AUGUSTA, Maine – On March 1, the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) will begin accepting applications for the 2018 Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt held in Aroostook County.
Since the program’s inception in 2010, MBVS has partnered with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IF&W) and Smoldering Lake Outfitters to issue hunting permits and essential equipment to participating veterans. The hunt, which is entirely free for selected veterans, costs $50,000 to administer. Costs associated with the hunt include: guiding services, essential adaptive equipment, meat processing, and travel and lodging.
MBVS has had success in recent years meeting their fundraising goals, and encourages local businesses, organizations, and individual contributors to donate toward the 2018 hunt. For related questions, please contact Laura Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 430-5816.
MBVS Director Adria Horn shared the following in regard to the importance of the hunt:
“The Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt is not only recognition of a veteran’s service to our country, it provides a sense of belonging to the veteran. The hunt was the first of its kind in the United States and continues to serve as a once in a lifetime experience that empowers disabled veterans to live an active and purposeful life.”
“The transition from military service to civilian life is a daunting shift for all veterans. Add a life-altering disability into the equation and that transition becomes increasingly difficult. By contributing to the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt, donors are offering our veterans an opportunity to gain comradery, confidence, and support. Veterans who have participated repeatedly share with us the value of the program as well as the significant impact it has had on their lives. Each donation the Bureau receives puts us one step closer to providing that once-in-a-lifetime experience to our service members.”
Roger Line, a Navy and Gulf War veteran, shared his experience from the 2017 hunt:
“Shortly after arriving at Smoldering Lake Outfitters, owner Dave Hentosh told us ‘the moose is the excuse’ and I was certainly excited to have an opportunity to bring one home. As the sun set on that Sunday, I kept thinking about ‘the excuse’. We sat that evening in the great room sharing our military experiences and it did not take me long to figure out what exactly Dave meant. Our service spanned Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We were five brothers-in-arms, brought together through a man’s vision with an excuse to relax and have the hunt of a lifetime.”
Unlike the regular IF&W moose lottery, the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Lottery is limited to only those veterans with a disability rating of at least 50%. Each hunter is required to team up with a registered Maine Guide who has specific training for the hunt, and if a veteran has ever tagged a moose through the program, that veteran is ineligible to hunt again.
Applications will be accepted starting Thursday, March 1 and must be submitted to the Bureau of Veterans’ Services by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4. Applications can be downloaded from the Bureau’s website: http://maine.gov/veterans/benefits/recreational-licenses/veterans-moose-lottery.html. Results of the lottery will be posted no earlier than Friday, May 25.
For more information on the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services and the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt, please visit: http://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.