Man kills neighbor over Lyme disease

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If you needed any encouragement to stop feeding deer, this might be it. An angry and distressed Minneapolis man shot and killed his neighbor, thinking he’d gotten Lyme disease from the deer his neighbor was feeding in the yard.

Neil Zumberge also wounded the neighbor’s girlfriend. Zumberge’s son was arrested the day before, accused of threatening to burn the neighbor’s barn down and kill them. Google Zumberge’s name and you can read all about it.

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife discourages deer feeding. If that is not enough to make you stop, this latest unfortunate and tragic incident might do it.

After posting three columns on deer ticks and Lyme disease, I continue to receive advice and information from people in and outside of Maine about this terrible affliction.

Grandson

Doiron packs plot into The Bone Orchard

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Author Paul Doiron is packing more and more plot into his novels. After publishing four very popular award-winning novels, Paul left his job as managing editor of Down East magazine to focus all of his attention on writing. That decision appears to be paying off.

Paul’s new book, The Bone Orchard, scheduled for publication by Minotaur Books on July 15, is riveting. I was surprised right off the bat to discover that Paul’s central character, Mike Bowditch, had quit his job as a Maine game warden and become a Maine guide. But not to worry, game wardens are front and center is this novel.

Great hotels, food, and shops make Kennebunk and Kennebunkport prime destinations for travelers

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Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
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Kennebunk’s Grand Hotel offers superb service and is surrounded by wonderful shops, markets, and restaurants.

George

I (of course) noticed (and grabbed) the small box of chocolates at the reception desk of the Grand Hotel in Kennebunk, while the very-friendly Patrick was checking us in. And another bag of goodies awaited in our room on the second floor overlooking a charming street of stores and the Kennebunk River.

But it was the next morning, when Linda opened the door to go downstairs to see what might be offered for breakfast, that I was really impressed. A bag of muffins and juice had already been delivered to our door.

The very best of inns pay attention to every detail of a customer’s comfort, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. And the Grand Hotel pays attention to the details.

Twenty percent cut in Maine’s any-deer permits will give resident adult hunters only 12,395 permits

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 Maine’s any-deer permits will be slashed 20 percent this fall. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reports “the winter of 2013-14 was of above average severity, which may have resulted in increased winter mortality rates for over-wintering deer.”

Focus on the word “may.” The sad fact is that the agency doesn’t know how many deer died this past winter, or how many deer we have in the state. Maine’s #1 game animal isn’t getting the attention and research needed to assure good decisions on harvest, habitat, and other critical issues. The Maine Game Plan for Deer has fallen far short of its goals. This year 17 of the 29 Wildlife Management Districts will get no any-deer permits, 4 more than last year.

Maine’s moose in trouble, hunting permits cut, guides cut out

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Maine’s moose permits will be reduced by 25 percent this year. The decision comes just 3 months after Lee Kantar, DIF&W’s moose biologist, reported that “Maine has a healthy and strong moose population and has the highest density of moose in the lower 48 states.”

That rosy statement was included in a January 22, 2014 press release from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. I’ll bet Lee would like to take that one back!

Last year DIF&W awarded 4, 110 moose permits. This year hunters will get only 3,095. A “healthy and strong moose population?” I don’t think so!

Commissioner Chandler Woodcock called the drastic reduction in permits “prudent,” and “based upon the research of our biologists.” The reduction “will help lessen the impact of winter ticks on the state’s moose population.”

Ocean restaurant in Kennebunkport’s Cape Arundel Inn is a place to celebrate!

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Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
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 George

You’d have to be on a ship to dine any closer than this to the ocean. So of course, this restaurant in the Cape Arundel Inn is called Ocean.

While the waves roll towards us, outside the huge picture windows at Ocean, my gaze is out a side window toward the nearby home of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. They dine here too, but didn’t the night we were there. Linda suggests they probably walk to the restaurant. I doubt it!

Actually, the drive along Ocean Avenue, from the Grand Hotel where we are ensconced for the weekend, is stunning. And so is the food, served in a relatively-small, intimate setting, a place of white linens, beautiful art, and superb service.

Spruce Budworm threatens Maine deer yards and more

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While Maine has not achieved its goals for protecting deer yards, that might not matter if and when the spruce budworm gets here. The budworm could destroy the state’s deer yards on both private and public lands.

Doug Denico, Director of the Maine Forest Service, told a gathering of forest industry people recently, “If you look at the map that was put up there about Maine, you’ll see that we’ve got budworm all over Maine – moths I mean – and it’s coming back in the same places it came back in the 1950s.”

The good news is that private landowners and state agencies are working together to address this approaching problem. The latest newsletter of the Maine Forest Products Council provides an update and interesting information on this critical issue, including a bunch of reports and research. You can read it here.

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