Hunting has changed a lot in my lifetime

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                 Introducing a segment on the end of the firearms season on deer, the female TV 6 newscaster issued a warning that “some of the images might be disturbing.” My, how hunting has changed, in my lifetime.  We would mount our dead deer on the front hood of the car and parade up Winthrop’s Main Street, then hang the deer in the front yard for all to see and admire. Yes, admire. I don’t believe anyone found the dead deer to be disturbing.

                As the TV 6 segment was showing, I was wondering if people who pass the supermarket meat counters are disturbed by all that meat, cut out of animals for their dining pleasure. Can it really be disturbing to see a deer killed by a hunter who values the opportunity to harvest his or her own animals and feed his or her family fresh, healthy meat?

TV show features important outdoor Maine issues

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 Ben Sprague is an interesting young man, a Bangor banker who enthusiastically interviews Maine people for his weekly podcast called “The Maine Show.” When he invited me to be a guest on his show, I checked it out and was impressed with the folks he’s interviewed and the issues he’s tackled. It’s a very interesting show.

Ben caught up with me at the Maine Harvest Festival at the Cross Center in Bangor, and we taped the show in a room at the auditorium. I talked about my career as an advocate for sportsmen and conservation, including my 18 years at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

A memorable meal at Morse's in Waldoboro

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                Tucked in the rural landscape of Waldoboro might not be where you would expect to find great German sausages and a huge variety of European cooking products. But look no further than Morse's Restaurant and European Deli. Customers are torn between eating first and then shopping or shopping first and then eating.

Selling wild game meat turns out to be illegal!

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 Well, I got it wrong. Sort of.

My column, posted on Monday, about selling wild game meat reported that, while the meat can’t be sold, game dinners hosted by nonprofits are legal. Well, they are not.

After another extended conversation with Tim Peabody, the new Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, I think I now understand how this works.

The section of law that Tim had given to me gives nonprofit groups an exemption from the licensing requirements of the Department of Agriculture, for up to 12 public events or meals a year. But those groups are not exempt from DIF&W’s laws that prohibit the sale of wild game meat.

Other than that key point, the rest of the column was accurate!

The law

Don’t Miss Rockland’s Pies on Parade!

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 It’s a brilliant idea, linking the eating of pie to donations to a food bank.  Rockland’s annual Pies on Parade is an event that Linda and I try to never miss. It’s scheduled for Sunday, January 31, 2016, from 1 to 4 pm.

Just imagine: 25 businesses offering samples of 40 different pies. Well, you don’t have to imagine this, because that’s what Pies on Parade offers. In my mind, I justify all that indulgent eating by walking from business to business. Schooner Bay Taxi does offer free transportation at designated stops, but if you are able to walk, all the places are within easy walking distance.

Hunter’s cigarette butt sets Mount Vernon woods ablaze

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 Careless hunters worry private landowners, for good reason. In mid-November, seven acres of my neighbors’ woodlot was burned, most likely because a careless hunter discarded a cigarette butt there while enjoying the privilege of hunting on this unposted land. No one else had been up there in the woods that day.

Ron and Nancy LaRue, who do not post their 400 acres of woodlands that I enjoy and appreciate, have suffered their share of careless recreationists, from ATV riders to hunters. So it is remarkable that they do not post their land.

A few weeks ago, Nancy got up about midnight and glanced out the window across Hopkins Pond. She thought she saw car lights across the pond in the woods, and woke her husband Ron because she thought someone was out there poaching deer. It would, I am sorry to say, not have been the first time.

Radio show focuses on how hunting has changed in Maine

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Maine Calling, a popular radio call-in show hosted by Jennifer Rooks on Maine Public Radio, focused on hunting yesterday. It was my privilege to participate along with other guests Bill Vail, former Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Deirdre Fleming, outdoor writer for the Portland Press Herald.

Bill and I focused on how hunting has changed in our lifetimes, while Deirdre conveyed her excitement about her first-ever deer hunt. We also talked about a lot of other hunting issues. Jennifer does a superb job of keeping the discussion moving forward, and selecting questions from the many listeners who call or email to participate in the discussion and ask questions.

You can listen to the program here.

PHOTO: Deirdre Fleming on her first-ever deer hunt. 

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