RUMFORD – More than 100 men, women and children from across the state eagerly listened for their names Thursday night during the annual Moose Lottery at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

It was the first time the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife event was held in Oxford County, a first for Rumford, and the 25th drawing of names, IF&W Commissioner Roland Martin said Thursday night.

Although empty auditorium seats outnumbered the audience, Martin said, “It’s a very good turnout.”

For Sheryl and Richard Briggs of Mexico, it was nerve-wracking excitement.

Seated opposite the onstage podium and speakers, Sheryl sat with hands clasped in front of her chin, hanging on the “d” of every “Richard” announced. She would sigh to her husband each time, saying, “Wrong Richard.”

They’ve been faithfully entering their names for 25 years but had yet to win a chance to hunt a Maine moose. Sheryl Briggs said they hoped this year would be the year, because they, like many others, volunteered to read lists of names.

“I would just die if I read my husband’s name or mine,” she whispered. “I told my husband, that maybe this is what it takes,” she said of attending and getting the chance to read monikers of the lucky ones.

Last year, the odds for residents being selected for a permit were 1 in 126 for each chance. A resident who purchased six chances would have a 1 in 21 chance.

For nonresidents, the odds were 1 in 707 for each chance, according to an IF&W release Thursday.

This year, of the 68,841 people who applied for 2,895 permits, 49,267 are Maine residents, 19,574 are nonresidents. Ten percent, or 285 permits, are going to nonresidents, the release stated.

“The odds aren’t all that great,” Martin said.

The moose season is a split season that comprises two weeks, with 1,120 permits drawn for far northern and eastern areas for Sept. 26 through Oct. 1, and Oct. 10 through 15 for 1,775 permits in other wildlife management districts.

Each time a person’s name and River Valley area town was read, it was greeted with applause, hoots and hollers.

Judith Brown of Dixfield sat listening with her daughter Tina Dolloff, and Dolloff’s 11-year-old daughter, Kayla Brown.

It was the Dixfield Middle School student’s first shot at a permit, and the third year for her mother.

Last year, Judith Brown heard her name called, the first time in 31 years, she said.

She also bagged her first moose, a 1,600-pound bull with a 50-inch antler spread, in Township 6 North of Weld.

“It was the first time I’d ever been hunting,” Judith Brown said.


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