What it all means

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It is good to reflect, often, how much our hunting and fishing heritage and all of our outdoor opportunities mean to each of us. I was reminded of this in July when my high school basketball coach, Art Warren, died at the age of 72 after fighting ALS for several years. While Art’s obituary reported on his many contributions to education and sports, as well as his dedication to family and friends, I was particularly struck by the section on fishing. See if you can identify with this, from Art’s obit.

 

George's Outdoor Picks - Redhook Charters

City or Town: 
Boothbay Harbor
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Captain Mark Stover and Redhook Charters, Boothbay Harbor

Blog posts labeled “George’s Outdoor Picks” tell you about my favorite things from books to bullets to binoculars, fly rods to flashlights, focusing on what’s new – or at least what’s new to me. I do get a lot of products to try, some great, some good, some not so good. In these posts, I’ll only be telling you about the best. To alert you to each Pick post, I will include a photo of my super-large toothbrush, perfect for anyone with a big mouth!

It was good to learn that stripers are now providing some guiding opportunities in the mid-coast. When the stripers disappeared from that area, some of my friends gave up guiding. I remember then-Representative Tom Watson telling me he’d contacted all of his customers for the upcoming fishing season and canceled their trips – unwilling to take their money when he could find them no fish.

Deer permits and youth hunting opportunities expanded

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A remarkable change in the deer lottery and hunt was enacted this year by the Maine legislature, but the change won’t take effect until 2014. It will allocate 25 percent of the any-deer permits to Junior hunters.

Currently 25 percent of the any-deer permits go to landowners and 15 percent to nonresidents. With the new requirement that 25 percent go to junior hunters, only 35 percent of the permits will be available for resident adult hunters.

I took a look at the 2011 lottery, to see what kind of impact this change in the lottery will have. In 2011, any-deer applications totaled 72,485: 1963 from Super Pack licensees, 8558 from landowners, 4235 from nonresidents, and 57,729 from residents. Super Pack licensees won 232 permits, landowners 5,194 permits, nonresidents 1226 permits, and residents (which included junior hunters) got 19,783 permits (84 percent of the permits).

Dinner with the Smileys brings laughter and tears

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You might think that a book titled Dinner with the Smileys, written by Sarah Smiley, would be all smiles. And there are lots of smiles in this book. But you’ll cry lots of tears too, just as Sarah did during the year her soldier-husband Dustin was deployed in Africa.

Stuck in Bangor with three very active boys, teaching and getting her Masters Degree at the University of Maine, and missing her husband on all fronts, Sarah began her now-famous weekly dinners with the Smileys, inviting someone to fill Dustin’s place at the table. It began as a diversion for the boys. It became a learning experience for many, far beyond the Smiley’s dinner table.

It all began innocently enough, when oldest son Ford invited Senator Susan Collins to dinner. She brought brownies with nuts. None of the boys liked nuts, and they carefully picked every nut out of the brownies before eating them, leaving piles of nuts on the table. Susan and her staff member Carol Woodcock were good sports and great guests.

Traveling the world at Morse's Sauerkraut

City or Town: 
Waldoboro
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You can take a trip around the world at the store at Morse’s Sauerkraut in Waldoboro, but the real culinary tour is found in their small restaurant.

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Maine's Moose Massacre in Truth and Fiction

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I wish I’d thought of it. Not that I can write as well as novelist Paul Doiron, but it sure would have been fun to try.

And I’d have had a leg up, given that the foundation of Paul’s fourth and best novel, Massacre Pond published this month by Minotaur Books, is constructed on two issues with which I am very familiar: the wasteful and wanton slaughter of nine moose and two deer in Soldiertown in 2000, and a proposal to create a new national park on the eastern boundary of Baxter State Park.

Five years after the worst wildlife crime in the state’s history, Roberta Scruggs published the story in a three-part series on her website. Scruggs was the state’s top outdoor news reporter during much of my time at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. She wrote for the Maine Sunday Telegram initially, then moved to the Lewiston Sun Journal, before launching her own website.

George's Outdoor Picks - Nature Wars

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Blog posts labeled “George’s Outdoor Picks” will tell you about my favorite things from books to bullets to binoculars, fly rods to flashlights, focusing on what’s new. I do get a lot of products to try, some great, some good, some not so good. In these posts, I’ll only be telling you about the best. Each Pick post will include a photo of my super-large toothbrush, perfect for anyone with a big mouth!

 

Jim Sterba’s Nature Wars 

Published in 2012 by Crown Publishers, a division of Random House

 

Nature Wars will entertain and educate you. From the sad to the sensational, Jim Sterba tells us how and why burgeoning wildlife populations have “turned backyards into battlegrounds.” The book is very timely as Maine approaches its second referendum on bear hunting in a decade. In fact, Sterba presents an account on Maine’s 2004 bear referendum in his chapter on bears, appropriated titled “Teddies.”

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