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.

Penalties increased for bad exotic animal owners

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 Exotic animal owners will pay much stiffer penalties in the future, if they fail to obey Maine’s exotic animal laws and rules, thanks to the Maine legislature and Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Senator Scott Cyrway did a superb of job of advocating for this bill that I proposed. He really should get a lot of the credit for the positive result, including bringing DIF&W on board after they initially opposed the bill, LD 91.

Exotic animal owners who have a permit, but fail to notify DIF&W if their animal gets lost, will now be cited for a Class E crime which increases the fines and includes jail time. Those who own exotic animals without the required permit, and/or fail to notify DIF&W when their animals get loose will be cited for a Class D crime, also with increased fines and jail time.

Cyrway also emphasized the need to require chips to be placed in the most dangerous animals, to identify their owners, and DIF&W, which has the authority now to do that, indicated that they would do this.

Mountain Lions, Javelinas, and lots of birds defined our Arizona adventure

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 As Linda and I started our hike up Miller Canyon in southeast Arizona in early May, a guy with a rifle and three dogs came down the hill, stopping to visit with us. He and his parents own the four cottages there, and he’d been hunting a mountain lion that morning.

The lion had killed a deer on the hill above their cottages, and he’d initially sat at the dead deer, expecting the lion to return to finish its feast. But it did not return, so he sent the dogs after it. Unfortunately, the dogs had left the canyon and hustled over to the next canyon, Ramsey Canyon, so he had to scramble to get down Miller and up Ramsey to capture them.

Derek Lovitch has published a great new Maine birding guide

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 Derek Lovitch’s new birding guide, Birdwatching in Maine, is a must-have for all who love Maine’s birds.  The book is comprehensive, covering all the state’s best bird watching places.

I can tell you that he includes all the places where Linda and I enjoy birding. Well, he doesn’t tell you about our yard, but he’s got all the rest of our favorites!

Derek and his wife Jeannette moved to Portland in 2003 and it didn’t take long for them to establish their Freeport Wild Bird Supply and a very busy guiding service. “Maine offers a tremendous wealth of birding opportunities for all levels and interest and experience,” he writes in the preface. That’s an important point because you don’t have to be an obsessive nearly-professional birder to find value in this book.

“No small part of the reason Jeannette and I stayed in Maine is the reason you are reading this book,” he notes.” Yup. We are a birding paradise.

We loved Portland's Mekong Asian Bistro!

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            After a long trip through the amazing and lengthy menu at Portland’s Mekong Asian Bistro, I looked up at Linda and said, “I’m lost honey. You’ll need to order for us.”

            After looking through all the choices of Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese appetizers and entrees, the only thing I was sure of was the Mai Tai ($6.95). That did turn out to be a very good choice.

A look back - and ahead - on fishing issues and challenges

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They follow state hatchery trucks, eager to catch those fat brook trout stocked this month all over the state. They crowd roadsides, casting from bridges. They troll the shores of lakes and ponds, hoping to catch a landlocked salmon.

Some seek a feed of tasty perch; others dream of a huge northern pike. Many focus on bass, Maine’s most popular fish. Twice as many bass are caught every year than brook trout.

An angler army is out this week on the brooks, streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. But the troops are depleted and we’re losing our recreational fishing economy.

Harry's great turkey hunting stories

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 While I was on a birding adventure in Arizona with my wife, my friend Harry Vanderweide kept me posted on his turkey hunting adventures. Most of you probably know Harry as one of Maine’s most admired outdoor writers and advocates. For many years he was the editor of The Maine Sportsman, and also has his own TV show, Northeast Outdoors. He also cohosted Wildfire with me for 13 years. And he was one of the founders of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Harry has had a terrible battle with Lyme disease for the past 4 years, but he just doesn’t give up. He’s still hunting and fishing, although not with as much energy as he once had. He’s now hunting with a crossbow and I want to share two of his stories with you today.

Important info on Lyme Disease

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I found this column in the latest edition of the Working Waterfront newsletter, published by Island Institute in Rockland.


There's a lot of good and important information about Lyme Disease and other diseases caused by deer ticks in this article, so I want to share it with you.

You can read the article here.

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