New episode of Wildfire focuses on deer

Gary HilliardState Representative Gary Hilliard (R-Belgrade) is our guest on the episode of Wildfire that begins airing tonight. Much of the show focused on deer, as we questioned the sharp 60 percent increase in any-deer permits issued this year by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Gary is on a working group that is partnering with DIF&W on a new deer management plan, and we spent some time exploring the key issues, including whether high populations of deer in southern Maine should be reduced, given the growing concerns about deer ticks and Lyme disease.

We also talked about what the legislature did on outdoor issues, and didn’t do, and on Gary’s successful legislation that eliminated the age limit for hunting.

Each edition of Wildlife is aired on Time Warner cable station 9 on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Each edition airs for two weeks. You can also access the show, including previous shows, online at

You can also access previous episodes of Wildfire on that website.

The question posed at the end of the show, which you can answer in the Sportsmen Say Section of my website,, is: Do you think DIF&W did the right thing to expand any-deer hunting permits by 60% this year?

We posted a question on the deer/Lyme issue earlier, asking “Should the deer population be reduced in southern and central Maine to address the problem of deer ticks and Lyme disease?” 71.43% said yes, 21.43% said no, and 7.14% were not sure.

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,, 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.