A few years back, one of my hunting pals made a preseason mistake that he has yet to live down. A quick note here: If one is going to live down a mistake, it seems reasonable that he ought to admit that mistake to those most apt to give him boatloads of grief for it. Such as his brothers. Only then, as they say, can the healing process begin.
And since his brothers have no idea that this avid hunter FORGOT TO REGISTER FOR THE MOOSE PERMIT LOTTERY, therefore squandering all of the extra chances he’d accrued through faithful years of fruitless lottery-entering, I figure he’s still got plenty of healing to do.
You see, according to state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife rules, even losers get something out of the moose permit lottery process. Say you buy six chances in the lottery (or, say you buy one — it really doesn’t matter). And say your name isn’t regurgitated from the cyber-hopper when the drawing takes place.
No problem! Next year, the DIF&W will give you a free ticket for the drawing, in essence, for your trouble.
And my friend knew a bit about moose lottery trouble. Years and years of trouble, in fact. He had accrued as many free chances in the lottery as it was possible to accrue. He was (the oddsmakers said) among the prospective hunters who was most apt to actually cash in with a moose permit. The catch: The DIF&W only rewards those who enter the lottery every single year. Skip a year — just one — and your free chances in the lottery vanish. You can start again the next year — from zero.
That’s what happened to my buddy: He forgot about the lottery deadline, realized it a few days too late, and has been skulking around (refusing to fess up to his brothers, who love moose meat and moose hunting) ever since.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. The story would be better if that were the case, but it’s not: My friend, who had been unsuccessfully entering the lottery since 1980 (bonus chances didn’t start accumulating until the system was changed more recently), took special note of the lottery deadline the next year, bought his chances — and had his named drawn. Finally.
For the record, the hunt was a success and the moose meat was tasty.
Now it’s time for you to avoid making the same mistake my pal did. You don’t want to lose out on your preference points, as they’re called. You don’t want to have to skulk around, avoiding all talk of moose season. You don’t. Trust me.
And because you don’t, here’s a date you’ve got to remember: The deadline for online entries in this year’s moose permit lottery is May 13 at 11:59 p.m. Prospective hunters can register for the lottery at www.mefishwildlife.com. They’ll need a credit card and need to know the birth date of their designated sub-permittee.
Up for grabs this year: 3,205 permits during seasons that run from Sept. 26-Oct. 1, Oct. 10-15, Nov. 7-12 and Oct. 31-Nov. 26. Different Wildlife Management Districts are in play during the varied seasons.
Bill Swan, the DIF&W’s director of licensing, urges folks to enter early — before the end of the business day on May 13, if possible.
Swan’s reasoning: If you try to enter early, there will still be DIF&W staffers on hand to help you, should any problems arise. Swan cannot help you, however, if you end up like my pal and simply forget to fire up your computer between now and the deadline.
This year’s lottery will be held at Cabela’s in Scarborough in mid-June.
East Grand adventure race on tap
Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a challenge may want to set course for Danforth on May 14 for the sixth annual East Grand Adventure Race.
In all, the race will cover 20 miles of ground in a variety of ways: A 1.5-mile off-trail compass run to kick things off, followed by a 9-mile mountain bike ride through woods, on trails and over obstacles, a 9.5-mile canoe race and a climbing wall challenge.
A year ago 63 people competed in the event. New this year: An open division in which a team of as many as six adventurers can split up the tasks.
The entry fee is $20 per person for those registering by May 13 and $30 per person for those who enter the day of the race. Go to www.eastgrandschool.org/adventure-race for information.