A moose hunt in Maine is a hunt of a lifetime and Maine provides some of the best moose hunting in the Lower 48. Moose permit lottery applicants, however, should be aware that not all moose hunting districts are created equal. Success rates, permit allotments, private property ownership, moose densities, and the habitat moose live in are quite variable across the state.
Knowing this information before filling out the moose permit lottery application – and making district and season-week selections according to interest or expertise -- should help permit hopefuls avoid any disappointment.
Most hunters are familiar with what to expect and what they will experience when moose hunting in Maine’s big woods. Moose hunting in Maine’s southern Wildlife Management Districts may offer a rather different set of expectations and experience.
This year, WMDs 22 and 25 will be open to moose hunting for the first time, along with other southern districts (WMDs 15, 16, 23, and 26). These WMDs have lower moose densities -- which result in a lower hunter success rate -- than do the WMDs in the big woods. Another difference is that access to private property to hunt in the southern WMDs will be more limited due to posting.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife believes that individuals considering applying for the moose hunt in the southern WMDs will have a better hunting experience if one or more of the following apply:
When filling out your moose permit lottery application, please carefully consider your choices -- once you accept a permit you will not be able to apply again for a permit for two years. In particular, please carefully note the following:
Moose permit winners are allowed to swap their moose permit with another moose permit winner. There are no restrictions on swapping other than only one swap is allowed and both moose permits must be paid for before swaps can be made. Swapping provides moose hunters an option to obtain a more preferred WMD for their hunt.
This year, 3,205 permits will be allocated in the state’s 28 Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs). This is an increase of 65 permits from 2010, primarily in WMDs 22 and 25.
Season dates are:
A "Maine Residents Only Day" is set for October 29, in WMDs 15, 16, 22, 23, 25, 26. Maine hunters need a lottery-drawn permit to hunt these districts on that day.
Applications for this year's lottery now are available online through the department's website, www.mefishwildlife.com . The deadline for online applications is 11:59 p.m. on May 13.
MDIF&W no longer prints or mails paper applications for the moose lottery. For more information on obtaining a paper application, visit our website or call (207) 287-8000. Paper applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered to MDIF&W in Augusta by 5 p.m. on April 1. The April 1 deadline for paper applications provides adequate time for department employees to process the paperwork before the lottery.
Please choose carefully. We want you to have the best moose hunting experience possible and wish you the best of luck. For more information on the moose lottery, including permit allocations and points, visit www.mefishwildlife.com  and select "hunting," then "lotteries" and then "moose hunting permits." This will provide you with the answers you need to make your decisions as to how you want to fill out the moose permit lottery application.
The 2011 Maine Moose Permit Lottery will be held in mid-June at Cabela's in Scarborough. The date and time will be announced closer to the event.