Fighting Eagles Get Tangled – and Rescued

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 Here’s an amazing story, received this afternoon from Mark Latti at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. I can’t write this any better than Mark did, so I’m giving you his report and photos just as I received them. Astonishing photos! And lots of praise to all involved, including the good folks at Avian Haven.

Mark Latti’s Report

While their jobs may be very different, many times IFW biologists and game wardens work together to help Maine’s wildlife. Quite often, they work with Maine citizens who also share an equal passion for wildlife as well.

Recently, a homeowner on the outskirts of Millinocket received a big surprise when two eagles crash landed in his front yard.

New Chef Steve Sicinski has created an awesome menu at the Sea Glass Restaurant

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Cape Elizabeth
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                Preparations for a busy season ahead were well underway when we visited Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth last week. Flower boxes were planted, the outdoor pool was open, and guests were already enjoying the fire pit complete with s’mores. The Inn has a great view of the ocean and a boardwalk that leads to the sandy Crescent Beach State Park.

                The Inn’s Sea Glass Restaurant changed its executive chef two months ago, and we were looking forward to checking out Chef Steve Sicinski’s new menu. His family has ties to Maine as his wife grew up here and he is delighted to be here. And after dinner, I can tell you we are delighted he is here too!

Game Wardens Nail the Bad Guys

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Game wardens are at their best when they catch the really bad guys, those who kill animals for the thrill of it, who care nothing about laws and rules, who delight in breaking them. A few years ago wardens rounded up a group of poachers in my area, utilizing a game warden from another state to infiltrate the poaching ring and collect incriminating information.

I was surprised, when it was all over, how little the leaders of the poaching ring paid in fines and how short was their stay in jail. But just this morning, I read in the news that a guy who shot and killed another hunter three years ago, and was later arrested for sexual assault, received a sentence of 15 years for the sexual assault (with all but seven years suspended), but just 2 ½ years for killing that other hunter (with that sentence served at the same time as the other). He was also ordered to pay more than $5000 to the family of the man he killed. And he lost his hunting license for 10 years, but of course, he’ll be in jail for seven of those years.

There’ll be no hunting age limit in Maine starting in 2016

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 Governor Paul LePage has signed into law a bill that repeals Maine’s minimum hunting age of 10. Beginning on January 1, 2016, kids of any age may hunt in Maine, with adult supervision.

LD 156 was sponsored by Representative Gary Hilliard of Belgrade and championed by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. USSA sent Rob Sexton to Maine to brief legislators and others on this issue over the past few months, and also wisely hired James Cote to lobby for the bill. Cote managed the sportsmen’s campaign on last year’s bear referendum and is highly respected at the State House.

Maine joins 39 other states that allow kids of any age to hunt with adult supervision. Hilliard’s bill won strong support from the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and sailed through the House of Representatives without debate, but got hung up in the Senate where the some members had concerns about the bill.

Remembering the Land for Maine’s Future Program – Fondly

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While we worriedly await legislative action on legislation sponsored by Senator Roger Katz that would allow the sale of voter-approved bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future Program, fearful that legislative divisions and dysfunction will derail the bill and the LMF program, I want to share with you a story I wrote a few years ago for a special publication of The Nature Conservancy.

Even if the legislature enacts Roger’s bill, so the bonds can be sold, the Governor still must sign a financial order for every project – giving him yet another opportunity to destroy the program and kill the pending projects. I titled this story “Special Places Special Times,” but today, perhaps it should be “Remembering the Land for Maine’s Future Program – Fondly.”

The Story

Once Burned by Gerry Boyle

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I’ve been waiting – impatiently - for years for a new novel by one of my favorite writers, Gerry Boyle. Well, it was worth the wait, because Gerry’s new novel, Once Burned, is a real page-turner. I actually read it in one day – literally could not stop reading. It is that good.

The really good news for you, if you have never read any of Gerry’s novels, is that Islandport Press in Yarmouth, in addition to publishing his new novel, has republished all of his previous novels in paperback. You’ve got a summer of fun reading ahead!

Gerry began his writing career as a news reporter for a weekly paper in Rumford, and moved from there to the Morning Sentinel in Waterville. I can remember talking to him after his first novel was published, and learning that he got up at 4 am to write the novel, before going to work at the paper. That is dedication and determination!

Fisheries Wish Lists Sent to Governor LePage

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                Many Maine anglers have a fisheries wish list. In response to my suggestion in a recent Outdoor News column, some anglers shared their wish lists with me and Governor Paul LePage. Many were very thoughtful. Some were short and sweet, asking for only one thing - probably a good strategy given the dysfunction and ugliness at the Capitol these days.

                Michael Demarest has only one thing on this wish list. “I wish I could get a second license to take youngsters over 16 who haven’t ever fished or who have disabilities fishing,” he wrote. Good for you Mike.

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