In 2018 the legislature enacted a law allocating up to 2% of the moose permits each year to hunting lodges which must be operated as a sporting camp.
Those permits are awarded in a lottery, and the winning lodges must pay DIF&W $1500 for each permit. That money goes into the Moose Research and Management Fund. The first year, 50 moose permits went to lodges.
The lodges are allowed to sell the permit to a hunter as part of a package that includes lodging, meals, and a guide. I’ve heard that those hunts cost $15,000 or more.
Ever since this was enacted, I’ve gotten complaints from other hunters about this opportunity given to lodges.
The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department opposed the bill, because “most of the permits would have been awarded to average Maine resident hunters, many of whom have been waiting a lifetime for a moose permit. The Department feels that this proposal would not be viewed as fair by the average Maine resident who applies for a moose permit each year.”
There are some moose bills this legislative session, but I’ve seen none that address this issue. However, it could be raised as part of the discussion and added to any moose bill. So I’m sure the lodges are watching this closely.