuff for the winter ahead.

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