Maine’s Moose Lottery: My Yearly Donation to the State
The other day I was perusing the Desert Rat's posting of moose from near Presque Isle in Maine and I was reminded of my first encounter with the beasts in Maine’s Western Mountian Region or as some know it Region D. Three moose rose from their beds and shook off a dusting of snow. The two young ones tussled their antlers like two fighting puppies. The older moose grunted and the youngsters stopped wrestling and then they all silently disappeared into the woods. That was many years ago. We had permits for deer but not for moose. And that is the other memory my Arizona hunting blogger friend jogged, my yearly donation to the state of ME. Some call it a moose permit lottery but I am beyond that denial stage. For over 20 years I entered this so-called lottery. My time started well before the state offered extra points and other such schemes that put the odds in an entrant’s favor. I figure over all the years and all the fees I could have purchased a very nice rifle. In the 1980s, when I was deep in denial a trip to my local gun store followed every lottery submission. No tags, no new rifle, year after year after year. With all the time and energy spent on the application process, I think I could have had more luck winning a mega-millions drawing, probably a few mega-million drawings. What’s a non-resident to do? Chuck Hulsey, Regional Wildlife Biologist, in Region D recently reported that he has encountered people who have applied year after year with no success. I have never met Mr. Hulsey, but Hulsey wrote that determining success is a little complicated because of many variables.
"The number of permits, applicants, and chances purchased per applicant weigh heavily in one’s odds. Residents can purchase one, three, or six chances each year. Plus applicants earn one chance for each consecutive year they apply and are unsuccessful. Non-residents have that opportunity as well however there isn’t a limit on the number of chances they can purchase. While that sounds like a big advantage, a non-resident’s chance is limited by the fact that only 10% of the permits go to non-residents."I can follow the state’s logic only after a few glasses of hard cider. So what are my chances of drawing a permit say next year? Last year there were a little over 65,000 applications for just under 3,000 permits. The odds of getting a non-resident permit is 1 in 700 for every chance. Perhaps they should institute a sympathy submission on the application. Check this box if you have applied for the permit for over 20 and have not won. And if you are wondering if I applied this year, yes I did. And I visited my local gun dealer, who sighed, shook his head and asked what rifle I want to see.