REGION — On March 1, the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) will begin accepting applications for the 2020 Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt held in Aroostook County.

MBVS Director, David Richmond shared the following in regard to the importance of the hunt. “At the Bureau, we’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of veterans from across Maine and the country. We assist veterans during each stage of their transition from military service to civilian life, and one of the most popular services we help connect veterans to is the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt. It’s a unique form of recreational therapy for many of the veterans involved and the long-term benefits from this outdoor activity are immeasurable.

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 roughly $50,000 to administer. Costs associated with the hunt include guiding services, essential adaptive equipment, meat processing and travel and lodging.

For those who served in the military, no matter the branch, you understand the importance of community. That need for communal support doesn’t go away when you leave service – and we take pride in knowing that Mainers have stepped up to provide collaborative advocacy for our service members. The Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt offers our veterans an opportunity to gain comradery, confidence, and support from fellow veterans who have gone through similar struggles. In fact, 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.

Scott Brown, United States Air Force veteran and selected hunter told us the experience he had while hunting in Aroostook County was a once in a lifetime opportunity. “During that one week in The County I quickly realized this event is not about filling a freezer but community, team building and being able to share our experiences with those who understand our unique spin on the world. It was truly a bucket list event and I am so very thankful for the opportunity.”

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 March 1 and must be submitted to the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services by 4 p.m., on Friday, May 1. 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 29.

For more information about the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services and the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt, please visit: http://maine.gov/veterans/ or call 207-430-6035.


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