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.