Moose season is still months away, but if you’re hoping to finally hear your name called during the annual permit drawing, it’s not too soon to act.
After all, you can’t win if you don’t enter the annual permit lottery. And as one of my unfortunate hunting buddies learned a few years ago, that lottery deadline has a way of creeping up on you (and past you) if you don’t pay attention.
My hunting buddy was duly chagrined, although he avoided a good deal of criticism by simply not mentioning his oversight to friends and family members.
Rest assured, he hasn’t made the same mistake since … and neither should you.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is now accepting applications for the 2009 moose permit lottery, and you can enter via the Internet any time before May 15 at 11:59 p.m.
This year’s drawing will be held in mid-June.
If you’re looking to enter, make sure you’ve got a credit card or debit card in hand when you log on at www.mefishwildlife.com. You’ll also need to know your sub-permittee’s birth date.
After that, the process is quick and simple. A single chance in the lottery will cost Maine residents $7, while three chances costs $12 and six chances will set you back $22.
Non-residents can buy a single chance for $15, three for $25, six for $35 or blocks of 10 chances for $55 apiece.
According to the DIF&W, this year’s entry process has been upgraded, and if you applied for a permit last year, you’ll find that all of your pertinent information will show up in this year’s on-line application. If you need to change some of that info, that’ll be easy to accomplish.
If you’re lucky enough to be among the permit-winners, you’ll be assessed an additional fee for the actual license. Maine hunters pay $52 for that permit, while non-residents will have to pony up $477 for their “hunt of a lifetime.”
And if you’re not among this year’s winners, the DIF&W has announced that it will open the lottery even earlier for the 2010 hunt.
Prospective hunters will be able to enter the 2010 lottery beginning in December, which will allow folks to give a loved one that moose lottery entry as a holiday gift.
Maine deer herd still CWD-free
For the past several years DIF&W biologists have paid particular attention to a disease threat that has plagued deer in other states.
This year, biologists collected samples from 791 white-tailed deer, and announced this week that those samples were tested and none showed signs of Chronic Wasting Disease.
“Keeping Chronic Wasting Disease out of Maine is critical to the health and productivity of our deer and moose herds,” said the DIF&W’s top deer biologist, Lee Kantar, in a press release. “Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in many states and Canadian provinces and is as close by as New York.”
Chronic Wasting Disease is among a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Other similar diseases include scrapies in sheep, mad cow disease in cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease in humans.
Maine has passed new regulations aimed at stopping CWD from entering the state, and has made it illegal to transport deer, elk, moose or caribou parts into the state if those parts pose a risk of containing CWD prions.
Despite the regulation, Kantar said that two whole white-tailed deer which were killed outside of Maine were brought into the state in 2008.
“Fortunately, these deer tested negative for CWD,” Kantar said in the release. “Since no state or province can claim to be free of CWD, it is critical to prevent this scenario.”
Mainers excel in NorAm
Some of the region’s top biathletes headed to Presque Isle’s Nordic Heritage Center over the weekend and Mainers fared well in the ninth competition of the NorAm Cup circuit.
The NorAm Cup pits Americans and Canadians against each other in a series of races that helps each nation’s talent base develop, according to Maine Winter Sports Center director of biathlon development Gary Colliander.
BethAnn Chamberlain emerged as the victor in the women’s mass start competition on Sunday.
Grace Boutot of Fort Kent topped Andrea Mayo of Soldier Pond to take the youth women’s mass start race, while Newt Rogers of Fort Kent took third in his race.
Colliander said the Maine racers will get some rest and begin focusing on the U.S. Biathlon National Championships, which will be held in Fort Kent from Nov. 19-22.