Moose permits increase while applications decline

While Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife increased moose permits by 385 this year, applications declined.

 DIF&W’s moose biologist Lee Kantar told legislators a few months ago that he is confident Maine now has 75,000 moose. And although he opposed legislative bills calling for significant increases in permits this year, Lee nudged up the number of permits, allocating 4,110 for 2013, the most in the 32 year history of the state’s modern moose hunt.

Yet, surprisingly, interest in the hunt is on the decline.

A total of 52,604 applications were received for moose permits this year, a 3 percent decline over 2012. Nonresident applicants declined most steeply, by 4 percent, dropping to 14,040. Applications from residents totaled 38,564, a 3 percent decline from the previous year.

This is, of course, a far cry from the 94,532 applications received in 1994.

We may have a lot more moose than we thought, but we’re doing nothing with that information to grow the lottery, hunt, and economy.

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George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In the spring of 2016, Islandport Press will publish a Maine travel book by George and Linda, and Down East Books will publish a book about Maine sporting camps by George. In 2014 George won an award for the state's best sports blog, from the Maine Press Association.