Hunting and fishing traditions are the foundations for generations of Maine families, and one well-known example of that would be George Smith, Mount Vernon, former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Smith headed the Sportsman’s Alliance for 18 years and has been a successful outdoor writer for 40 years. He is a staunch advocate of hunting and fishing, outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation. This book is a collection of 122 short hunting and fishing stories spanning more than 30 years, and most of them are even true.

These stories showcase Smith as a talented writer and skilled outdoorsman — told with wry humor and excitement, leavened with wisdom, wildlife lore and valuable lessons learned. And these are his stories, from youngster to mature adult, with a little good-natured boasting and some humble pie.

Smith is an avid hunter, so most stories are about hunting deer, moose, bear, pheasant, turkeys and ducks. He explains why hunting is necessary for food, wildlife population control and to maintain healthy herds. And he doesn’t shoot animals just for fun.

Best, however, are the hunting stories where he didn’t shoot anything, but was content to sit quietly and watch wild animals in the forest, letting many deer and moose pass by without harm. In fact, he admits part of his pleasure in hunting is the solitude: “It’s quiet, comforting, and cleansing of the mind.”

Hunting and fishing stories include fascinating trips to Alaska, Quebec, Labrador, Costa Rica and Montana, but he clearly enjoys the challenges here in Maine.

Learn how a bullet can legally trespass onto private property, why he’s a lousy shot with a bow, how to capture a skunk in a garbage can (but why?), and why Maine fishermen have no legal access to moving water, such as brooks, streams and rivers.

• • • • •

Andy Carpenter is a brilliant defense attorney with $40 million in the bank and no clients. He doesn’t want any clients because he’s lazy and a wimp. Loud noises scare him, and he’s even afraid of his own bodyguard. Still, he’s a sucker for the little guy and sometimes can’t resist sticking his nose in a case nobody else wants.

“Collared” is the 15th Andy Carpenter mystery by Damariscotta Lake author David Rosenfelt. He is the former marketing vice president for Tri-Star Pictures, so he knows how to tell a good story with humor and suspense.

Andy prefers to walk his two dogs and bet on the New York Giants instead of doing any actual work. But when a dog involved in a 3-year-old kidnap case turns up at a dog rescue facility, Andy is curious. The dog, a border collie dubbed the “DNA dog” by the media, provided crucial evidence that helped convict the kidnapper of an adopted 3-month-old baby boy. The baby and the dog have been missing for three years, until the dog’s sudden and suspicious reappearance.

As a favor to his wife, Andy agrees to help the still-grieving adoptive mother possibly determine what happened to the baby. That, however, is a dangerously slippery slope that forces him to unexpectedly represent the imprisoned kidnapper in a bid for a new trial. Andy smells a rat in the conviction, with indications of evidence tampering and perjury.

As expected, everybody is lying (even Andy) in a complex plot involving a successful businesswoman, a profitable DNA lab, a missing witness, false identities, questionable parentage, a vicious crime boss and multiple murders. Andy’s tricky courtroom tactics (and more than a few of his own unethical lies) might solve the case and even keep him from getting killed.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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