A Maine moose hunt can be one of the best adventures you’ll ever embark upon. Or, if you’re not careful and don’t do your homework, it could turn into a miserable experience. From the permit lottery to tagging your moose to choosing a meat cutter, here are many of the answers to questions that may crop up.
What are my chances of being drawn for a moose permit?
Well, that’s a tough one to answer. The most basic answer, I suppose, is the flippant “not very good.” But it’s really much more complicated than that.
At its essence, the question seems like a really simple math problem. In 2019, for instance, 59,185 Maine residents applied for moose permits. Of those, 2,770 received permits. That means that Mainers had a 4.7 percent chance of winning a permit, doesn’t it? Well, not really.
The complicating factor: Every year a prospective hunter enters the moose permit lottery and is not drawn, they earn a bonus point for the next year’s lottery. If I enter this year and fail, next year my name will be in the lottery twice. The year after that, three times. And so on. Then, if you’ve been unsuccessful in your quest for six to 10 years, the state gives you two bonus points per year for that five-year grouping. And you’ll earn three bonus points a year for years 11 through 15.
That means that if you’ve been loyally entering the lottery for 15 years and have yet to be drawn, you will have accumulated 30 points, or “tries” in the lottery. And if I’m entering for the first time, I’ll just have one “try.” So obviously, the more years you keep entering, the better your odds of winning become.
John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their...
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