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.

Opening Day of Deer Season is always exciting!

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 Here’s one of my favorite opening day columns written for The Maine Sportsman in November 1986.

By the time I get up, Dad will already be parked in my driveway. Others will begin arriving before the coffee is hot. The darkness outside will appear foreboding, a discouragement to the awaited day.

But Linda’s blueberry muffins and a hot cup of coffee will put smiles on all faces. And we will quickly be gathered around the kitchen table mapping out the days strategy.

It was a great honor to receive this environmental leadership award

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On Wednesday night, Maine Conservation Voters presented me with the Harrison Richardson Environmental Leadership Award for 2017, a very great honor, at an event in Portland.

I got the award for “writing, speaking, advocating, and inspiring all of us to protect the woods, waters, and wildlife of Maine.”

I want to share the speech I gave at the event with you today. Here it is.


MCV speech

Here's where DIFW stocked fish this year

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If you chase stocked fish, you might want to check out this recent report, issued by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The report lists stocked waters by county, and even tells you how many fish and what species of fish were stocked. They also list the size of the stocked fish.

You can read that report here.

Legal hours for deer hunting

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Representative Russell Black provided me with a handout he published and distributed to hunters in his district around Wilton. It is a very helpful guide to legal hunting hours, so I want to share it with you today.




Great stories about wild critters in a Falmouth home

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 Thomas Urquhart has written an hilarious story about the wild critters that got into his Falmouth home. Just imagine, a skunk in the stove’s gas line, a raccoon with babies in the ceiling, a possum on the piano.

Well, you don’t have to imagine any of this, because it all happened at Thomas’ house, and a lot more.

Thomas’ story reminds me of a chapter in my first book, A Life Lived Outdoors, that tells about all the wild critters that got into our Mount Vernon home.

What is deer bait? Hunters need to know.

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 After reading my column about the new severe penalties for hunters who bait deer, and the expansion of the months when deer feeding is prohibited, a reader asked me if mineral blocks are considered to be bait. I sought clarification from DIFW and will give you their response in this column.

If you missed that previous column, it reported on the new law that takes away your hunting privilege for a year if you are caught using bait to lure in deer. But what was very surprising is that the legislature amended that bill, which originally called for a two-year suspension of hunting privileges for a second baiting offense, and required a lifetime loss of hunting privileges for that second offense.

These 90 second Nature Moments are fascinating

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Nat Wheelwright has started a fascinating series of 90 second videos titled “Nature Moments.” Nat is a Natural Science Professor at Bowdoin College and a Maine Audubon Trustee. His videos are posted on Maine Audubon’s website.

I was particularly intrigued by his video of the amazing and beautiful plants that took root after he stopped mowing his lawn. Yup, no more lawn mowing!

Here’s how they described this: “Mowing lawns costs time, burns fossil fuels, and produces a biological desert. When Nat let his grass grow, three dozen flower species appeared, attracting a diversity of insects that fed birds in this backyard.”

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