Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Executive Director George Smith announced today that he will retire from the group on January 1.

 Smith, 62, has been executive director for 18 years. He said in a press release that he wants to spend more time hunting and fishing.

 He will stay on with the group through the end of the year to help train a new executive director. The group hopes to name a replacement by July 1. A job description is available here.

 Smith has been an influential presence in the halls of the State House, pushing to protect funding for the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the rights of hunters.