Prospective moose hunters from across the state will head to Freeport Thursday evening to find out if this is the year … finally … that they’ll get to go on the hunt of a lifetime.
In all, 3,140 permits will be up for grabs during the annual permit lottery, which will be held at L.L. Bean at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 17.
This is the 30th anniversary of the state’s modern moose hunt, which began on an experimental basis in 1980.
There was no statewide hunt in 1981, but the moose hunt returned in 1982 and has been held annually ever since.
Over the years, the permit lottery has evolved into a popular event that features food, music, seminars and vendors.
The first year the lottery was held, 1980, BDN reporter Bruce Hunter reported that more people attended a weekly band concert outside the Bangor Civic Center than actually stepped into the building to watch the lottery.
Only 60 or so attendees showed up for that first lottery, which was televised statewide on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.
That won’t be the case this year, as hundreds are sure to attend the event held on the grounds of the state’s iconic outdoor outfitter.
L.L. Bean staffers will be ready, and the company will offer plenty of entertainment options throughout the day. Seminars begin at 11 a.m. and will continue up until 6 p.m., when the 3,140 names will be read aloud.
A change from recent history is on tap this year, as the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife will not upload its list to the Internet until 9 p.m.
In recent years, some lottery attendees have been able to tap into the Internet results early in the evening; many who learned it wasn’t their lucky day then left the event.
In-state lottery participants paid between $7 for a single chance in the drawing and $22 for six chances. Non-resident entrants could buy a single chance for $15, six chances for $35, or 10 chances for $55. Non-residents are allowed to buy as many chances as they like, in increments of 10 chances, for the same $55 fee. Maine residents are capped at the six-chance level.
This year’s moose hunting season dates:
• From Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 for 1,070 permit-holders in eight Wildlife Management Districts;
• From Oct. 11 through Oct. 16 for 1,480 permit-holders in 19 WMDs;
• From Nov. 1 through Nov. 6 for 455 permit-holders in four WMDs;
• From Nov. 1 through Nov. 27 for 135 permit-holders in four WMDs.
• Oct. 30 is open to Maine residents who hold the Nov. 1-27 permit.
BDN moose plans
Since the initial moose permit lottery was held 30 years ago, the BDN has published every name of every lucky moose hunter in the following day’s paper.
As you might guess, we’ll continue to do that, and you’ll find the entire list of permit winners in Friday’s editions.
But that’s not all.
This year we’re really pulling out the stops, and are proud to unveil plenty of other moose-related content for you at www.bangordailynews.com.
If you’re a longtime reader who grew up reading Bud Leavitt, you’re in for a special treat: Several of his columns that featured the 1980 permit lottery and moose hunt will be available online in conjunction with our regular moose lottery coverage.
Tom Hennessey fans can read some of tales from moose hunts that took place in the 1990s. A few other stories from the first moose hunt will also be featured, as will some vintage photos from the era.
If you’re more interested in results, you’ll be able to find a searchable list of permit winners on our Web site as well. Also in the works: A clickable map that will show you exactly where all of the lucky winners are from.
Simply put, we’re doing everything we ever have … and then some.
We hope you take the time to peruse the Internet pages, and that you enjoy the chance to relive the excitement that surrounded that original modern moose hunt.
PCCA plans family fun
The weather forecast is favorable, and this weekend the folks from the Penobscot County Conservation Association are providing a good excuse to get outside and enjoy some traditional activities.
The PCCA will hold an Outdoor Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. The best part: There’s absolutely no fee to take part in any of the activities. Lunch will be available for purchase from noon until 1 p.m.
All events take place at the PCCA clubhouse on Route 9 (North Main Street) in Brewer.
Among the offerings: The U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance will stage a trailblazer adventure day program; The Penobscot Riverkeepers will take guests out onto the river in 28-foot canoes at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Maine Audubon will show kids what’s in the pond water during three microscope sessions; The Penobscot Fly Fish-ers will teach fly casting and fly tying.
Also: DIF&W search and rescue dogs will show their stuff from 10 a.m. until noon; Penobscot River Restoration Project officials will help kids make wood block prints; Geocaching will be on tap (bring your own GPS or borrow some loaner equipment); the air rifle range will be open as will an archery range; the Maine Trap-pers Association will set up indoor and outdoor displays. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.