Maine Deer Game Plan Examined by Task Force

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After nearly 6 hours spent hearing a status report on the Maine Game Plan for Deer from staff of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, comments from the members of the state’s Deer Task Force were remarkably modest, if not downbeat.

“Its pretty much status quo, where we were two years ago,” said Aroostook County’s veteran DIF&W Regional Wildlife Biologist Rich Hoppe.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said task force member Matt Libby, a sporting camp owner, who asked some of the most pointed questions about the lack of progress in protecting deer wintering area.

“It’s coming. They’re doing something. But I know I’m too old to see it happen,” reported Don Dudley of Mattagamon, a leader of the Maine Professional Guides Association.

Here's a Toast to Geaghan's Pub and the Fireside Inn

City or Town: 
Bangor
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Bangor is an impressive and vibrant city, with a gorgeous riverfront, many good restaurants, and lots to do. This year we expanded beyond our traditional “go-to” eatery, the Sea Dog Tavern, to try other restaurants, including Geaghan’s Pub.

And when we travel in Maine, we always look for lodging from Bangor’s Lafayette family. They offer a range of accommodations featuring great service, plenty of amenities, and real comfort.

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This perfect ice shack could be yours!

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Cianbro built the best ice shack in Maine. And you can buy it.

On November 18, The Maine Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors hosted its first annual Maine Super Shack Build at the Augusta Civic Center. I was one of the judges, along with Harry Vanderweide, editor of The Maine Sportsman, Doug Denico, Director of the Maine Forest Service, Pat Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and State Senator Tom Martin, an ABC member.

ABC Maine President James Cote escorted us through four imaginative shacks constructed by competitors RJ Grondin & Sons, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, Cianbro, and Storey Brothers Excavation.

The Amazing Life of a Maine Pioneer and Wildlife Writer

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Born in New Sharon, Maine, close to my Mount Vernon home, Joshua Rich experienced a life I can only envy.

Rich hunted, fished, trapped, guided, and farmed. At times he owned a hotel, general store, and what may have been Maine’s first sporting camp. He served as a trial justice, pension agent, humane officer, and newspaper columnist. Well, I have that in common with Rich!

William “Bill” Krohn, whose fascinating account of Manley Hardy remains among my all-time favorite biographies, has given us another interesting look at a Maine pioneer and sportsman who lived from 1820 to 1897. Joshua Cross Rich – The Life and Works of a Western Maine Pioneer and Wildlife Writer, was published in paperback by the Maine Folklife Center in 2010.

Deer Predation System Needs Fixing

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The system governing the killing of deer and other animals that are damaging property or crops is a mess, sloppily managed, and lacking many of the required reports.

I asked Colonel Joel Wilkins of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for a chance to look at all of the required permits and reports for 2010, waiting patiently for several months while the material was collected at the agency’s Augusta headquarters, and finally receiving copies of the documents a few weeks ago.

Treat Yourself to a Shaker Village Christmas

City or Town: 
New Gloucester
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What do people from Georgia, Rhode Island, Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey know that you don’t?

They know that Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester is an amazing place. There were people at Shaker Village from each of those states, as well as England, on the October morning we visited.

Shaker Village includes a store with many interesting products, a fascinating museum, a craft store with locally made crafts from lamps to baskets to cheese balls, a farm with sheep and goats, and several historical buildings.

Pickering Commission Recommends Hunting Law Changes

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SAM’s Pickering Commission to Reduce and Clarify Maine’s Hunting Laws was organized in 2011 with the help of a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. I was hired to organize and lead the Commission.

A distinguished group of Commission members met twice and did a lot of work before, between, and after meetings. Included were three legislators who serve on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, two members of DIF&W’s Advisory Council, DIF&W’s Deputy Commissioner, a Captain of the Warden Service, and a good cross section of sportsmen from state organizations and local fish and game clubs.

The Commission’s final report and recommendations are attached to this column.

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