Tall Tales from the Tall Pines by Christian P. Potholm

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 Chris Potholm’s tall tales may be more truth than fiction. Tall Tales from the Tall Pines is a book of hunting and other outdoor stories that will be read, re-read, and put up on the shelves with outdoor books that are handed down from generation to generation. And not just because some of the stories are based on true amazing experiences that happened to author Christian Potholm – some of them with me.

Bald Mountain Camps offer all outdoor adventures

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                 What would you hope to find at a favorite sporting camp? Maybe historic camps of varying sizes, all restored for your comfort without losing the original features? Perhaps a deck with lots of rocking chairs, overlooking a beautiful lake with mountains beyond? How about a beach, with plenty of room for the kids to frolic? Would you enjoy a fantastic restaurant right on the grounds?

                I’ll bet you would enjoy hundreds of thousands of acres of conservation lands, with terrific hiking trails, within a few minutes ride of the camp. Of course, if you are me, you’d look for one of Maine’s best places to hunt and fish.

Wild animals plague Mainers and Game Wardens

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While Mainers love wildlife, those critters cause lots of problems for all of us. Maine game wardens handle 6,000 calls for help with nuisance wildlife each year, an astonishing 1/3 of all the calls they get. A 2013 report on public attitudes toward nuisance wildlife found that Maine led the 13 Northeastern states in nuisance wildlife problems. Thirty five percent of Mainers who were surveyed reported that’d had problems with wildlife in the past year.

I’ve had plenty of problems myself over the years. My book, A Life Lived Outdoors, published by Islandport Press last year, related the some of the battles I’ve fought with wildlife inside my home. I’ll give you that story at the end of this report. We’ve had snakes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and more, all inside our house. And of course, I’ve had lots of battles with wild critters outside the house from woodchucks to red squirrels.

Owls Head Revisited by Jim Krosschell

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 You may have visited the Owls Head lighthouse, or Lucia Beach, or even eaten one of those famous burgers at the Owls Head store, but you’ve never seen Owls Head as Jim Krosschell has seen it. Jim’s book, Owls Head Revisited, published by North Country Press in Unity, is both interesting and provocative.

Jim has lots of opinions about Maine, politics, the environment, and most especially everything in Owls Head from the airport (doesn’t like it) to the mansions of summer people (doesn’t like them) to the hard-working Mainers (likes them) to the ocean and forests and wildlife (loves them), to the very relaxing and reformative state of our State (that’s why he’s here).

Blazing into Bangor for a great meal

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                Several friends recommended Bangor’s Blaze restaurant, so when we discovered they also have a Blaze in Bar Harbor, we reserved for dinner there during an August visit to Mt. Desert Island. Our son Josh and daughter-in-law Kelly had eaten lunch there that day and raved about it. And were they ever right!

                That great meal motivated us to schedule a travel column visit to Blaze in Bangor while we were at the always-wonderful American Folk Festival. Blaze was within walking distance of the festival, right in downtown Bangor, and as we approached the restaurant we were greeted by the very friendly hostess, Meghan, who had thoughtfully set tables for us both inside and outside. We opted for inside because it was cooler and beautiful with wood and brick walls.

Grazing is Fun!

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New Gloucester
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 An amazing dinner in an amazing place


                I had no idea just how big Pineland Farms is until I read that it encompassed 5000 acres of land. Trust us, it is big enough to get lost in. It became much clearer once we found a large model of Pineland’s layout on display at The Market. This diverse business campus and educational and recreational venue is impressive.

                We visited Pineland for one of their Graze Dinners and had arrived early to explore. I insisted on finding the Garden I’d read about. The perennial, herb and vegetable Garden at Pineland Farms has wonderful paths winding artfully around the plantings. Seeing artichokes happily growing in Maine was a sight! Vegetables grown here are sold at The Market and gardening seminars are offered in the summer.

You better pay attention to these new hunting and fishing laws!

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 While you may think the legislature didn’t accomplish much this year, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee churned out a whole lot of work, resulting in dozens of law changes that govern our favorite outdoor pursuits. Thankfully, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has provided us with a summary of all those law changes.

They range from the transfer of any-deer permits to junior hunters and moose permits to family members, to increases in fees for hunting licenses and snowmobile registrations. There’s a good explanation of how the elimination of the concealed weapon permit requirement impacts those who are hunting. There are a lot of changes in licensing and registration laws.

And then there are the major changes, such as eliminating the minimum age for hunting and a complete rewrite of the laws governing possession of exotic animals. I have written extensively about both of those issues in previous outdoor columns.

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