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OQUOSSOC — Hunters, their families and friends listened attentively, hoping this would be their lucky year.

Rangeley and Oquossoc hosted a weekend of all things moose, including lottery drawings for state moose hunting permits.

More than 54,000 applicants hoped to be picked for one of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s 3,725 permits. Previous years’ drawings have been hosted by other towns and businesses, including Cabela’s Outfitters in Scarborough and L.L. Bean in Freeport.

The lottery usually is a one-day event, at which eager hunters sit around on folding chairs listening for their names to be called, but the Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association turned it into a three-day festival, complete with chocolate mousse specials at local restaurants and a moose stash geocache contest.

Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Chandler Woodcock of Farmington read the first 100 winners, and as audience members heard their names called, small sections broke into cheers and whoops of delight.

Connecticut resident Paul Sirois had a feeling this was his lucky year. He drove to Rangeley with his son, and his brother, Conrad Bozeman, with plans for a good time during the full weekend of events. He mainly was interested, though, in the Saturday evening lottery drawing.

“My son Paul Jr. has been putting in for a permit for 12 years, and he’s accumulated 21 points this year,” Sirois said. “We’re just hoping that this will be a lucky year for us.”

The family waited until all of the names were drawn, but none of them got lucky.

Another family left after nearly four hours, but with different emotions. Randy Targett and his wife, Heather, of Rangeley, waited until the end of the drawing, hoping that his name would be drawn. Both Master Maine guides, they own and operate On Target Adventures and manage the Cupsuptic Lake Campground.

“I’ve been applying since they started the lottery,” he said. “Heather got drawn a few years ago, and she and our daughter, Meg, and her father, Oliver Blood, got drawn tonight, so I’m hoping I’m next.”

The Targett family waited as announcers read the 3,725 names in batches of 100. As people heard their names called, most left with friends and family, and the crowd got smaller and smaller. The Targetts waited with diminishing hopes as the list dwindled to the last 60 names.

“Randy Targett, Rangeley,” the announcer said.

With everyone busy hunting moose this fall, the Targetts aren’t sure how much guiding they’ll be able to fit in, but after nearly 30 years, Randy said that’s fine with him.

Bonus points are awarded for each consecutive year the applicant has applied for the lottery since 1998, so longtime applicants have a better chance at winning. The names of the winners are available at

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