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.

Sleeping turkey gets surprised by hunters

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 This turkey hunting story was shared with me by my friend Jim Robbins. It’s a good one and I want to share it with you. Here’s Jim’ story, in his own words.

 

            One day in mid May my grandson Eli had Friday off from school so we decided that we would go turkey hunting together.  Knowing that teen agers usually don’t like to get up at 3:30 am I told him I would pick him up at 5 am.  We went to four of my favorite haunts but with no luck. 

            At one of the spots we could hear some gobblers way off but couldn’t get them interested in our calling.  At about 7 am we drove over to an old farm where I had some luck in the past.  Out behind the farm house there is a junk yard, typical of many old Maine farms. 

Legislature cracks down on deer baiters and bad guides

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 With encouragement from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the legislature cracked down on deer baiters and bad guides. Let’s start with deer baiters.

This bill was amended to provide that the person who is convicted of hunting over bait during an open season on deer must be revoked for one year. A second offense requires revocation for two years. The original bill required a mandatory fine of $500 but that was removed, as committee members thought this should be left up to the Judge.

Representative Will Tuell of Washington County sponsored the bill, and began his testimony by thanking the committee for rejecting a bill that would have made hunting deer over bait legal. “Doing so would have encouraged and emboldened those bad actors who flout our game laws to push the envelope, while threatening the overall health of our deer herd,” he said.

I got caught by Caught.

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 From Tony Small’s first photo and Glen Libby’s first quote, I was hooked by their wonderful book: Caught – Time. Place. Fish.

“Changing the world was not as simple as it seemed here in Port Clyde, but a remarkable thing happened…”

That’s the first thing I read, and it was so true: this is the story of a truly remarkable achievement in Port Clyde, Maine, one of my favorite places.

As Port Clyde’s fishing industry declined, due to the disappearance of shrimp and other species, Glen jumped up and organized the first Community Supported Fishery (CSF) in the nation.

The CSF was designed to process and sell the fish and allow fishermen to capture more of the profits. It was not an immediate success. Indeed, it’s been a long and often difficult road to profitability. But in the meantime, more than 100 other CSF’s have been organized in our country, and Glen has become a well-known leader in the industry.

Alter your fish and you’ll be in big trouble

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 A new law governing fisheries included language that “prohibits anglers from altering fish, including smelts, from their natural state until after they have conducted a wet measure.” That’s the way the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife described their proposal, sponsored for the agency by Senator Scott Cyrway, Senate chair of the IFW Committee.

Cyrway, in his testimony, explained that “fishermen are cleaning smelts and cutting the heads off at the stream, in order to allow an increased limit of fish, and this is negatively impacting the smelt population.”

The bill also replaces, in law, the term “alewives” with the term “river herring.” Cyrway explained that this is the “correct reference when referring to both alewives and blueback herring.”

State agrees to controversial take-over of Forest City dam.

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 A very-late-in-the-session legislative bill calling for a state takeover of the Forest City Dam on the St. Croix River was hotly debated. Several key changes were made, and the bill was enacted and signed by the Governor.

One of the major concerns expressed by IFW Committee members was the expense of maintaining this large dam, half of which is in Canada. The state will only be responsible for our side of the dam, not the Canadian side.

Road Slobs Trash Cemetery

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 What kind of road slob tosses his garbage into a cemetery? A disgusting, uncaring, unthinking slob, that’s who.

My garbage walk last week from my house up the road alongside my woodlot resulted in one full bag of garbage and another of returnable bottles and cans. As I’ve said before, road slobs drink Bud Lite and smoke Marlboro cigarettes.

Most shocking was the garbage tossed into the cemetery next to my woodlot. I hope those slobs enjoyed their McDonald’s lunch and their Bud Lite. But why did they think it was ok to leave their garbage in a cemetery? Shameful!

The bear almost trampled me!

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           Our camp on Sourdnahunk Lake on the edge of Baxter Park is the best thing Linda and I ever purchased. Our kids grew up here and our grandchildren are now enjoying the camp, which is part of an old sporting camp, Camp Phoenix.

          Reading through our camp journal recently, I decided there are a lot of good stories to be shared, so today I’m starting to write those in a new series I’ll call True Tales of Camp Phoenix. And yes, these are all true!

          Today, we’ll start with bear tales

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