By Pete Warner, Bangor Daily News Staff The annual Maine Moose License Lottery draw is scheduled for Saturday. Have you ever wondered – perhaps every year for a long time – what the odds are you’ll be drawn to hunting the biggest game in the state? It’s a complex formula, so we’ll get to some of the details in a moment.
By Pete Warner, Bangor Daily News Staff
The annual Maine Moose License Lottery draw is scheduled for Saturday.
Have you ever wondered – perhaps every year for a long time – what the odds are you’ll be drawn to hunting the biggest game in the state?
It’s a complex formula, so we’ll get to some of the details in a moment.
The 2022 Moose License Lottery, for the first time since 2019, will be held in front of a live audience. The last two in-person events did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The draw begins at 2 p.m. Saturday as part of the inaugural Jackman Region Moose Lottery Festival.
Activities will take place on the town office grounds, where a crowd of hopeful hunters are expected to gather in hopes of hearing their names read.
The drawing, managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, is the centerpiece of many offerings at the event. Local businesses will come together to provide live music, demonstrations, instruction, competitions, children’s activities, food vendors, crafts and local produce.
This year, the names of 4,080 hunters will be selected by computer and read aloud by DIF&W staff members and other guests. And unlike the last two cartoons, which were streamed live on YouTube, this year you’ll either have to be in the audience – or wait for the Bangor Daily News to publish the full list on Saturday afternoon – to find out if you’re in.
Hundreds of would-be moose hunters and other interested observers traditionally flock to the lottery location to join in the fun, listening intently, visiting other moose hunters and daydreaming about how their own hunt will take place, if they are lucky enough to win a permit.
So what are the odds of winning a moose license this year?
The answer is complicated and partly depends on how difficult you were when completing your application. Hunters can choose to accept only specific areas, seasons or genders of moose. The number of consecutive years you have unsuccessfully entered the lottery is also a factor.
Applicants receive a “bonus point”, or an extra chance at the lottery, for each of their first five unsuccessful years of registration. From sixth to tenth grade, they get two extra chances per year. Years 11-15 are worth three bonus chances, and those who have competed unsuccessfully for 16 years or more get 10 points per year for each year above 15.
According to DIF&W, in 2020 the overall odds of a single resident being drawn, if they were willing to accept any season and any type of permit, was 1 in 72. The more you have odds in the draw the better your odds increase, but not selecting certain areas or choosing to only hunt a bull lengthens the odds.
By law, only 10% of permits are given to non-resident hunters each year, so their odds are much worse — 1 in 1,388 for every chance two years ago.
Modern Maine moose hunting began in 1980, when 700 permits were issued for an experimental hunt. After a year-long hiatus to study harvest results, it returned in 1982 and has been held every year since.
This year’s moose seasons include:
— 26 Sept.-Oct. 1, with 1,050 bull licenses issued across 12 wildlife management districts.
– From October 10 to 15, with 1,580 bull licenses awarded in 19 ADMs.
– From October 17 to 22, with 200 antlerless permits only in WMD 4A for adaptive hunting
– From October 24 to 29, with 860 cow permits allocated in 6 WMDs and 150 antlerless permits only in WMD 4A for adaptive hunting
— Oct. 31-Nov. 5, with 200 antlerless permits only in WMD 4A for adaptive hunting
— Oct. 31-Nov. 26 (including October 29 for residents), with 40 permits for any moose allocated in 2 ADMs