A Maine moose permit is like a platinum pass to heaven on earth. In the continental U.S. Maine is the only state offering thousands of its residents the opportunity to hunt the largest land mammal found in North America.
Hopefully anyone who is lucky enough to draw a permit appreciates it and is able to succeed. Here is a story of great luck and success.
In June 2013 I was drawn for a second time for a moose permit. My first permit was for the 1995 season and that story appeared in the Maine Fish and Wildlife magazine in the fall of 1996.
The story was centered on a premonition of having a successful hunt in 1995 to the point that I bought a new rifle before the permit drawing. My name was drawn; the hunt was over in about 45 minutes and resulted in harvesting an 8½-year-old bull with a trophy rack.
This year I was drawn for Wildlife Management District 18.
My home street address is 18. It was 18 years since my last permit. My golf cart is No. 18 and the old moose story from 1995 began on page 18.
How could we go wrong with all that coincidental luck on our side?
With the powerful string of 18s behind us and a crew of four helpers way in the background, we headed for the well-scouted woods. It was now 4 a.m. on Oct. 14, the first legal day in zone 18.
At 6 a.m. my sub-permitee, William Merritt of Lincoln, and I got settled down waiting for legal time to load the rifles, which was 6:20 a.m. Meanwhile I began cow calling with a few bull grunts thrown in for good measure.
We were positioned on a rise at the end of a logging road and where the road forked two ways.
Calling and watching, calling and watching. My partner looked to his left and quietly told me “there he is.”
The bull was moving toward us slowly. As soon as the bull got within our range, about 60 yards out it quartered enough to make a good shooting possible. It went down in its tracks at exactly at 7 a.m. and only forty minutes after the season opened. We had our moose. What to do the rest of the week?
This moose weighed 700 pounds field dressed and yielded about 340 pounds of pure meat which was made into steaks, hamburger or sausage.
Without my son William, great friend Paul and two cousins David and Mark, who did all the heavy work, this hunt would have been difficult.
Life was good to my partner Bill and I that morning. My partner was the same one who was my sub-permitee in 1995. With both of us in our 70s we could only wish to be 18 again!