The Maine Moose Lottery, if you are a hunter, is the Power Ball of big game hunting in the Pine Tree State. Every hunter who enjoys the October challenge and the chance to fill a freezer with prime wild meat goes through the application process in the spring, and then crosses his or her fingers in hopes of getting lucky come the June moose-permit drawing event.

V. Paul Reynolds, Outdoors Columnist

This year, the expectation is that there will be 3,530 moose permits issued. They break down like this: 2,600 bulls and about 900 cows. Ninety percent of the permits will be for Maine residents and eight percent will go to non-residents. Two percent of the permits will be reserved for Maine hunting lodges. There will also be 550 cow permits allocated for the Special Adaptive Unit, which is an experimental culling of moose designed to study tick infestations.

The Adaptive Hunting Units are in the Northwest Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs), with special seasons that have been proposed to break down like this: Oct. 23-Nov. 4, Nov. 6-18, and Nov. 20-Dec. 2. Adaptive Units hunt permits are issued to those applicants who check off the elective box and are unsuccessful in the traditional moose permit draw. Hunters who bag a cow moose during this special hunt are required to bring the critter’s canine teeth and ovaries to the tagging stations with their moose.

There is good news for us older folks, too. If you are 65 and older and have accumulated 30 points with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, you are guaranteed a moose permit. What about them apples? What about us octogenarians? Do we get a permit, points or no points, just for being above the sod?

The deadline for making your application to be entered in the June permit drawing is May 15. Don’t forget that, now. Mark your calendar.

You must apply online at the Fisheries & Wildlife website; no more hard applications are mailed. In the application, you will have to make some choices: 1) cow or bull, 2) indicate your preferred hunt area (WMD) and season choice, and 3) If you want to be included in the special draw for a cow in the northern Adaptive Units.


The application fee is $15, non-refundable. Once you are selected, the price for the actual hunt permit is $52 for residents and $585 for non-residents.

Like any lottery, it is a game of chance, but the odds for success are far better than Power Ball. If past is prologue, one out of 12 resident applicants will get drawn for a permit. Of course, non-residents face much tougher odds. However, non-residents with deep pockets can up the odds by purchasing as many non-resident chances as the family budget will allow.

To apply, simply go the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s website,, and click on moose lottery.

V. Paul Reynolds is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, an author, a Maine guide and host of a weekly radio program, “Maine Outdoors,” heard at 7 p.m. Sundays on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network. Contact him at

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