Enjoying Katahdin - in art and in person

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Mount Katahdin loomed in the backyard, right up there behind our camp on Sourdahunk Lake. Our camp is tucked just outside the northwest corner of Baxter Park.

I had saved Art of Katahdin, a magnificent book created by David Little, edited by his brother Carl Little, and published by Down East Books in May of this year, to enjoy at camp. Turned out to be the perfect setting. I didn’t even need to jump in the boat and get out on the water to look back at Katahdin, peaking at me over the shoulders of North and South Brother.

The Art of Katahdin captures the mountain in all its mystery and majesty, but truthfully, I was entranced not by the mountain, but by the stories of the artists and their adventures in and around the mountain, and the paintings of river log drives, log cabins, wildlife, brooks and bogs.

Legislature Corrects Turkey Hunting Mistake

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A last minute legislative amendment to a comprehensive expansion of Maine's turkey hunt included a change that would have allowed two turkeys of either sex to be taken in the spring season. And I reported this after the amendment was added to the bill and enacted into law, in my comprehensive report on the expansion posted here last week.

The change to two turkeys of either sex in the springt alarmed and infuriated many turkey hunters. I couldn't find out who asked for that change, or why it was made. 

Turns out the two turkeys of either sex was a drafting error. And it was noticed and corrected on the final day of the legislative session, according to Rep. Mike Shaw, the House chair of the legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Mike emailed this info to me after he read my report.

I just checked this on the legislature's website, and the final amendment listed there for LD 200, the turkey bill, still includes two turkeys of either sex - so if it was corrected, that is no reflected in the information available on the legislature's website.

Why not the best for Maine's brook trout?

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With a stunning sunset to the west and a ring of pink clouds surrounding the magnificent Mount Katahdin and its surrounding mountains to the east, I had to put down my fly rod for a moment and enjoy the views. For the past 90 minutes, my view had been focused almost entirely on the Yarn fly at the end of my line.

You know how it is when the brook trout are biting. A hatch of the famous Green Drakes was bringing up the trout, and plenty of them were mistaking my Yarn fly for the real thing. I had already hauled in more than a dozen, and despite the intensity of my focus, missed a lot of strikes.

Nesowadnehunk  (pronounced Sour-da-hunk) is the largest fly-fishing-only lake in Maine. It isn’t stocked and is chock full of native brookies.

The requirement that a water be limited to fly fishing is still controversial in Maine. I don’t know why that is, except that many anglers hate change. We settle into our fishing methods and cling to them like they are the Holy Grail.

The reading is fast on Easy Street

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Because I do book reviews, I occasionally receive unsolicited books to read and write about. Sometimes they are novels – and sometimes those novels are awful. But I admire anyone who attempts to write a book, especially a novel, so I do not write critical reviews. I just don’t write about the bad books. In this book review section of my website, you’ll only read about the books I liked. Some I loved.

Michael Shepherd was born in Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire and – finally, he says with relief – Maine. Clinton to be exact. He retired not long ago after 29 years in the Air Force. He lives in Colorado but gets to Maine occasionally to hunt. That, I think, is how we connected.

Michael was reading my website Outdoor News blog and noticed that I review books. He emailed me, and very politely asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing his novel. Well, what could I say? Of course. He shipped it forthwith.

Surprising Expansion Coming for Maine's Turkey Hunt

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The Maine ‘s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee did some good work this year for the sportsmen of this state, acting on over 100 bills, many dealing with big game animals deer, moose, bear, and turkeys. While Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife got no new money in the next biennial budget, and most of those 100 bills were defeated, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee showed surprising independence in questioning the department’s position on the issues and choosing – at times – to ignore the agency’s advice.

Why Can't Fish and Wildlife Department Be Trusted to Make Rules?

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Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Department has the most complex and rigorous rule-making system of all state agencies. I tried to simplify the process this year, with the help of Senator Anne Haskell, and we had a lot of momentum and support initially, but at the end of the session, our proposal failed. The final votes, in my mind, indicate a serious lack of confidence in the department. Here’s the whole story.

LD 128, An Act to Abolish the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, sponsored by Senator Haskell at my request, was opposed by the Council chair, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Professional Guides Association, and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

It's time to celebrate the Bethel Inn's 100th Anniversary!

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For 100 years the Bethel Inn has been offering hospitality in one of the most beautiful regions of Maine. It’s time to celebrate!

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