SAM Sportsman's Congress - Learning by looking back

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One of the best things I did during my 18 years as executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine was to organize an annual Sportsman’s Congress, bringing together leaders of the groups representing sportsmen, environmentalists, and landowners, for a day-long examination of key issues coming up in the next twelve months.

I stumbled onto a news report on one of these events, conducted during Governor John Baldacci’s time in Augusta. Here it is. It’s sometimes a good thing to look back. You will note that we’re still fighting many of the same issues.

News Report

Boy escapes poverty by living life outdoors in Maine

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                The cover photo will grab you. It features a young woman in a dress, wearing a red felt hat, holding a dead fox in one hand and a rifle in the other, with a dead deer hanging two feet from her, just in front of the clothes line. Bud Simpson’s mother didn’t bag the fox or deer, and the hat and rifle were not hers, but obviously, she was game for anything her family came up with.

Hunting Works for Maine Launches New Organization

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                From sporting goods stores to sporting camps and gas stations to country cafes, Maine hunters provide an important economic boost to thousands of businesses statewide. And that’s just part of the story you’ll be hearing from a new organization, Hunting Works for Maine.

                Supported by national organizations including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Hunting Works initiative has been launched in 11 states, Maine being the 11th to join this important effort. Washington will be number twelve when Hunting Works in Washington kicks off later this month.

Hunting Works for Maine - Frequently Asked Questions

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 Hunting Works for Maine

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Hunting Works for Maine?

Hunting Works for Maine is a local, grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting, shooting, and the economics derived from these activities. Members are advocates for public policy who support jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, we explain the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Maine.

Who is sponsoring this effort?

This effort is being sponsored by concerned organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

An electrifying evening in Brunswick

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 Dinner at Henry and Marty’s and the Music Man made for a wonderful evening.


                As Linda noted on our way home, “It was an electrifying performance.” About half way through the second act of a wonderful performance of The Music Man at Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick, lightning struck and the lights went out. Curt Clark, the theater’s artistic director who starred in this musical, entertained us for a while with theater trivia, then a group of men and later the theater’s interns sang for us, but eventually Curt announced they would not be able to restore the lights and finish the play. All of us were offered a chance to return to see another performance.

Fishing from a kayak just got a whole lot easier!

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Linda and I purchased a couple of Old Town’s loon kayaks many years ago, and liked them so much we purchased a third one two years later so our kids could join us on the water. Almost immediately, I started fishing from the kayak, particularly on the Kennebec River between Waterville and Sidney, a section of the river where boating is nearly impossible due to shallow water, lots of rocks, and a series of rapids.

I would fish about half way to Sidney, to a series of rapids, and then paddle back to Waterville. I could return to the launch site in about an hour of paddling. I did try fly fishing for the smallmouth bass there, but found that to be difficult from the kayak, so I mostly stuck to my lightweight spinning road. The kayak is very maneuverable and I could even get into a few side waters in it. And yes, I caught tons of fish.

No, you cannot shoot or poison my cat!

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I should have known better. Cat lovers can be brutal. When my friend Paul Jacques, as a Maine legislator, proposed that cats be licensed like dogs, he got clobbered. Yesterday, when I reported that Australia has established a goal of shooting or poisoning 2 million feral cats, I got clobbered.

“George Smith - it would appear from your article that there are not enough wild animals to satisfy your desire to kill that you want to start in on cats. You sound like a scrum bag to me,” wrote one reader.

My reputation as a Maine sportsmen came under attack by several readers. “I’d sooner spay or eliminate the two legged hunters to be honest. It is not a cat fault it has to hunt... it’s all on humans.  We are putting the blame on the wrong species,” wrote one reader.

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