If you’re hoping to head afield on the hunt of a lifetime this fall, your time is running out: The deadline for entering the 2015 Maine moose-permit lottery is nearly upon us.
Prospective hunters have until 11:59 p.m. Thursday to enter the lottery online. To do that, go to mefishwildlife.com and follow the links.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will issue 2,740 permits at a drawing that will be held in Bethel on June 13. Find more information about that town’s moose festival — of which the lottery will be a key component — at bethelmainemoosefest.com.
Up for grabs in the lottery is a coveted spot in the annual hunt, which will be staged in 25 of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts that cover 21,000 square miles, according to the DIF&W.
According to a DIF&W press release the department award “bonus points” for each consecutive year an applicant has applied for the lottery — since 1998 — without being drawn to participate in a hunt.
A bonus point is simply another lottery entry. Enter twice in consecutive years, and a hunter will have his or her name entered into the lottery twice instead of once.
And bonus points add up over time because of a multiplier formula the DIF&W has established in order to reward longtime entrants who have been unsuccessful.
For the first five consecutive years a hunter enters the lottery, he or she accrues one bonus point per year. During years six through 10, they’ll earn two bonus points per year. Those with 11 to 15 consecutive unsuccessful lotteries will earn three bonus points for those years. And for every year over 15, prospective hunters will earn 10 points per year.
A little known fact about the lottery: Beginning in 2011, applicants were given a little leeway in that bonus points formula. If applicants fail to apply in a given year, they will not lose those points, so long as they apply the next year. Before 2011, prospective hunters who forget to enter or otherwise failed to enter lost all their accumulated bonus points.