AUGUSTA — Bids are being accepted for the 2010 Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Moose Permit Auction.

Each year, the department auctions 10 moose hunting permits and awards them to the highest bidders.

Proceeds from the auction go to the Youth Conservation Education Fund, which awards partial scholarships to send Maine children ages 10-14 to one week of conservation camp at the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center on Lake Christopher in Woodstock or Greenland Point Center on Long Lake in Princeton.

Last year’s auction raised about $100,000, which enabled more than 400 children to attend conservation camps.

“Ever since the auction began, hunters have been very generous in their bids because, I believe, they know this program helps send Maine kids to conservation camp,” said Deputy Commissioner Paul F. Jacques.

“We are appreciative of their participation in this program. While successful bidders get a permit, the real winners are the children.”

The Legislature created the Moose Permit Auction in 1995, specifically to fund youth conservation education efforts.

Ten of this year’s 3,015 allotted moose permits will be auctioned. Last year’s 10 winners had a 90-percent success rate.

The 10 highest bidders are able to choose their 2010 season hunt dates.

Bids must be submitted to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Feb. 17, 2010. A non-refundable bid fee of $25 must accompany each bid. A bid packet is available by calling (207) 287-5207.

Submitted bids will be opened Feb 19, and successful bidders will be contacted.

If selected, bidders have 30 days to send in the bid payment and select a moose-hunting district, hunting week for the permit and permit type.

A sub-permittee, if desired, must also be selected at this time. The bid amount covers the resident or non-resident moose permit fee, but does not include the resident or non-resident hunting license fee.

The Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center and the Greenland Point Center offer five-day residential camps that are designed to teach Maine children the importance of conservation, respect for the environment and a working knowledge of outdoor skills.

Subjects taught at the camp include wildlife identification, introduction to fishing, boating safety, archery, firearms handling, hunter safety, forest conservation and map and compass work.

The two conservation camps currently are accepting applications for this summer’s camp sessions. Partial scholarships are available and distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For information and applications, visit www.extension.umaine.edu/bryantpond/ or www.greenlandpoint.com.

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