You’ll enjoy these 60 years of bird hunting stories

I love it when people write their hunting and fishing stories, and not just because North Country Press published A Lifetime of Hunting and Fishing, my own book of hunting and fishing stories this year.

Often, as people tell me their stories, I’ll encourage them to write those stories. And many will say, “Oh, I can’t write.” To which I respond, “Of course you can. You just told me a wonderful story. Write it down!”

I am so pleased that Brad Varney has done just that, in his new book Maine-ly Bird Hunting. Brad’s 60 years of bird hunting adventures give us some awesome stories.

I’ve known Brad a long time, and benefitted from his shooting lessons at Varney’s Clay Sports in Richmond. He is a superb teacher, and took me from a pathetic wing shooter to a pretty good one.

I don’t want to give away too many of his stories, but the one where he simply pointed his gun straight up and shot a pheasant flying over his head was one of my favorites. And the story in which he shot three ducks with a single shot is amazing.

Brad had some wonderful hunting dogs through the years, and many of his stories feature them. There was the time, however, when his dog Champ couldn’t find a dead woodcock anywhere on the ground. Turned out the bird was hanging by his neck in the crotch of an alder.

And there was the time his dog Herc, one of his best, brought the dead woodcock to Brad, opened his mouth, and the woodcock flew off!

All I can do is thank Brad profusely for writing and sharing his wonderful stories with us. You will really enjoy them.

You can obtain a book directly from Brad: 207-737-4993,

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.