You waited for years, maybe decades, to have your name drawn in Maine’s annual moose permit lottery. Long ago, the application became an almost-empty ritual of early spring.
After ten years or fifteen years of fruitless attempts — the annual filing fee felt like a sacrificial offering to the capricious hunting gods. One without any real expectation of reward. You considered it almost a donation to the coffers of the perpetually underfunded DIF&W.
But then in June of 2014 the hunting gods smiled. Bonus points, awarded for your persistence and longevity, finally made the difference. Congratulations, you will join 3000 lucky hunters this fall who can legally pursue Maine’s biggest mammal.
So now it’s almost thirty years since you first thought that moose hunting would be a great idea. You are a different hunter than you were then. The appeal of driving over logging roads for six days in search of a moose within shooting (and dragging) distance of the truck has waned over the years. The old crew that once shared a deer camp with you each fall have dropped by the wayside one by one. Nowadays you go to the woods for solitude, not companionship.
Hell, you don’t even eat much red meat at this stage in your life. What are you going to do with 400 pounds of steak and burger meat?
The moose hunt has changed too. The odds are 30% that your permit (in the northern zones) is for a cow moose — not the majestic bull that you once dreamed of. Or maybe the permit is for a hunting area that includes your own backyard in southern Maine — not exactly the deep dark north woods. Either way, the moose rarely pose in roadside clearcuts like they did in 1980.
How do you make this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a real hunt instead of a week of quality time with your pickup truck?
Don’t worry. We’re here to help. Look for upcoming posts that cover the following topics:
HOW MAINE’S MOOSE HUNT BECAME A GAS AND BLAST AFFAIR
AVOIDING THE CROWDED ROADS — MUD, BLOOD, DUST AND BEER
MOOSE DOWN A MILE FROM THE ROAD — NOW WHAT?
RESTORING THE “HUNT” TO MOOSE HUNTING IN MAINE