Disabled veterans, this is your chance to tag a moose

Matt Saintsing
March 13, 2019 - 4:55 pm
Disabled veterans can take part in the 2019 Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt in Maine.

Photo by Paul Sundberg/Duluth News-Tribune/MCT/Sipa USA

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For those who ever wanted to hunt a moose, but never had the chance, the time is now. And it’s no wild moose chase. 

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services is accepting applications for this year’s Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt. 

“I can’t overstate how valuable this program is to our veterans,” said David Richmond, Acting Director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services. 

“Every year, veterans tell us just how much this experience impacts them. It’s more than just a fun memory; for many, it can be rehabilitated, getting to share an experience with other veterans and the fellowship that it brings.”

This annual moose hunt has been around since 2010 when Maine’s Bureau of Veterans’ Services partnered with the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Smoldering Lake Outfitters to provide hunting permits, and equipment for participating veterans. 

To qualify, veterans need to have a disability rating of at least 50 percent and to team up with a registered Maine Guide who has training for the moose hunt and to not have tagged a moose through this program in prior years. 

It’s a lottery system, so there are no guarantees. But selectees will be announced no later than Friday, May 24, 2019. 

Three hunts will take place in 2019—one in August and two in September. Selected veterans can expect to pay nothing since the venture is funded through donations and sponsorships. 

Roger Line, a Navy, and Gulf War veteran took part in the hunt in 2017, said the chance to share the adventure with Smoldering Lake Outfitters owner Dave Hentosh, also a veteran, is a memory he’ll have for the rest of his life.
“Our service spanned Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan,” said Line. 

“We were five brothers-in-arms, brought together through a man's vision with an excuse to relax and have the hunt of a lifetime.”

To apply, you can email mainebvs@maine.gov by 4:00 p.m. Friday, May 3, 2019, or by mail at 117 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333. 

Applications can be found here