Unanimous legislature tells governor he’s wrong on landowner relations

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 The Maine legislature has unanimously agreed that Governor Paul LePage is wrong about a proposal to expand the state’s landowner relations program. Unanimous votes in the House and Senate over-rode LePage’s veto of LD 1321, a bill that expands the landowner relations program at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The Governor seems to have little regard for the importance of good relations between landowners and land users. His veto message noted that, “The department does not need another legislatively mandated program designed to appease some special interest group to take time and attention away from the department’s core mission.” He could not be more wrong.

Private landowners are certainly not “some special interest group.” Nor are the sportsmen of Maine and others who recreate on private land. Most of us believe landowner relations are a vitally important part of DIF&W’s core mission.

Fighting for Bluebacks and Brookies at Big Reed Pond

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Imagine this: an old log cabin, on the shore of a remote pond full of brook trout, surrounded by old growth forest and conservation lands owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy, and you have it - cabin, pond, woods, hills, and trout- all to yourself.

Well, you don’t need to use your imagination because this place exits at Big Reed Pond (T8 R10). The cabin is owned by Igor and Karen Sikorsky of Bradford Camps and is available to folks who are staying at Bradford on Munsungan Lake. Bradford Camps gives you the experience of an historic sporting camp with plenty of modern conveniences from bathrooms in every cabin to extraordinarily good food. They even provide meals for those staying in their cabin on Big Reed Pond.

Igor flew my friend Gary Corson, who guided here for many years, and me into Big Reed for a day of blissful fishing in early June. We cruised the shoreline, with Gary doing most of the paddling, while I cast to eager brookies. It was constant catching, a day I will never forget.

Island Hopin’ and Hoppin’

City or Town: 
Portland
Monhegan
North Haven
Swans Island
Lubec
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 George

                As the end of the school year approached, Linda started hoping for an Island hopping adventure, but because she was too busy to write about it, she asked me to tackle this column by myself. It wasn’t hard to do, given all the islands we’ve visited and loved, from Portland to Canada.

Peaks Island, Portland

                The Inn on Peaks Island was the first place we visited enroute to the start of this travel column five years ago and we fell in love with the Inn and the island. We’ve visited in frigid weather in November and beautiful spring weather in May. It’s a great get-a-way anytime of year.

Distant Cousin by Delia Drake

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Marti Brann is a Mainer with a great imagination. She even imagined a new name, Delia Drake, to use as author of her mystery, Distant Cousin.  But this novel is all Marti. In the brief bio of Marti in the back of the book, we learn that she has a “vivid imagination that has entertained her family for years.” And now that imagination will entertain you too.

Forced to Fish Kodiak Island’s Karluk River for Five Extra Days

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                 Kodiac Island, Alaska, is a sportsman’s dream. Years ago, when I got stranded there for five days at the mouth of the Karluk River earlier, some people didn’t believe me. Stranded in Alaska? Right!

                Traveling with Les Priest of Readfield, who organized the trip through a company he owned at that time, Alaska Outdoors Adventures, we enjoyed a five-day adventurous raft trip down the Karluk River with outfitter Fishing Alaska Style, owned by Maine native Jeff Pyska who lived in Alaska.

                Our guide for the week, Augusta, Maine resident Bob Smith, did a superb job of putting us onto lots of King Salman and keeping the river’s huge brown bears out of our tent camps.

Comprehensive hunting license was a great idea but now its dead

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For the second session in a row, the legislature has killed a proposal to create a single comprehensive hunting license.  For the price of 13 gallons of gas, you would have been able to hunt in Maine for an entire year, all game animals, all seasons, all bag limits. Representative Mike Shaw sponsored the bill, at my request.

I understand that even the best of ideas can take years to get through the legislature, so while I am disappointed, I will not give up.

Five members of the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife supported an amended version of the bill that would have created a package of permits covering the most popular hunts, but that was quickly killed in the House of Representatives.

Great adventures, food, and cabins await you in the Forks

City or Town: 
Bingham
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If you enjoy great outdoor adventures, with a chance at the end of the day to return to a great meal in the lodge and a comfortable cabin, then you should head to the Forks where Northern Outdoors even offers its own popular microbrews.  

George

                Actually, you don’t have to leave the lodge for great adventures. They have a hot tub, pool, volleyball and basketball courts, indoor game and exercise rooms, and more, right on the premises. But the nearby Kennebec and Dead Rivers, and the vast forests, offer outdoor action that will thrill you, including rafting trips with Northern.

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