Moose hunting permits may increase

After a sharp decline from 4,085 to 2,080, moose permits may increase this year. DIFW is recommending an increase to 2,500 this year. The agency’s Advisory Council must endorse the increase if it is to take effect. They will vote on this in May.

Judy Camuso, DIFW’s very capable Wildlife Division Director, told my friend Deidre Fleming of the Portland Press Herald, that this 20% increase “is very conservative.”
Essentially, less moose are being killed by ticks in northern Maine, because the moose population and density has been substantially reduced.

That’s not exactly good news, but it is what it is. Most of the increase in permits, 420, are in northern Maine in WMDs 1 – 6.

Lee Kantar, DIFW’s moose biologist, told Deirdre that the average number of ticks is down 68 percent in the study area around Moosehead Lake and down 67 percent in the study area in northern Aroostook County. Lee reported that just one collared calf of 33 in the study died in Wildlife Management District 8 around Moosehead Lake, and two of 35 collared calves died in District 2 at the northern tip of Maine.

Deirdre also reported that the proposed 2018 permit proposal includes a new measure that would allow hunters who win a permit in Wildlife Management Districts 27 or 28 in Down East Maine to use the permit in either district.

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.