Noble House Inn is historic, elegant, and welcoming

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                I turned my comfortable wicker chair around to enjoy the snow-covered maple tree right outside our second story window and the tall pine forest beyond, along with my morning coffee.

                I do this at home, turning a rocking chair around to look out our large kitchen window while enjoying my coffee and Kennebec Journal every morning. But at the Inn, I was missing the chickadees that crowd the bird feeder right outside our kitchen window – until I looked at my coffee cup. It featured a beautiful painting of a chickadee!

Got a favorite Maine Sporting Camp? Tell me about it!

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                Down East Books has asked me to write a book about Maine sporting camps, to be published early next year. Our state once boasted more than 300 sporting camps, but now has less than 100, and many of those are not the traditional in-the-woods sporting camps, but new camps on lakes and on the coast.

                Linda and I own a camp at Camp Phoenix on Sourdnahunk Lake north of Millinocket. It was a sporting camp for 100 years. About 20 years ago it was turned into a condominium, where we own the camps individually and the property in common. It’s a magical place, with an abundant supply of wild trout, and on the edge of Baxter Park. Paradise.

Hear the ethics debate that should have happened during the bear referendum – but didn’t

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Thanks to Bob Duchesne and Matt Dunlap, you can now hear the discussion of hunting ethics that, in Bob’s words, “should have happened during the bear referendum – but didn’t.”

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap was the guest on Bob’s Saturday morning radio show recently, specifically to discuss hunting ethics. Matt is a former legislator who chaired the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, and is also an avid hunter and angler who is often joined in the field by his daughter Emily.

Bob was well known as a Bangor region radio host. When he retired from that job he got elected to the legislature. After four terms there, he got termed out and started his Saturday radio show. He is also the state’s leading birding guide and the author of The Maine Birding Trail, a terrific guide book that Linda and I use in our travels throughout the state. We often leave a copy as a gift at Inns where we’ve stayed.

Maine’s devastating and destructive wild fires of 1947.

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If it wasn’t true, Wildfire Loose – The Week Maine Burned would make a good science fiction tale. I knew that Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island burned badly in 1947, but I did not know the devastating fires spread throughout the state, terrorizing Mainers, exhausting fire fighters, wiping out entire communities.

                Glad I wasn’t born until 1948!

                A severe drought set the stage for this tragedy, which was ignited, in many places, by carelessly tossed cigarettes. Some of the fires were deliberately set. But it only took a single spark to set the ground ablaze.

Legislature’s Fish and Wildlife Committee includes former DIF&W Commissioner Danny Martin

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                This year the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has a lot of new members, although some of them are not new to the legislature. Seven of this committee’s members from the last session will not be back.

                 Interestingly, six were re-elected but moved on to other committees or leadership positions. Representative Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester), a hard-working, smart, and very capable legislator, was recognized for her leadership capabilities and chosen to be the Assistant Republican Leader in the House, where she is sure to continue her interest in outdoor and landowner issues. Representative Espling is sponsoring my proposed landowner relations bill that would significantly expand DIF&W’s landowner relations program.

Best Restaurants of 2014

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Unique, creative, and tasty food, plus superb service, made these 12 restaurants our favorites for 2014. You’ll want to dine here in 2015 – and so will we!

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We'll never hunt on Sundays in Maine

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              We’ll never hunt on Sundays in Maine. On April 25, 2011, the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee unanimously killed LD 910, sponsored by Rep. Stacey Fitts, a bill that would have authorized landowners to hunt on their own land on Sundays. It was the best Sunday hunting bill of that session, and the last serious attempt at the legislature to authorize Sunday hunting.

Here’s why I’m pessimistic about Sunday hunting. Almost every member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee hunts. And every member is an advocate for sportsmen. Yet not a single one was willing to support Stacey’s bill giving us this very limited Sunday hunting opportunity.

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