Two brothers from Hot Springs, Arkansas will bring their luck to Maine in September after both their names were called as winners during last month’s moose permit lottery.
Benjamen Dunn, 22, and Jedidiah Dunn, 12, each had ten chances to win, resulting in a 1.8 percent chance that one of them would win a permit and a 0.03 percent chance that they would both win.
They were two of the 54,338 people who applied for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s moose permit lottery this year, up from 49,887 applications in 2011.
This year, 39,681 residents applied, while 14,657 non-residents put their name in.
Of the 3,725 permits available, 3,362 went to residents while the remaining 363 were won by non-residents.
The brothers – along with their parents Gene and Rhonda Dunn – were out of town during the weekend of the June 23 lottery and found out the good news when they listened to their voicemail messages at home and had a congratulatory one from an outfitter.
“I said to myself, ‘No way, this is impossible that they both won,’” Gene Dunn said. “I still can’t believe it happened.”
Both brothers have September bull tags after Gene was able to swap Jedidiah’s November permit.
Gene started visiting Maine in the early 1990s after making friends with a Winslow couple while hunting in Colorado and saw his first moose during a bear hunt.
Since then, he has been applying for the moose lottery and started applying for his sons once they reached an appropriate age and took enough hunter safety courses.
The brothers’ September moose hunt will be a family affair as Gene will serve as Jedidiah’s subpermittee in Zone 1 and Rhonda will hunt with Benjamen in Zone 4.
The group will use guides in Wallagrass, where they will stay during their visit, and also plan to get some bear hunting done.
The brothers are ecstatic to have the chance to hunt in Maine and many people they know in Arkansas are envious of their opportunity.
“I already put the call in to my younger son’s school principal to get time off to go to Maine and the only complaint we’ve heard is that people from the school wish they could come with us,” Gene said. “They said if more parents did things like this with their kids, the world would probably be a much better place.”
Gene, Rhonda and their sons are all avid hunters who like to hunt deer in their home state and travel to Colorado to hunt elk.
“The hunting world takes care of you if you treat it properly and respect it,” Gene said. “I’ve hunted enough in my life to know that killing the moose is the bonus. Hunting the moose is what it’s all about and my sons are just thrilled to get that chance.”