AUGUSTA — Fifteen disabled Maine veterans experienced a once-in-a-lifetime controlled moose hunt this year as participants in the annual Maine Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt, held in Aroostook County in August and September.
Since 2010, the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services has partnered with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Smoldering Lake Outfitters each year to give disabled Maine veterans a guided moose hunting experience, free of charge. The program is funded through the generosity of many donors and sponsors, including: L.L. Bean, Wireless Partners, American Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, and Safari Club International New England Chapter.
“I can’t overstate how valuable this program is to our veterans,” said David Richmond, Acting Director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services. “Every year, veterans tell us just how much this experience impacts them. It’s more than just a fun memory; for many, it can be rehabilitating, getting to share an experience with their brothers-in-arms once again. On behalf of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services, I extend a sincere thank-you to all who continue to make this program possible for our veterans. This is the least we can do to honor their service and sacrifices.”
The organizers of the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt wish to congratulate all this year’s participants, including:
• Bruce Hanson, South Paris
• Michael Webster, Wells
• Michael Harcek, Woolwich
• Charles Dudley, Limestone
• Nathaniel Jack, Nobleboro
• Bertrand Pinette, Madawaska
• Thomas Funderburke, Greenfield Twp.
• Wayne Napples, Topsham
• Glenn Roberts, Orono
• Ralph Waterman, Freeport
• Thomas Demers, Bangor
• Herbert Macomber III, Waterville
• Randy Shoe, Berwick
• Robert Dolak, Belgrade Lakes
• AMVETS Sponsored Veteran
• Bruce Willey, Cherryfield (Alternate)
• Elwood Ellis, China Village (Alternate)
• Donald Howlett, South Thomaston (Alternate)
• David Andrew Michaud, Saint Albans (Alternate)
Unlike the regular IF&W moose lottery, the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt lottery is limited to veterans who have a disability rating of at least 50 percent. Selected veterans are provided with hunting permits, experienced hunting guides, meat processing, travel & lodging, and essential equipment. If a veteran has ever tagged a moose through the program, that veteran is ineligible to hunt again.
Applications for the 2019 program will be available on the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services website in March 2019. For more information on the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services and the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt, please visit maine.gov/veterans or call (207) 430-6035.
About Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services
The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services was established in 1947 by the State of Maine and is part of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management. Our mission is to help Mainers who served, and their loved ones, understand and navigate the benefits, services, and programs available to them. The Bureau does this by being a responsive, experienced, and dedicated advocate. The Bureau is headquartered at Camp Keyes and has seven field service offices located throughout the state and a claims office located at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Togus, Maine. The Bureau also operates the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery System which includes four veterans’ cemeteries. For more information about the Bureau or to request assistance, please visit our website at www.maine.gov/veterans.