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Moose Hunting Information
Alces alces americana
According to state wildlife biologists, Maine's moose population is estimated at 76,000. For the 2012 season, the overall success rate for all moose seasons (Sept., Oct., and Nov.) was 79%. However, southern Maine moose hunting had a much lower success rate as expected at 18.5%. The “traditional” Wildlife Management Districts further to the north had an overall success rate of 82%. Hunters killed 2,937 moose out of a possible 3,725 permits issued.
Every year, several moose exceed 1,000 lbs. dressed weight. Trophy racks are not uncommon.
Who May Hunt
Only holders of a valid moose hunting permit and their subpermittee may hunt moose.
Legal Methods for Taking Moose
Moose may be hunted with rifle, shotgun, handgun, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow. Shotguns using shot loads and .22 caliber rim fire firearms are prohibited.
Other Restrictions/Bag Limit
The bag limit is one moose per permit holder, per year. The moose may be shot by either the permittee or the subpermittee. It is illegal to drive moose in the State of Maine.
For more information on moose hunting laws and rules (including registration stations, moose meat processing facilities, etc), see the Moose Hunter's Guide below.
Moose Hunt History - PDF
Attention November Antlerless Moose Hunters!
We need your help collecting ovary samples for determining the overall health and productivity of Maine’s moose population. Please view this short video demonstrating how to remove the 2 ovaries during the gutting process and if needed we have provided a second instructional video showing how to locate the ovaries within the gut pile of the moose. Also you can listen to the podcast here too for help in locating the ovaries while in the field!
Number of permits to be issued in 2013: 4,110 - No more than 10% of the permits in each district will be issued to nonresidents.
Everyone is strongly encouraged to help the Department in its efforts to save money by applying for the moose permit lottery using the online application process. The online application process is quick and easy. Applicants will get instant confirmation of their entry into the lottery.
If an applicant does not have access to a computer or the Internet at home, the Department has the following suggestions for applying online:
If you have no way to apply online, the Department is offering the following options to apply for the moose permit lottery:
Moose Application Deadline: You can apply online until 11:59 PM on May 14, 2013. If you use a paper application, it must be postmarked by April 1, 2013, or delivered to 284 State Street in Augusta by 5:00 PM on April 1, 2013.
Applicants who apply online will receive a confirmation number at the end of the online moose lottery application.
If you apply using a paper application and want a receipt, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your application.
Each bonus point accumulated gives the individual an additional chance in the drawing. Bonus points are accumulated as shown below:
0 - 5 years = one point per year
Bonus points are tracked by the Department using the applicant's name and date of birth. Bonus points are not transferable.
To receive bonus points, please make sure to enter your correct name and date of birth on the application. Also, you need to indicate that you applied for the lottery last year. The online application will search our database for your name and date of birth, and indicate the number of bonus points you have. If you do not agree with the number of bonus points indicated, you should contact the Department.
For those who choose to apply using a paper application, please be sure to enter your correct name and date of birth, and indicate that you applied last year. Department personnel will make sure you get the correct number of bonus points.
Important - Bonus Points are forfeited if the applicant:
NOTE: The permit allocation chart above reflect the final numbers by WMD.
Hunters holding valid moose permits and their designated subpermittee may hunt moose in one of twenty five wildlife management districts (WMD's), which cover over 21,000 square miles. Successful bidders of the moose auction may select the hunting zone of their choice.
Applicants may indicate season and WMD preferences, and may check a box if they do not want an antlerless-only permit. Successful applicants will receive either a bull only permit or an antlerless only permit. Permits for the November 4 through November 30, 2013 season (November 2, 2013- Residents only) are any-moose permits which allow the taking of either a bull or a cow.
Starting in 2011, anyone receiving a Maine moose hunting permit must wait three years before being eligible to win another permit. If you received a permit in 2011 or 2012, you will not be eligible to win in 2013. Also, even though you are not eligible to win, you can still apply and earn a bonus point in 2013. This requirement only affects the permit holder; it does not affect hunters who were a subpermittee, (even if the subpermittee harvested the moose), nor does it prohibit a hunter from being a subpermittee during the three-year waiting period.
You are eligible to apply for the Maine moose lottery if:
Note: Although a junior hunting license can be pre-issued before the holder is 10 years old, be advised that the license and permit cannot be used until the youngster is 10 years old. Junior hunters are eligible to apply if they are at least 10 years old by the last day of the season for which they apply.
All applicants 16 years of age and older must comply with Maine's hunter safety law before a big game hunting license can be issued. See current safety courses being offered.
At the time of application, each applicant may select one person as a subpermittee to participate in the moose hunt. An alternate subpermittee may also be designated at the time of application. Upon application to the Department, the permittee may change that person's subpermittee or alternate subpermittee until 30 days prior to the start of the moose hunting season for which the permit was issued.
The permittee may authorize the alternate subpermittee to participate in the hunt in place of the subpermittee, if the permittee notifies the Department in writing no later than five business days before their hunt begins. Only one moose may be taken per permit, and it may be shot by either the permit holder or licensed subpermittee.
Other individuals may accompany the moose hunters, but only the permit holder or licensed subpermittee may hunt or kill the moose. The permittee must be present during the hunt or the subpermittee cannot hunt.
A. A person may not sell a subpermittee or an alternate subpermittee designation.
The Moose Permit drawing is held annually in mid-June.
Applicants are assigned, in the order drawn, to their highest choice of available wildlife management districts (WMD's) until all permits are awarded. If you are drawn to receive a permit and your preferred WMD's are already filled, you will be assigned to a WMD as close geographically as possible to your first choice (unless you check the box on your application indicating you only want the districts that you have chosen). If the district you are assigned to has both a September and an October hunting season, you will be assigned to the September season (unless you check the box on your application indicating that you only want to hunt in October) until all available permits are filled, then subsequently drawn applicants will be assigned to the October season (unless you check the box indicating that you do not want to hunt in October).
Drawings for residents and nonresidents will be held separately.
Individuals selected to receive a moose permit, but who decline the permit for which they applied will lose their bonus points.
Each successful applicant in the permit drawing will be notified by mail within a few weeks after the drawing. The successful applicant will then have a designated period in which to acquire the permit. It is very important that you provide a mailing address where you can be reached during this time.
Applicants not selected in the drawing will not be notified. We also post the names of the winners here on our web site after the drawing.
Successful applicants are required to pay a permit fee before they may obtain their permit. Permit fees are as follows:
NOTE: The actual moose permits are generally mailed out two weeks prior to the first week of the moose hunting season for which the permit was issued.
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.
Moose permit winners who wish to swap their permit with another moose permit winner will need to do all their own work to identify and contact potential permit winners to swap with.
If you are interested in registering or finding someone who wants to swap moose permits, please visit the one of the sites listed below.
Once you find someone to swap your moose permit with, you must send a written swap letter (one letter only signed by both permittee's) to: Moose Permit Swap, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street, 41 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333. The fee to swap permits is $7.00 (one check for $7.00 covers both of you).
The letter must include your name, permit number, permit type, season, and WMD, as well as the name, permit number, permit type, season, and WMD of the person you are swapping with. Remember, the letter must be signed by both permittee's. The letter, as well as the $7.00 fee permit swap fee, must be received by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Augusta by July 26, 2013 in order to make the permit swap. Swaps will not be allowed after this deadline.
Make checks payable to: "Treasurer, State of Maine". Please do not send cash.
The Department auctions 10 moose hunting permits annually to applicants who submit the highest bids through a written bid process. An applicant must submit the permit bid form along with a non refundable $25.00 bidding fee by the bid receipt deadline.
Each person awarded a permit must pay the bid amount and must select a hunting district, hunting week, and permit type (bull only or antlerless only) within 30 days after the permit is awarded. If the permit winner wants to hunt with a subpermittee, that person must be designated within the 30 day response period.
Upon application to the Department, the permittee may change that person's subpermittee or alternate subpermittee until 30 days prior to the start of the moose hunting season for which the permit was issued.
A person may apply in both the public chance drawing and in the auction but can receive only one permit. If a successful bidder receives a permit in the public chance drawing, the person is no longer eligible in the auction; and the bidding fee and bid amount submitted by that person will be refunded. All other provisions of the moose hunting laws and regulations apply. All funds from the sale of these permits, including bidding fees, will be deposited in a non lapsing fund to be used to pay the costs to administer the program and to fund Youth Conservation Education Programs in Maine.
A successful bid will guarantee you an opportunity to take part in Maine's moose hunt in either September, October and a week in November. In southern Maine, November 4 - November 30, 2013 is set aside for the moose hunt. Maine is one of a few states in the country that permit the hunting of moose with shotgun, handgun, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow, as well as conventional rifle.
Winning bids for 2013 ranged from $10,191.11 to $11,734.56.
General Moose Permit Auction Instructions
Bids must be submitted on the standard bid form provided by the department. A person may submit more than one bid but may only receive one moose hunting permit. For any person submitting more than one bid, the highest bid submitted will be the official bid.
If you would like to receive an moose permit auction bid packet, please send us an email, call our office at (207) 287-8000, or write to the address below:
Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
Bids must be received at Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street, Augusta, ME 04333 no later than 5:00 P.M. on February 15, 2013.
A non refundable bid fee of $25.00 in U.S. funds must accompany each bid.
The bid amount is the total you bid for a moose permit. The amount includes the resident or the nonresident moose permit fee but does not include the resident or nonresident hunting license fee.
When the bid is received at the office, the mail back envelope will be opened and the bid envelope and bid fee removed. If the fee is correct, and the bid envelope is correctly completed, the bid envelope will be stored unopened in a secure location.
Incomplete or inaccurate bid packages will be corrected by phone or returned to the bidder.
Bids for the moose hunt auction will be opened on February 19, 2013, and the ten highest bidders will be declared the winners. A list of the next five highest bidders will be maintained as alternates.
Successful bidders will be notified by mail.
Unsuccessful bidders will not be contacted. Successful bidders will be given 30 days to send in the bid payment and select a moose hunting district, hunting week, and permit type. A subpermittee, if desired, must also be selected within 30 days of notification. If payment is not received within 30 days, the next highest unsuccessful bidder will be notified and offered the permit. If a successful bidder applies and is selected in the public chance drawing, the person will be refunded the bid amount and bid fee, and the next highest unsuccessful bidder will be offered the permit.
Once the drawing is completed, fees are paid, and subpermittee is selected, the successful moose auction bidders will be treated like all other moose permit holders.
Maine Conservation Camp
Boys and girls ages 10 through 14 take part in a wide array of outdoor activities including sportsman's ethics, wildlife identification, boating safety, fishing, firearms handling, hunter safety, map and compass work, woods survival and much more!
Moose Club Rules - Membership in the Maine Moose Hunters Club is open to all hunters who legally take a moose in Maine.
1. Open to anyone, resident and non-resident, on a Maine Moose Hunting Permit.
2. Only the person who kills and registers a moose, whether permit holder or subpermittee, is eligible for club.
3. Tagging station attendants, Maine game wardens and state game biologists can certify weight. If possible, please have witnesses also.
4. Only one jacket patch issued per year.
For more information contact The Maine Sportsman by phone (207) 622-4242 or online at www.Mainesportsman.com
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