Moose permit swap may include cash in the future

It is currently illegal to include cash in a swap of moose permits, but that may change. The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has endorsed a law change that would allow those who swap their moose hunting permits to include cash in the deal.

And yes, when someone swaps a valuable bull moose permit for a less valuable cow permit, cash is sometimes included in that swap, although it is illegal.

The original bill, LD 630, An Act To Expand Opportunities for Moose Permit Winners to Swap Their Permits, was sponsored by Rep. John Martin.

The legislature’s IFW Committee spent a lot of time on this issue, including a focus on “brokering.” They wanted to be sure to outlaw brokering of moose permits, in which someone could charge a fee for arranging a swap of moose permits. But they didn’t want to interfere with those – including the Maine Professional Guides Association – who have established a website that allow moose permit winners to search for other winners who seek a swap.

The MPGA website is important because the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife refuses to set up its own website to help permit winners swap their permits. Once a permit swap is arranged, DIFW processes the swap.

DIFW’s Licensing Director Bill Swan told IFW Committee members that his agency processes about 100 swaps a year. Bill did say they’d gotten complaints from moose permit winners who had been besieged by requests for a swap, including offers of money for that swap.

The amended bill, which now goes to the House and Senate for votes, and then will need the governor’s signature, prohibits brokering (carefully defined) and allows money to be included in moose permit swaps.

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 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.