Most of us who applied for a Maine moose hunting permit went in with our eyes wide open: the odds of being drawn were formidable. Of the more than 70,000 hunters who applied for the permit, only 4,106 permits were drawn.

V. Paul Reynolds, Outdoors Columnist

If you were one of the lucky ones, congratulations. You have an opportunity, not only to fill a freezer with the finest wild meat in the world, but to share an exciting hunt with friends and family, and do it during one of Maine’s standout months, September or October.

Don’t blow it. Don’t wait until a few days before the hunt and start driving the logging roads with your fingers crossed.

Plan ahead. Start today. Contact a meat processor and get your name on his list before he is filled up. If you plan to hire a Maine guide, which is a great way to go, shop early. Check out the ads in the Northwoods Sporting Journal or consult the listings of guides on the Maine Fish and Wildlife website. If you are going the guide’s route, complete with lodging and meals, expect to spend $2,500 or more after all is said and done.

If you plan a do-it-yourself hunt, spend the late summer scouting areas in your designated Wildlife Management District (WMDs). Study topographical maps and road systems. Concentrate on wilderness lowlands and boggy areas where summer moose hang out.

Remember, the methods and tactics of the Maine moose hunt have changed from the early days of the Maine moose hunt in the 1980s. Moose are far more wary. With fewer clear cuts and more understory growth on old clear cuts, the visibility and long views are not what they once were. Oh, some lucky hunters will take a moose on a traveled logging road, but not like the old days.


If you scout earnestly, line up some promising moose hangouts, and get into the woods at first light, your odds of success will increase accordingly.

Practice your marksmanship at 100 yards, not just from a bench rest, but from a standing position. If you retain a guide, he will want you to demonstrate your proficiency at various distances and shooting positions. It is important for your guide to know what your capability is when the big moment presents itself.

Like any hunt, there are no guarantees, even with an experienced moose guide. Not every moose hunter fills a tag. But, because this coveted moose hunting opportunity can well be the hunt of your lifetime, you need to prepare, plan and pursue with purpose. However the hunt turns out, your memory will be most fulfilling if you come back from the hunt knowing that you gave it your best shot, literally and figuratively.

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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