George's Outdoor News Blog Archive 2011
This could have been predicted.
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Legislators targeted coyotes as a major culprit in the devastating decrease in the state’s deer population.
The department created an ambitious Maine Game Plan for Deer, designed to rebuild the herd. It too targets coyotes for intensive hunting and trapping. The legislature enacted sweeping legislation to beef up the game plan, even going so far as to extend the coyote night-hunting season.
The message could not be clearer: hunters must kill more coyotes.
Apparently Maine isn’t the only place where deer are not seen as much as they have been in the past – at least on the roadways.
State Farm Insurance recently reported that deer-vehicle collisions in the United States decreased for the third consecutive year. And the downturn is accelerating, declining in 2010 at a rate that was three times as large as during the previous two years combined.
Of course we’re still colliding with the nation’s number one game animal an awful lot.
The trees may be leafless and the temperature a bit chilly, but Maine mushrooms – at least some of them – haven’t gotten the message yet that winter is approaching.
There is still time to gather and preserve some of our tastiest mushrooms, including matsutake and maitake (Hen of the Woods).
Our Mount Vernon friend and mushroom expert, Barbara Skapa, called my wife Linda a short while ago and took her to a spot close to our home to identify and pick matsutake and maitake mushrooms.
Mix a room full of Italian wines, savory seafood dishes, fabulous chefs, commercial fishermen and members of Maine’s growing aquaculture industry, lots of media, a good band, and the paying public, and you get a seafood stew worthy of Maine’s food and foodie capitol: Portland.
Down East is a “presenting sponsor” of Harvest on the Harbor, a major food and wine experience spread over three days, October 20 – 22, at Ocean Gateway in Portland.
Every Maine citizen – from kids to seniors – should be familiar with firearms. Our state may have the highest per capita ownership of firearms in the nation.
You are going to encounter guns sometime in your life if you live here. Rather than fear them, you should fire them.
Getting to know guns will be good for you, and fun. The best approach is to take a lesson from an expert. It’s the safest way to shoot and a great learning experience.
While we wait for a major initiative to simplify Maine’s fishing rules in 2012, the 2011 list of fishing rule changes is now up for public comment.
But prepare yourself. The changes consume 223 pages! Don't print out the list!
First, check to see if any of your favorite waters are on the list. That’s where you can have the most impact – commenting on waters you know well.
Inspired by the 50 pounds lost by Bangor Daily News outdoor writer John Holyoke, I’ve set my mind – and perhaps my body – on a course to lose the extra insulation in my mid-section. Toward that goal, I’ve created this Sportsman’s Weight Loss Plan.
Switch to light beer, at least when you are having more than one.
Perform 30 minutes of aerobics when watching the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins.
Even though you don’t shoot them, eat lots of vegetables.
Paul Fournier hooked me with his first sentence: “I was fifteen that summer when first love struck.” His first love was a 17 foot long Old Town canoe.
On the third page of Paul’s new book, Tales from Misery Ridge, (Islandport Press, 2011) he started to reel me in when he purchased his second canoe – at age 17 – from Leon Prince of North Monmouth. Leon was my wife’s grandfather, and when I read Paul’s words describing her grandfather to her, Lin said he had captured her twice-widowed grandfather exactly.
The loss of Maine’s deer herd in the North Woods is expected to accelerate the steady loss of both resident and nonresident hunters in a state once known for its Whitetails.
The truth is that the big woods still has trophy whitetails, but the overall deer population there is greatly diminished, and other states are now more attractive to deer hunters, including Mainers.
If you aren’t receiving the weekly newsletter of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, or reading it on the agency’s website, you’re missing a lot of interesting and helpful information, much of which can make your outdoor activities more fun. The newsletter is emailed on Tuesdays – coincidentally the same day this blog report is posted each week.
You can get on the email list by contacting Edie Smith, the agency’s Director of Information and Education, at Edith.A.Smith@maine.gov.