Berry Manor Inn is historic, artistic, and very welcoming

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                It has been a couple of years since we stayed at the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, but it always feels like going home. The staff here is warm and welcoming and Cheryl Michaelsen personifies what it means to be an innkeeper. She is engaging and cheerful and her attention to detail shows from the decor to her breakfast plates.

                We visited while the stunning Christmas decorations were up, which is indeed a sight to see. Stair railings and doorways are decked out in greenery, ribbons, cones, antique items and berries. A stunningly perfect Christmas tree with a Victorian theme sits in the parlor.

George and Harry debate moose – no, not literally!

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Wildlife biologists are flying over the north woods now, counting moose. Must be fun! Recently, Harry Vanderweide, former editor of The Maine Sportsman and my co-host on the TV talk show Wildfire, and I debated moose. Well, we didn’t actually debate moose, mostly because they can’t talk. We debated moose issues. Here’s how it went.


George: Moose populations are declining rapidly.

Harry: No they are not. That’s ridiculous.

George: Last winter Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife tagged 60 moose and half of them died of ticks, including 80 percent of the calves.

Will Governor LePage keep his promises to Maine sportsmen?

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 On Friday, Governor Paul LePage will present his new two-year budget. And the big question for Maine sportsmen is this: will he keep the promises he made to us more than 4 years ago?

                In his first campaign for governor, LePage promised the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine that he would fund 20 percent of the budget of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with General Fund money collected from all taxpayers. That would be a simple recognition that the agency does a lot of work for the general public.

Life in Prison - Eight Hours at a Time

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                Robert Reilly was in prison in Pennsylvania and Maine for seven years. By choice. He was a prison guard. And his story, told in Life In Prison – Eight Hours at a Time, published recently by Tilbury House in Thomaston, is shocking, scary, discouraging, and disturbing.        

                This book is must-reading for each of you, because the only way this horrific situation will be corrected is if we demand it. And that won’t happen unless and until you are aware of it. Special thanks to Tilbury House for publishing this important book.

Maine must expand landowner relations programs – and it’s up to you to git-er-done!

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                Representative Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) is sponsoring legislation that should be of interest to private landowners and everyone who recreates on private land – and I’m sure that includes you.  An Act to Expand the Landowner Relations Program at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will substantially expand the landowner relations program now housed in the Maine Warden Service.

                You will need to be active in this debate, including contacting your own legislators, if this bill is to be enacted.

Noble House Inn is historic, elegant, and welcoming

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                I turned my comfortable wicker chair around to enjoy the snow-covered maple tree right outside our second story window and the tall pine forest beyond, along with my morning coffee.

                I do this at home, turning a rocking chair around to look out our large kitchen window while enjoying my coffee and Kennebec Journal every morning. But at the Inn, I was missing the chickadees that crowd the bird feeder right outside our kitchen window – until I looked at my coffee cup. It featured a beautiful painting of a chickadee!

Got a favorite Maine Sporting Camp? Tell me about it!

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                Down East Books has asked me to write a book about Maine sporting camps, to be published early next year. Our state once boasted more than 300 sporting camps, but now has less than 100, and many of those are not the traditional in-the-woods sporting camps, but new camps on lakes and on the coast.

                Linda and I own a camp at Camp Phoenix on Sourdnahunk Lake north of Millinocket. It was a sporting camp for 100 years. About 20 years ago it was turned into a condominium, where we own the camps individually and the property in common. It’s a magical place, with an abundant supply of wild trout, and on the edge of Baxter Park. Paradise.

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