Sportsman’s Show features great sporting camps, organizations, vendors, seminars, and more

The State of Maine Sportsman’s Show last weekend was once again a fantastic event, cosponsored by The Maine Sportsman magazine and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

It took Harry Vanderweide, the TMS editor at that time, two years to convince the SAM Board that this would be a good partnership, and for our first years the show was located in the Augusta Armory, but it quickly grew out of that space and moved to the Augusta Civic Center.

SAM’s office manager Becky Morrell and TMS office manager Kelly Allen do a superb job of managing this event. Kelly was SAM’s office manager throughout much of my tenure there, and is about to step down as the TMS office manager, where she will be missed. Kelly and I have judged the photo and art shows for several years and I hope that can continue.

At this year’s show, some of the state’s best sporting camps were featured including Macannamac Camps, Loon Lodge, and Red River Camps. Linda and I did a travel column about Macannamac last year. Josie and Dave have three cabins next to their house in the north woods about 50 miles northwest of Millinocket, and a bunch of great remote camps.

I was particularly impressed with Tea Pond Lodge and Cabins in Eustis, and Linda and I have now made plans to visit there and write a travel column about it.

There were some interesting vendors from out of state at this year’s show, including Northwoods Bear Products in Wisconsin ( Their bear jelly looked very tempting!

Back In The Maine Stream, a wonderful fishing program for Maine’s Disabled Veterans (, had a booth as did Pine Grove Lodge and Cabins (, which also sponsors outdoor adventures for veterans and other American heroes.

I spent a lot of time admiring the knives in the Northeast Knives booth ( This company is headquartered in Augusta and owned by S.M Taylor. Two Augusta police officers were manning the booth. And I was really impressed with the fishing lures in the Laz ‘R Lure booth ( These are packages you can purchase to make your own fishing lures. You open the kit, snip out the pieces, put them together, waterproof it, and bam! You’ve got lures!

Of course, there were a bunch of outfitters there, including two of my favorite people, Carroll and Lila Ware of Fins & Furs Adventures. They guide all over North America and also offer trips to South America, plus my favorite place to fish for brook trout, the Leaf River in northern Quebec. They take groups up there to hunt caribou. I am really intrigued by Carroll’s new guided fishing trips to Cuba. You should see his photos!

Of course, Tim and Susan Caverly were there too, with their booth full of Tim’s wonderful books. This lively couple offer exceptional presentations in schools all over Maine and New England. Check them out at, and schedule them at your local school this year.

One of the most impressive people I saw at the show was Luke Giampetruzzi, a young teenager who has his own fly tying business, Lucky Luke’s Flies. You can reach him at or 207-923-7003. He also twitters, whatever that is.

Maineiac Outdoors, an outdoor video company, offered a bunch of interesting videos, and it was good to see Beast Feast Maine there ( Dana Masters and his friends make fantastic sauces and rubs, many of which you can now find in Maine grocery stores. They’ve been favorites of mine for many years.

Some of my favorite local businesses were there too, including Audette’s in Winthrop, Clark Marine in Manchester, and Hammond Lumber in Belgrade. There were some great activities for kids too. And you should have seen the amazing collection of huge bucks.

On Saturday afternoon, I was privileged to escort Senator Angus King around the show for two hours. Throughout the show, I was so busy walking around, selling my Maine Sporting Camps book and talking with people that I didn’t get to any of the interesting presentations and seminars. I didn’t even get upstairs to the beer room!

PHOTO: Tim and Susan Caverly with Senator Angus King

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.