Selling wild game meat turns out to be illegal!

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 Well, I got it wrong. Sort of.

My column, posted on Monday, about selling wild game meat reported that, while the meat can’t be sold, game dinners hosted by nonprofits are legal. Well, they are not.

After another extended conversation with Tim Peabody, the new Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, I think I now understand how this works.

The section of law that Tim had given to me gives nonprofit groups an exemption from the licensing requirements of the Department of Agriculture, for up to 12 public events or meals a year. But those groups are not exempt from DIF&W’s laws that prohibit the sale of wild game meat.

Other than that key point, the rest of the column was accurate!

The law

Don’t Miss Rockland’s Pies on Parade!

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 It’s a brilliant idea, linking the eating of pie to donations to a food bank.  Rockland’s annual Pies on Parade is an event that Linda and I try to never miss. It’s scheduled for Sunday, January 31, 2016, from 1 to 4 pm.

Just imagine: 25 businesses offering samples of 40 different pies. Well, you don’t have to imagine this, because that’s what Pies on Parade offers. In my mind, I justify all that indulgent eating by walking from business to business. Schooner Bay Taxi does offer free transportation at designated stops, but if you are able to walk, all the places are within easy walking distance.

Hunter’s cigarette butt sets Mount Vernon woods ablaze

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 Careless hunters worry private landowners, for good reason. In mid-November, seven acres of my neighbors’ woodlot was burned, most likely because a careless hunter discarded a cigarette butt there while enjoying the privilege of hunting on this unposted land. No one else had been up there in the woods that day.

Ron and Nancy LaRue, who do not post their 400 acres of woodlands that I enjoy and appreciate, have suffered their share of careless recreationists, from ATV riders to hunters. So it is remarkable that they do not post their land.

A few weeks ago, Nancy got up about midnight and glanced out the window across Hopkins Pond. She thought she saw car lights across the pond in the woods, and woke her husband Ron because she thought someone was out there poaching deer. It would, I am sorry to say, not have been the first time.

Radio show focuses on how hunting has changed in Maine

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Maine Calling, a popular radio call-in show hosted by Jennifer Rooks on Maine Public Radio, focused on hunting yesterday. It was my privilege to participate along with other guests Bill Vail, former Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Deirdre Fleming, outdoor writer for the Portland Press Herald.

Bill and I focused on how hunting has changed in our lifetimes, while Deirdre conveyed her excitement about her first-ever deer hunt. We also talked about a lot of other hunting issues. Jennifer does a superb job of keeping the discussion moving forward, and selecting questions from the many listeners who call or email to participate in the discussion and ask questions.

You can listen to the program here.

PHOTO: Deirdre Fleming on her first-ever deer hunt. 

Beaver and moose lasagna was a big hit at Harvest Festival

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 It didn’t last long. When Kate Krukowski Gooding finished her stage show at the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor, she put out two trays of lasagna featuring wild game meat and boy, did it go fast, with a lot of oohing and ahhing from folks who stood in line for a helping. I got a taste of the BBQ lasagna with chopped beaver meat and moose sausage, cooked with Cellar Door’s red wine and yes, it was delicious. It was also spicy, thanks to a sauce from Dana Masters of Beast Feast Maine, who joined Kate on stage for the show. The other lasagna featured ground bear meat and venison.

Muzzleloading hunting memories are the best

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 I love hunting deer with a one-shot muzzleloader. As soon as that season was authorized, I purchased a modern in-line muzzleloader and took to the woods, where we often have snow, and I rarely see another hunter (unless he’s hunting with me).

My good friend Ed Pineau and I actually try not to shoot deer in November now, so we’ll have the chance to hunt in December.

Today is the opening day of the muzzleloading season, so I will share with you some of my best muzzleloading memories. And yes, my mistakes have been especially memorable!

Eight Deer

I sat on a stone wall, on the higher ground, while Ed worked his way through the bog below me. This is one of our favorite strategies: one of us still hunting through an area, the other up ahead where the deer are apt to run.

Celebrating Farm Fresh in Bangor

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                 The Maine Harvest Festival is an amazing event – and mouthwatering too! In just its third year, Judy Perkins of Garden Ridge Farm and her staff have turned this into a major statewide event, featuring more than 150 farmers and other creative people who filled the entire Bangor Auditorium.

                I spent a good part of the day eating my way from booth to booth. The Festival features great presentations on three stages, my favorite being Kate Krukowski Gooding’s presentation on cooking wild game. Her cookbooks are favorites of mine. At the festival Kate served an awesome lasagna with moose sausage and beaver meat. Dana Masters of Beast Feast Maine, a Maine Guide who invented the “Sportsman’s Blend Sauce,” supplied the sauce for the lasagna. We purchased Dana’s maple BBQ sauce and I can tell you it is very flavorful!

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