Big challenges ahead as new big game management plans are created

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                New management plans for all of Maine’s big game animals should be ready for review and comment by sportsmen and the general public sometime in December. Draft plans prepared by wildlife biologists and representatives of various groups are nearing completion.

                Those plans will go to a larger Big Game Steering Committee, which will work with the department to complete the plans. A statewide poll, online comments, and public meetings have all been part of the process, and once the plans are completed, you will get one more chance to comment before they are officially adopted.

New episode of Wildfire focuses on deer

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State Representative Gary Hilliard (R-Belgrade) is our guest on the episode of Wildfire that begins airing tomorrow night. Much of the show focused on deer, as we questioned the sharp 60 percent increase in any-deer permits issued this year by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Gary is on a working group that is partnering with DIF&W on a new deer management plan, and we spent some time exploring the key issues, including whether high populations of deer in southern Maine should be reduced, given the growing concerns about deer ticks and Lyme disease.

We also talked about what the legislature did on outdoor issues, and didn’t do, and on Gary’s successful legislation that eliminated the age limit for hunting.

Each edition of Wildlife is aired on Time Warner cable station 9 on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Each edition airs for two weeks. You can also access the show, including previous shows, online at www.vstv.me.

Creativity and commitment to community make Vittles special

City or Town: 
Pittsfield
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 Linda

                 Vittles Restaurant is a family run gem in Pittsfield. Bob and Kathy Phelan, the owners, are parents of the talented and inspired chef Richard LeRose whose creative energy focuses on quality fresh ingredients.

                Dinners are served here on Friday and Saturday nights featuring a menu of the day. Bob wanted to get us started with the specialty appetizers of the evening - Tempura Battered Garlic Scapes and Fried Calamari. Even though it was half portions of each, out came a rectangular plate heaped with curly garlic scapes, calamari, and even some fried jalapeño.

On my way to the outhouse

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 My Dad, Ezra Smith, was a prolific writer of letters to the editor. After he died, I found every letter he’d ever written to our local newspaper, in files by decade. What a treasure!

He once wrote a letter to the editor about the outhouse at our camp on Nesowadnehunk  Lake just outside the western boundary of Baxter Park. We actually framed the letter and put it up in the outhouse. A couple of years ago, when a new outhouse was constructed, his letter was moved, so it still hangs there.

I thought you might enjoy Dad’s letter. Here it is.

To the Editor:

Although I have lived in Maine most of my life, I had never been to Baxter Park. However, my luck changed when son George purchased a camp near there and I had the good fortune of being one of the first guests.

On my way to the outhouse

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 My Dad, Ezra Smith, was a prolific writer of letters to the editor. After he died, I found every letter he’d ever written to our local newspaper, in files by decade. What a treasure!

He once wrote a letter to the editor about the outhouse at our camp on Nesowadnehunk  Lake just outside the western boundary of Baxter Park. We actually framed the letter and put it up in the outhouse. A couple of years ago, when a new outhouse was constructed, his letter was moved, so it still hangs there.

I thought you might enjoy Dad’s letter. Here it is.

To the Editor:

Although I have lived in Maine most of my life, I had never been to Baxter Park. However, my luck changed when son George purchased a camp near there and I had the good fortune of being one of the first guests.

Opinions split on fishing and other issues

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 Yesterday I posted the results of a bunch of questions posed in the Sportsmen Say Survey section of my website, sponsored by Moody’s Collision Centers. Today I’ll give you the results of more of those questions.

I started the survey to give readers of this outdoor news column a chance to express their opinions and be heard on some of the issues I write about. I’ve been pleased with your response, ranging as high as 858. I share the results periodically with readers in this column and with outdoor leaders at DIF&W and the legislature.

Please be aware that you can still share your opinions on any and all of these issues in the Sportsmen Say Survey section of my website. Although some of these questions were posed over a year ago, most continue to get responses, including some last week.

Here’s what you said on moose, deer, and hunting issues

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 A few years ago, I started the Sportsmen Say Survey on my website, sponsored by Moody’s Collision Centers, to give readers of this outdoor news column a chance to express their opinions and be heard on some of the issues I write about. I’ve been pleased with your response, ranging as high as 858.

I share the results periodically with readers in this column and with outdoor leaders at DIF&W and the legislature. Today and tomorrow I’m going to share the survey results on a bunch of issues.

Please be aware that you can still share your opinions on any and all of these issues in the Sportsmen Say Survey section of my website. Although some of these questions were posed over a year ago, most continue to get response, including some last week.

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