Widow-Maker will keep you up at night!

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 Paul Doiron is an awesome story teller, and no more so than in his new novel, Widow-Maker. And all of his novels have a bit more interest for those of us who love the outdoors, because his main character, Mike Bowditch, is a Maine game warden.

Somehow Paul, former editor of Down East magazine, has mastered the art of dialogue. And it is an art form. Great dialogue makes his stories race by, and his plots keep you up at night. Well, most of the time. I was nearing the end of Widow-Maker while Linda and I were at our camp in the north woods, when she said, “You know, it’s 10 pm.”

Yikes! I usually go to be at 8:30. But I only had 40 pages to go in the novel, and boy, it was a tough decision to set the book down and go to bed. But I did, and what a great way to finish the book, with my morning coffee, looking out the camp window at Sourdnahunk Lake and a beautiful sunny day.

Wildfire goes to Cuba with Carroll and Lila Ware

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 The new episode of Wildfire, starting on July 5, features a fascinating talk with Master Maine Guides Carroll and Lila Ware of Fins & Furs Adventures in Skowhegan, starting with their new fishing trip to Cuba. Carroll is headed there soon to check it all out, subsequent to accompanying his clients on what will certainly be an amazing angling adventure.

From Quebec and Labrador to the Bahamas and Chile, Carroll and Lila offer truly unique hunting and fishing adventures, and we talked about many of them. They also host Maine Guides Training Programs, giving us a chance to discuss current guiding issues and concerns.

Weathering Shame by Kevin Mannix and Linda Rota

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Kevin Mannix was a very popular, out-going and personable weather man for more than 25 years on Channel 6 in Portland. So it was a very big surprise when he stepped up to tell his story of shame and depression. He first told the story in a TV 6 series which won wide acclaim, along with much praise to Kevin for sharing his story.

Kevin and his wife Linda Rota, both of whom suffered from shame, tell their astonishing stories in a book, Weathering Shame. U.S. Senator Angus King expressed my view when he wrote, on the back cover, “I commend both Linda and Kevin for their willingness to share their very intimate stories. With their combined skills and experiences they make a powerful team in the effort to help others overcome the painful experiences that accompany mental illness and substance abuse within the family. I am grateful that they decided to strengthen the Maine Community by sharing their journey with us.”

Me too Angus. Me too.

Timber Harvesting in Wildlife Management Area Generates Controversy

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 “We want to create the best wildlife habitat we can.” Those words, from Keel Kemper, a wildlife biologist with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, summed up his agency’s goals for the Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hallowell, and helped critics understand a proposed timber harvesting plan that has generated quite a bit of concern and controversy.

The Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area is 915 acres in size and features a 107 acre pond as well as 808 acres of upland habitat with is predominantly mixed wood forest. This WMA is set to undergo its first timber harvesting project in more than a decade, covering about 70 percent of the area, prompting questions from folks who enjoy this area about the size and scope of the initiative.

Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area Timber Harvesting Plan

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Crappie messages issued on invasive fish species

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                 The mixed messages about invasive fish species could not have been more evident than these summer of 2012 headlines from Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

                “A Popular Newcomer: Black Crappie,” trumpeted one headline in DIF&W’s weekly newsletter. “MDIFW Encouraging the Taking of Largemouth Bass,” headlined an agency press release.

                The latter effort came after the discovery of illegally introduced largemouth bass in the Grand Falls Flowage. The “popular crappie” is also an illegally introduced species now found in more than 300 Maine waters.

A mighty fine restaurant in Waterville

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Waterville
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                 The only bad thing about writing a weekly travel column is that we seldom get to enjoy a return visit to our favorite places. It’s been 3 years since we last wrote about 18 Below in Waterville, but thankfully, it is just as good as we remembered.

                Owner/Chef Travis Lajoy’s Mom, Donna, the very personable greeter, is still up front, and Steve Comfort is still the primary server. He’s an amazing guy, who even remembered what we’d eaten here three years ago! We started this dining adventure with a bottle of a Spanish Tempranillo ($22).

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