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Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Conservation

A breakthrough in PFAS research?

Last fall, an email hit my inbox alerting me that I might be hunting deer in an area that Inland Fisheries & Wildlife had flagged as a ‘do not eat’ area because of the high levels of PFAS found in the several deer that biologist had killed in the area. I've written before about the severity of PFAS and how devastating it could be. We have not heard much follow up since that time. I wonder if the area that was closed off will continue to be.  Will there be more locations flagged as ‘do not eat’ areas?  I am surprised that there has not been anything published that would give hunters an idea about if they should stick to their home area or try to find a new area to hunt. Maybe the assumption is that they won’t plan to hunt anyway....

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Remembering George Smith

I was trying to think about what to write about for my February article in the Northwoods Sporting Journal. Something that would be timely and start a conversation.  As the topics came and went, something made me think of George Smith.  It has been one year since he has passed and I starting thinking about the topics that would have him riled up and what I have accomplished in the past twelve months. There are two topics that I would love to have heard George’s take on. The first bring the Right to Food, which was passed into the Maine Constitution when we voted in November.  It is the first of its kind in the United States and reads “that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce...

Keep Reading

The age of my 2021 Maine bull moose

One of the most interesting things that happens after you shoot a bear or moose, is that you are asked to remove a tooth so that the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife can age the moose shot and collect age and health data. It is a part of a decades long effort to better understand the overall health of wildlife in Maine.  For hunters, it is always interesting to find out how old the animal was.  When I knew it was available, I immediately looked up the age of my 2021 Maine bull moose. 2021's data shows moose shot between the ages of 2.5 years old to 20.5 years old. It is fascinating to think that there are moose in this state that are twenty years old. Any guesses on how old our 2021 Maine bull moose was?  Remember, he had...

Keep Reading

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board

Last week, I went in front of the joint committee of the Environment and Natural Resources to provide testimony for my nomination to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board.  The only other time I had done this was when I testified in favor of Judy becoming Commissioner. This time, the Governor was nominating me. One of her representatives introduced me and then I had the opportunity to say a little about me. You can watch the hearing by clicking here. Joe's introduction of me begins around the 7 minute marker.  My testimony is below. My Testimony Senator Brenner, Representative Tucker and members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  My name is Erin Merrill and I am here to say a few words about my nomination to the Maine...

Keep Reading

Taking Turkeys to Texas

There are a few less turkeys in Maine to hunt this year. A few months ago, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, captured and released more than 50 birds into East Texas with the hope of rebuilding their population.

Keep Reading

Conservation Organizations Need Your Help NOW

As we plan for 2021, we know that we will not be attending sportsman’s shows.  We won’t be able to catch up with fellow hunters, trappers and anglers and we won’t be spending money on all of those raffle tickets. And that is hurting hunting organizations – a lot. Many outfitters and conservation organizations rely on the foot traffic that these shows provide to help get reach more people which helps to draw more donations.  Businesses rely on shoppers to buy the cast iron, jackets, wooden carvings, jerky and more but we will not there to make those purchases next year. And while everyone is still feeling the pinch of the pandemic and a changing world, we need to make sure that these organizations have what they need to continue with...

Keep Reading

Nurturing a Love of Nature

In the past twelve months, I've been a homeschooling teacher (temporarily), figured out how to work from home full-time and maintained a stable supply of toilet paper. We went from being out and about in the community to everyone at home. It was a lot! But one of the things we did from the start was get outside more. I asked people on my Facebook page for a list of items that we could search for in the woods. We had everything from birch bark and 3 types of moss to bones, different shapes of pinecones, mushrooms and beechnuts on our list. We eagerly searched the woods around our house and crossed off items. It was good for everyone’s mental health to be outside and exploring. It made me think back to my own childhood and walking...

Keep Reading

Some Shane Mahoney Inspiraton

Yes, this is an older video but the message still rings true; "...they have concluded, in agreement with us, that yes, sportsmen and women and the activity of hunting, done in a sustainable manner operates as a conservation mechanism the world over..."  On this polarizing election day, let's focus on what we can agree on.  Conservation efforts, traditions, and the importance of understanding and working for social and biological carrying capacities for all animals in an effort to maintain the resource for generations to come. 

Keep Reading

The Blood Origins Project

"I was looking for a narrative that described who we are as hunters,” my friend Robbie Kroger explained to me, “Essentially looking for an authentic truth about who we are. I couldn't find it. So we built it with Blood Origins.” If you have never heard of Blood Origins, set aside a solid hour and watch the videos on their website or YouTube, featuring some of the most influential people in the hunting world. People like Will Primos, Cuz Strickland and Jim Shockey all share a small piece of their story and the how and why hunting was so important. Robbie has more than 30 unique stories from hunters, nonhunters, men, women, veterans, young and old and each one is a personal look into the importance of hunting and conservation. “It is...

Keep Reading

A breakthrough in PFAS research?

Last fall, an email hit my inbox alerting me that I might be hunting deer in an area that Inland Fisheries & Wildlife had flagged as a ‘do not eat’ area because of the high levels of PFAS found in the several deer that biologist had killed in the area. I've written before about the severity of PFAS and how devastating it could be. We have not heard much follow up since that time. I wonder if the area that was closed off will continue to be.  Will there be more locations flagged as ‘do not eat’ areas?  I am surprised that there has not been anything published that would give hunters an idea about if they should stick to their home area or try to find a new area to hunt. Maybe the assumption is that they won’t plan to hunt anyway....

Keep Reading

Remembering George Smith

I was trying to think about what to write about for my February article in the Northwoods Sporting Journal. Something that would be timely and start a conversation.  As the topics came and went, something made me think of George Smith.  It has been one year since he has passed and I starting thinking about the topics that would have him riled up and what I have accomplished in the past twelve months. There are two topics that I would love to have heard George’s take on. The first bring the Right to Food, which was passed into the Maine Constitution when we voted in November.  It is the first of its kind in the United States and reads “that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce...

Keep Reading

The age of my 2021 Maine bull moose

One of the most interesting things that happens after you shoot a bear or moose, is that you are asked to remove a tooth so that the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife can age the moose shot and collect age and health data. It is a part of a decades long effort to better understand the overall health of wildlife in Maine.  For hunters, it is always interesting to find out how old the animal was.  When I knew it was available, I immediately looked up the age of my 2021 Maine bull moose. 2021's data shows moose shot between the ages of 2.5 years old to 20.5 years old. It is fascinating to think that there are moose in this state that are twenty years old. Any guesses on how old our 2021 Maine bull moose was?  Remember, he had...

Keep Reading

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board

Last week, I went in front of the joint committee of the Environment and Natural Resources to provide testimony for my nomination to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board.  The only other time I had done this was when I testified in favor of Judy becoming Commissioner. This time, the Governor was nominating me. One of her representatives introduced me and then I had the opportunity to say a little about me. You can watch the hearing by clicking here. Joe's introduction of me begins around the 7 minute marker.  My testimony is below. My Testimony Senator Brenner, Representative Tucker and members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  My name is Erin Merrill and I am here to say a few words about my nomination to the Maine...

Keep Reading

Taking Turkeys to Texas

There are a few less turkeys in Maine to hunt this year. A few months ago, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, captured and released more than 50 birds into East Texas with the hope of rebuilding their population.

Keep Reading

Conservation Organizations Need Your Help NOW

As we plan for 2021, we know that we will not be attending sportsman’s shows.  We won’t be able to catch up with fellow hunters, trappers and anglers and we won’t be spending money on all of those raffle tickets. And that is hurting hunting organizations – a lot. Many outfitters and conservation organizations rely on the foot traffic that these shows provide to help get reach more people which helps to draw more donations.  Businesses rely on shoppers to buy the cast iron, jackets, wooden carvings, jerky and more but we will not there to make those purchases next year. And while everyone is still feeling the pinch of the pandemic and a changing world, we need to make sure that these organizations have what they need to continue with...

Keep Reading

Nurturing a Love of Nature

In the past twelve months, I've been a homeschooling teacher (temporarily), figured out how to work from home full-time and maintained a stable supply of toilet paper. We went from being out and about in the community to everyone at home. It was a lot! But one of the things we did from the start was get outside more. I asked people on my Facebook page for a list of items that we could search for in the woods. We had everything from birch bark and 3 types of moss to bones, different shapes of pinecones, mushrooms and beechnuts on our list. We eagerly searched the woods around our house and crossed off items. It was good for everyone’s mental health to be outside and exploring. It made me think back to my own childhood and walking...

Keep Reading

Some Shane Mahoney Inspiraton

Yes, this is an older video but the message still rings true; "...they have concluded, in agreement with us, that yes, sportsmen and women and the activity of hunting, done in a sustainable manner operates as a conservation mechanism the world over..."  On this polarizing election day, let's focus on what we can agree on.  Conservation efforts, traditions, and the importance of understanding and working for social and biological carrying capacities for all animals in an effort to maintain the resource for generations to come. 

Keep Reading

The Blood Origins Project

"I was looking for a narrative that described who we are as hunters,” my friend Robbie Kroger explained to me, “Essentially looking for an authentic truth about who we are. I couldn't find it. So we built it with Blood Origins.” If you have never heard of Blood Origins, set aside a solid hour and watch the videos on their website or YouTube, featuring some of the most influential people in the hunting world. People like Will Primos, Cuz Strickland and Jim Shockey all share a small piece of their story and the how and why hunting was so important. Robbie has more than 30 unique stories from hunters, nonhunters, men, women, veterans, young and old and each one is a personal look into the importance of hunting and conservation. “It is...

Keep Reading

Enjoy these Wildlife Conservation articles

A breakthrough in PFAS research?

Last fall, an email hit my inbox alerting me that I might be hunting deer in an area that Inland Fisheries & Wildlife had flagged as a ‘do not eat’ area because of the high levels of PFAS found in the several deer that biologist had killed in the area. I've written before about the severity of PFAS and how devastating it could be. We have not heard much follow up since that time. I wonder if the area that was closed off will continue to be.  Will there be more locations flagged as ‘do not eat’ areas?  I am surprised that there has not been anything published that would give hunters an idea about if they should stick to their home area or try to find a new area to hunt. Maybe the assumption is that they won’t plan to hunt anyway....

Keep Reading

Remembering George Smith

I was trying to think about what to write about for my February article in the Northwoods Sporting Journal. Something that would be timely and start a conversation.  As the topics came and went, something made me think of George Smith.  It has been one year since he has passed and I starting thinking about the topics that would have him riled up and what I have accomplished in the past twelve months. There are two topics that I would love to have heard George’s take on. The first bring the Right to Food, which was passed into the Maine Constitution when we voted in November.  It is the first of its kind in the United States and reads “that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce...

Keep Reading

The age of my 2021 Maine bull moose

One of the most interesting things that happens after you shoot a bear or moose, is that you are asked to remove a tooth so that the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife can age the moose shot and collect age and health data. It is a part of a decades long effort to better understand the overall health of wildlife in Maine.  For hunters, it is always interesting to find out how old the animal was.  When I knew it was available, I immediately looked up the age of my 2021 Maine bull moose. 2021's data shows moose shot between the ages of 2.5 years old to 20.5 years old. It is fascinating to think that there are moose in this state that are twenty years old. Any guesses on how old our 2021 Maine bull moose was?  Remember, he had...

Keep Reading

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board

Last week, I went in front of the joint committee of the Environment and Natural Resources to provide testimony for my nomination to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board.  The only other time I had done this was when I testified in favor of Judy becoming Commissioner. This time, the Governor was nominating me. One of her representatives introduced me and then I had the opportunity to say a little about me. You can watch the hearing by clicking here. Joe's introduction of me begins around the 7 minute marker.  My testimony is below. My Testimony Senator Brenner, Representative Tucker and members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  My name is Erin Merrill and I am here to say a few words about my nomination to the Maine...

Keep Reading

Taking Turkeys to Texas

There are a few less turkeys in Maine to hunt this year. A few months ago, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, captured and released more than 50 birds into East Texas with the hope of rebuilding their population.

Keep Reading

Taking Turkeys to Texas

Conservation Organizations Need Your Help NOW

As we plan for 2021, we know that we will not be attending sportsman’s shows.  We won’t be able to catch up with fellow hunters, trappers and anglers and we won’t be spending money on all of those raffle tickets. And that is hurting hunting organizations – a lot. Many outfitters and conservation organizations rely on the foot traffic that these shows provide to help get reach more people which helps to draw more donations.  Businesses rely on shoppers to buy the cast iron, jackets, wooden carvings, jerky and more but we will not there to make those purchases next year. And while everyone is still feeling the pinch of the pandemic and a changing world, we need to make sure that these organizations have what they need to continue with...

Keep Reading

Nurturing a Love of Nature

In the past twelve months, I've been a homeschooling teacher (temporarily), figured out how to work from home full-time and maintained a stable supply of toilet paper. We went from being out and about in the community to everyone at home. It was a lot! But one of the things we did from the start was get outside more. I asked people on my Facebook page for a list of items that we could search for in the woods. We had everything from birch bark and 3 types of moss to bones, different shapes of pinecones, mushrooms and beechnuts on our list. We eagerly searched the woods around our house and crossed off items. It was good for everyone’s mental health to be outside and exploring. It made me think back to my own childhood and walking...

Keep Reading

Some Shane Mahoney Inspiraton

Yes, this is an older video but the message still rings true; "...they have concluded, in agreement with us, that yes, sportsmen and women and the activity of hunting, done in a sustainable manner operates as a conservation mechanism the world over..."  On this polarizing election day, let's focus on what we can agree on.  Conservation efforts, traditions, and the importance of understanding and working for social and biological carrying capacities for all animals in an effort to maintain the resource for generations to come. 

Keep Reading

The Blood Origins Project

"I was looking for a narrative that described who we are as hunters,” my friend Robbie Kroger explained to me, “Essentially looking for an authentic truth about who we are. I couldn't find it. So we built it with Blood Origins.” If you have never heard of Blood Origins, set aside a solid hour and watch the videos on their website or YouTube, featuring some of the most influential people in the hunting world. People like Will Primos, Cuz Strickland and Jim Shockey all share a small piece of their story and the how and why hunting was so important. Robbie has more than 30 unique stories from hunters, nonhunters, men, women, veterans, young and old and each one is a personal look into the importance of hunting and conservation. “It is...

Keep Reading