Maine Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award

The Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award is presented annually by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Outdoor to an individual who is dedicated to the stewardship and wise use of Maine’s natural resources and who has been active in the Maine outdoors for a lifetime. To be eligible, nominees must have hunted, trapped and fished in Maine for a combined total of 40 years. For example, to meet that requirement an individual may have fished for 20 years, trapped for 10 years, and hunted for 10 years; or could have fished for 30 years and hunted for 10 years. Ideal candidates would also be active in mentoring, teaching, or instructing outdoor activities.

Nominations should include the nominees name, address, phone number, photograph and a few paragraphs about the individual, their experience in the Maine outdoors, and an explanation of why they are a deserving candidate. The nominators contact information should also be included.

Nominations must be submitted between January 1 and July 1 of the calendar year and can be sent by email to Emily MacCabe at Emily.MacCabe@maine.gov or by mail to 353 Water St, SHS 41, Augusta, Maine 04333.

Nomination Form (PDF)

The recipient(s) of the annual Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award will be selected by a committee of individuals from the Department and will be recognized at the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine Annual Banquet in September. 

2022 Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award Recipient – Galen Ruhlin

Galen began hunting and fishing at an early age. His daughter Meghan recently saw some old films from the 1940s showing Galen hunting deer with his family at the age of 6 in Township 16, as well as lobstering and fishing off Gouldsboro Point as a kid.

Galen passed that love of the outdoors to his daughter, who has fond memories of waking at 3:00 a.m. to go salmon fishing on the Narraguagus. It’s clear Galen knew how to get young people hooked on the outdoors, as part of his daughter’s memories included stopping for a glazed donut at the local bakery. With incentives like that, it is no wonder his daughter Meghan was cleaning fish and skinning deer by the age of six!

In the many nomination letters submitted for Galen, folks talked about his expertise and passion for the outdoors, gleaned over decades, and how he gladly passed that along to others through conversation or actions. He was a teacher to all, whether it was friends, children, or those that he guided. He shared in all their successes, whether it was just viewing a bear while on a hunt or taking one himself. There is also a compassionate side to Galen that shines when dealing with others who love the outdoors. Several Game Wardens have shared that Galen always has always had coffee or tea with biscuits or pie for anyone who may stop by. Galen has been an excellent source of information regarding fish and wildlife resources in the area, and many game wardens and biologists have leaned on him and his woods expertise.

Warden Dave Simmons shared that over the years Galen has always been willing to assist anytime there is a sick or injured moose, or a moose/vehicle accident, no matter the time of day or weather conditions. While that is commendable, Simmons also noted that Galen would never keep the meat to himself, but instead would always provide it to those who needed it the most, spreading the meat throughout the community.

Galen has had a significant impact on Maine’s black bears as he became a driving force that helped influence one of the state’s largest blueberry companies to adapt to non-lethal methods to keep bears away from beehives in the blueberry barrens, including encouraging the company to spend money on exclusionary fencing, and relocating bears.

Galen’s efforts over the years certainly exemplify stewardship and wise use of our natural resources. That combined with Galen’s compassion for others and passion for the outdoors makes him the clear choice to be honored as this year’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award Winner.

Past Recipients

Over the years, we have honored many deserving individuals whose impact on friends and family could fill books.

  • 2015 Harland Hitchings and Joseph Boudreau
  • 2016 Gary Cobb, Jim Martin and Oscar Cronk
  • 2017 Carole Dyer and Gabriel Giguere
  • 2018 Dana Johnson and Roger Milligan
  • 2019 Charlie Mann and George Smith
  • 2020 (awarded in 2021) Dan and Sally McAllister
  • 2022 Galen Ruhlin