Tom Cole, left, and Herb Melanson celebrate both winning moose hunting permits during the annual Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Moose Permit Lottery Drawing Thursday, June 17, 2010 at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine. Credit: Joel Page | AP

Although this is true every year, 2019 is a big year for moose in Maine. Next week, the world’s foremost moose researchers will come to Sugarloaf resort in Carrabassett Valley for the 53rd North American Moose Conference — the first to be held in Maine since 2001. On Saturday, moose will get their time in the sun once more at the annual moose permit lottery at Cabela’s in Scarborough. Here, 2,820 hopeful moose hunters will learn that their name has been selected to receive a permit to hunt moose in the state.

The moose lottery has been a beloved state tradition since 1980, when Todd Rogers, an 11-year-old Cub Scout from Brewer, drew the first-ever permit. The first hunt that year included 700 winning hunters, and 39,629 Mainers threw their names in the pile.

In the past 39 years, the moose lottery has never failed to create excitement across the state. Here are some classic images of the cherished Maine event over the years.

Credit: Joel Page | AP
Credit: Joel Page | AP
Credit: Carroll Hall | BDN
Credit: John Holyoke
Credit: John Holyoke | BDN
Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki
Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | BDN
Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | BDN