Galen Ruhlin has piled up a lot of outdoors knowledge during his life.
And for most of his nearly 80 years, the Gouldsboro man has been willing to share his expertise of hunting, fishing and trapping with family, friends and the people he has guided.
Ruhlin, a Master Registered Maine Guide, has been recognized for that sharing spirit and his betterment of the outdoors as the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award presented by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
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The Hampden native on Saturday was presented with the honor during the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine annual banquet held in Waterville.
“Galen’s efforts over the years certainly exemplify stewardship and wise use of our natural resources,” DIF&W said. “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.”
Ruhlin’s pursuit of outdoor activities started back when he was 6 years old when he went deer hunting with his family. His efforts were captured on home movies taken during the 1940s.
As a youngster, he fished in the ocean and also went lobstering with his grandfather, Galen Stevens of Steuben.
Nomination letters submitted to DIF&W in support of Ruhlin mentioned his expertise in many areas and his desire to impart knowledge on those who wanted to learn. They said he enjoyed watching and sharing in the success of the family members, friends and clients.
One of his “students” was his daughter, Meghan Ruhlin-Fitch, who recalled as a child getting up at 3 a.m. to accompany her father on an Atlantic salmon fishing trip to the Narraguagus River.
Game Wardens who have worked with Ruhlin over the decades have been the willing recipients of his generosity. He was always quick to offer coffee or tea, along with biscuits or pie, to those who stopped by to see him.
Wardens also have been quick to ask Ruhlin for information on wildlife and fisheries in the region because of his extensive knowledge. Warden Dave Simmons said Ruhlin also has provided help in the event of a moose in distress or one that had been hit by a vehicle.
Regardless of the weather conditions or the time of day, he was willing to lend a hand.
Ruhlin has been active in working to find ways to deter the animals from damaging beehives in commercial blueberry operations. In 2014, using culvert traps, Ruhlin and Melanie Hurd of Bucksport, removed 28 bears. The animals were sedated, tagged, transported and released 20 to 30 miles away.
Ruhlin’s exploits hunting and fishing often were chronicled by his friend, late Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist Tom Hennessey.
The Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award is presented each year by DIF&W to a person who is dedicated to the stewardship and wise use of Maine’s natural resources and who has been active in the Maine outdoors.