George's Outdoor News

George’s new outdoor issues blog. He goes all over the state. He listens. And he reports on issues of concern to sportsmen, conservationists, and environmentalists.

Shocking decline in northern Maine angling

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 I was astonished earlier this week to be on a northern Maine lake that once drew lots of anglers, and to see only a handful of anglers in two days.

I guess it should not have surprised me, because I recently read Jeremiah Wood’s report about a sharp decline in northern Maine angler use between 1996 and 2016. Wood is a fisheries biologist with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

And his compelling and concerning report should be read by all of you. This is why many of our sporting camps are struggling. There are lots of great places to fish in North America, and Maine is no longer on many of those lists.

Wood’s Report

The Stan Grover Memorial Moose Hunt

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 My friend Jim Robbins recently shared this wonderful story of two moose hunts, with permission to share it with you. 

 

By Jim Robbins

 

This story is about an incredible set of circumstances about two moose hunts involving Stan Grover, his grandson and some friends.

Amazing stories from some of Maine’s best game wardens

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 Ludger Belanger, a young man who shot a big buck and hauled it out of the woods onto an old road, hopped into a car with two guys who offered to transport him and his buck out to his car. And then Ludger disappeared.

This is just one of the amazing stories in Daren Worcester’s new book, Open Season – True Stories of the Maine Warden Service, published by Down East Books. I especially enjoyed Daren’s book because I knew many of the dozen wardens featured in the stories, during my years of working for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Boa Constrictors slither freely in Maine

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 Imagine finding a 5-foot boa constrictor on your porch. That’s what happened to a Biddeford resident last week.

You might be surprised to know that anyone can possess a boa constrictor without a permit, nor do they have to let their neighbors or anyone else know when their snake escapes.

I tried to change that with a bill sponsored at my request by Senator Scott Cyrway, but DIF&W opposed the bill and it was reduced to a simple hike in fines for those who don’t get permits for exotic animals that require a permit or who fail to notify the Maine Warden Service if that animal gets loose.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of exotic animals that can be possessed without permits. And the owners of those animals don’t have to let anyone know when their animals get loose.

Lots of Fishing Rule Changes Proposed

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The list of proposed changes in fishing rules is lengthy, and you should check it out to see if changes are proposed on your favorite waters.

You can access a list of the proposed changes here.

You also have a chance to comment on the changes. The following public hearings on the proposed changes will be held:

Something in the Water by Peter Scott

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 Something in the Water turned out to be Nazi U-boats, and the effort by these remote Maine islanders to protect themselves and others resulted in one of the best novels I’ve read in years.

Author Peter Scott gives us both history and suspense, with very realistic characters, lots of emotion, and enemies both near and far. I loved the main character, Amos Coombs, who reminded me of some old lobstermen that I have known in my lifetime.

Down East Books did us a real favor in publishing Something in the Water. I am also grateful to my local librarian, Mary Ann Libby, for recommending the book to me.

Sweden will kill 90,000 moose in October

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 Apparently Sweden is the place to go if you want to shoot a moose. In October, Swedes will kill 90,000 moose, from their herd of more than 400,000. And farmers in Sweden are demanding that hunters kill more moose!

Here’s the story, with thanks to Ken Durkee of Charleston, Maine for sharing this story with me, along with the accompanying video of a Swedish moose hunt.

And here’s the very interesting and entertaining video.

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