DIFW must help market hunting and fishing

DIF&W used to work with the outdoor industry, including guides and sporting camps, to market hunting and fishing in our state. But they don’t do that today. Bill Pierce worked hard at that, but when he left DIFW, they abolished his job.

I wrote a book, at the request of Down East Books, about Maine sporting camps, many of which are failing. When I asked them what their greatest challenge is, many said the loss of hunters and anglers. The camps that are open in the winter, serving snowmobilers and cross-country skiers, are doing better.

For example, at Claybrook Mountain Lodge in Highland Plantation (east of Kingfield), the Drummond’s most profitable business used to be deer hunting. Today deer hunting is their least profitable business and their most profitable business is cross-country skiing. They also hold two wonderful birding weekends in May, which Linda and I have enjoyed for several years.

It is critical that DIF&W work with the industry to market hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities in Maine. This is one of many recommendations I’ve given to our new governor, Janet Mills.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.