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.

Ten Maine moose permits sell for stunning $150,000!

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In 2017, ten nonresidents will hunt moose in Maine, paying between $14,444 and $16,510 for their permits. Most will also hire guides, some priced at $6500 or more. Yes, Maine’s moose hunt is valuable!

 

Maine can learn something from Pennsylvania's deer mistakes

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 Here’s a fascinating article about deer problems and issues in Pennsylvania. On Thursday, our legislature’s IFW Committee hosted “deer day” hearing a bunch of bills focused on deer permits and other issues, including a bill to limit hunters to shooting bucks with tines of three inches or more on each side.

I’ll have a report on those bills, and the interesting testimony at the hearing, soon. Right now, I recommend you read this article, and think about whether any of these issues are pertinent to Maine. Can we learn something from Pennsylvania’s deer problems?

http://www.iwla.org/publications/outdoor-america/article/outdoor-america-2016-issue-1/the-dangers-of-too-many-deer

 

Legislature lets fall fishing get away

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 Fall fishing opportunities, available throughout southern Maine, will continue to be unavailable in the northern half of the state. My bill to extend fall fishing opportunities by one month was hooked and released yesterday by the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

This bill would have expanded the opportunities to fish in the fall by authorizing October fishing in areas where that is now prohibited, with strict catch-and-release rules that match the rules for September fishing in these areas.

 

$5 million will fix problems at two state fish hatcheries

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 The legislature’s supplemental budget, approved by the Appropriations Committee last week, includes $4.8 million to fix problems in two state fish hatcheries. Given all the needs in this state, the Fish and Wildlife Department has to be congratulated for getting this money. For example, while there’s been a lot of discussion about what we need to do for those addicted to opiates, DIF&W got $2 million more than was appropriated for opiate addiction treatment programs.

This money will be spent to construct water supply lines and update water treatment equipment at the Casco and Grand Lake Stream fish hatcheries.

The Story

You can almost hear the roar of the tide in this wonderful book

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                 Jonathon White’s book, Tides, roars in and out like the tides at Lubec. Which is very appropriate, given that the book, subtitled The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, is all about our amazing tides all over the world.

                White fills his book with fascinating stories about his worldwide adventures, lots of history, and plenty of science. Yes, something for everyone.

                He hooked me in the first chapter, all about the tides in the Bay of Fundy, my favorite place on earth. Linda and I visit Lubec often, where the Bay of Fundy begins, and enjoy watching those magnificent, high, fast-moving tides rush through the narrows between Lubec and Campobello island.

You can shoot 25 snow geese a day!

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 You can shoot 25 snow geese a day! That’s one of the most surprising things about the proposed new rules governing hunting of migratory birds in Maine in 2017, just issued by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

A public hearing on all of these rules is scheduled for Monday, March 13, at 6 pm in Room 209B at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Avenue, Augusta. Written comments may be submitted until March 23.

These rules govern everything from duck to woodcock to crows and include youth day rules and special falconry hunting rules. Yes, there’s something for everyone here!

Here they are, just as they were emailed to me by the agency.

Maine’s hunting and other laws are complex, often amusing, and sometimes confusing

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It takes 462 pages to give us all of Maine’s laws governing hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor fun. I just finished reading through the law book and found some very interesting things that I will share with you.

But first, it’s what I didn’t find that puzzled me. Last year I wrote a series called, “What Can I Shoot and When Can I Shoot It?” Warden Corporal John MacDonald helped me answer that question, explaining that you can shoot red squirrels, woodchucks, and porcupines, anytime, anyplace, except on Sunday, without having to report that to the Maine Warden Service, as long as you have a hunting license.

That was really fortunate, because while talking to Corporal MacDonald, I confessed to shooting all three of those critters. If you don’t have a hunting license you cannot shoot those animals, or any others, unless they are damaging your crops or attacking your animals.

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