Guides Banquet Was Entertaining and Enlightening

From the well-deserved awards to the auction led by the very entertaining Roger Lambert, the 39th Anniversary banquet of the Maine Professional Guides Association was, as usual, a great event. Of course, I most enjoyed the chance to visit with many old friends. The banquet hall at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer was jammed with guides from all over the state, plus lots of others including a few legislators and leaders of DIFW.

An award went to Jeff Resse for outstanding service, and the Legendary Maine Guide award was presented to Lance Wheaton. Lance has also served for years on DIFW’s Advisory Council. I enjoyed a day of fishing with Lance once and can verify he’s an awesome guide. Yup, I caught lots of fish.

I was surprised when MPGA President Jeff Belmore called me up to the stage and presented me with a very generous donation of $1000 to the Kennebec Land Trust for my woodlot project. Linda and I are donating our Mount Vernon woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust, which does a great job of teaching kids about conservation. Our woodlot will focus on kids, including signs along the trails telling kids about the wildlife habitat they are seeing. I’ve also written a booklet of stories about my encounters with wildlife on the woodlot. Kids will get the booklet for free.

I got a chance to speak after that presentation, and in addition to telling some stories, I also let them know how fortunate they are that Don Kleiner serves as their Executive Director and Lobbyist. Don is very well respected at the legislature, where he is often called upon to share his thoughts on issues. I told the crowd that Don’s comments are also brief and to the point, while I am well known for rambling on and on.

The MPGA has a very good website, which you should checkout ( And I was impressed with their new MPGA Membership Directory designed to enhance members’ businesses.

Bob Duchesne, a legislator and our top birding guide, was the keynote speaker, a great choice. Bob’s talk ranged from funny stories to key issues.

Table Sponsors for the banquet were American Forest Management, Seven Islands Land Company, and Wagner Forest Management.

Corporate Sponsors were Cheney Insurance Agency, LL Bean, North Maine Woods, Old Town Canoe and Kayak, United Insurance, and Windham Weaponry.

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.