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A Life Lived Outdoors

Reflections of a Maine Sportsman

Softcover, 216 pages, Nonfiction, Outdoors

ISBN: 978-1-934031-59-9

Availability: In stock


Available as an e-book in these formats:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Apple iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

About this Book:

From laugh-out-loud funny to deeply poignant, A Life Lived Outdoors 
presents a collection of hand-picked essays by George Smith, one of Maine’s favorite outdoor writers, 
exploring the way life should be, could be, and sometimes is in the great state of Maine. He set aside 
the political columns for those about home and camp, family and friends, life in rural Maine, hunting and 
fishing, and other outdoor fun. There’s something for everyone in this collection that celebrates 
approaching life with humility and humor, as well as a passion for 


“If the best that is Maine runs deep within you be sure not to miss 'A Life Lived Outdoors' by George Smith.”
—V. Paul Reynolds, Sun Journal

“….a celebration of the state we choose to call home.”
—John Holyoke, Bangor Daily News

"In every selection, Smith's crisp language is devoid of frills, making for a simple-but-elegant exploration of both state and self. 'No one should doubt the richness of Maine life,' Smith writes. This collection affirms it many times over." 
—Caroline Praderio, Down East Magazine 

"From hunting and fishing to watching nature, this pairs philosophical with sports and outdoors insights; all packaged in a lively read accessible to any outdoors sports enthusiast ..."
—Midwest Book Review 

"Whether you're hiking or tracking, hunting for game or good outdoor dining, Smith's book has a spot for you to explore this summer."
Timothy Gillis, Dispatch Magazine

Former Maine sportsmen's lobbyist Smith shows a gentler side

Former Maine sportsmen's lobbyist Smith shows a gentler side

George Smith's essay collection celebrates his heritage.

By Deirdre Fleming
Staff Writer

MOUNT VERNON — The small successes in a family yard sale, the fate of a rabbit seeking shelter in a woodpile and the fond familiarity of a broken window at a lake camp are some of the images in George Smith’s first book, “A Life Lived Outdoors.”It’s a book about what it means to make do in Maine, what a make-do kind of place looks like and how nature colors such a world. It’s about why we all need to spend time in a cabin, a tent or campground in some wild, quiet place to improve “our quality of life and mental health.”

Those who know George Smith’s public image as a long-time lobbyist for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine are probably wondering if this author is some other George Smith. But it’s not. Many in Maine’s outdoor community, certainly former veterans of the Maine Legislature, know Smith as the relentless, dogged lobbyist who fought for sportsmen through his 18 years as SAM’s executive director.

Smith is best known as the leader in the fight against the 2004 bear-hunting referendum, the ringleader behind the effort to open up Sunday hunting and for some former state fisheries biologists, the guy who criticized their work ad nauseam. When this newspaper did a profile on Smith in 2001 at the height of that career, he was depicted in an illustration as a legislative cowboy wearing a holster and spurs while riding one more big fish he had hooked. Smith loved the illustration by Portland Press Herald artist Michael Fisher so much, he had it framed and it has hung on his home office wall ever since. But today George, as he is known to many, is a birder. It’s true.

On trips now to Costa Rica and Texas with his wife, Linda, Smith is as much of a naturalist and conservationist as your National Audubon Society leader. But then he says he always was. “Sportsmen are environmentalists,” he said during breakfast in his favorite hometown cafe beside Minnehonk Lake. With his 13-year-old outdoor TV show, “Wildfire,” now sponsored by Maine Audubon, and a travel blog that brings to life the offbeat, amusing and down-home small-townness of Maine, Smith has shown his softer side in recent years.

When he retired from SAM three years ago, he started his travel blog and online outdoor journal, – and seemingly never looked back. Sure, he still speaks as a member of the public at legislative hearings concerning Maine’s natural resources. But much of Smith’s time now is focused on enjoying and celebrating those natural resources. And Maine’s traditions and heritage are at the heart of what is most important to Smith today.

With a mother who came from Lubec and a father raised on a farm in Wayne, Smith is as Maine as they come. He hunts on his own woodlot and extended that lot to 150 acres just to live on open land. He has hunted deer with his dad for 53 years and counting. Now Smith says that at 65 he understands even more clearly what it means to be from Maine. This book is his way of explaining that.

It is a collection of Smith’s columns culled from a 23-year career as a columnist for the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel. But this collection of essays left the political commentaries out and went with what Smith’s daughter, Hilary, calls his best-read work. Smith agreed. “I hate partisan politics,” he said. “It’s all about winning. I get it. I know how it works. But I wanted this to be about family, the outdoors, those parts of my life.”

Sen. Angus King, in the forward of Smith’s book, best described this collection of personal essays. “What struck me was the image implicit throughout the book of Maine as teacher – teacher of skills and useful knowledge, of character and patience, of life principles, but mostly, as teacher of values. ... “In the end, what the book made me realize is how much Maine has worked its way into each of us, defining who we are, how we see the world, and, most importantly, what we value.”

This article first appeared in the Portland Press Herald, February 23 2014

George Smith

About this Author

George A. Smith, author of A Life Lived Outdoors, is an outdoor writer, award-winning newspaper columnist, and television show host. The former executive director of the Sport



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