On Saturday, hundreds of Mainers will flock to Bethel for an annual event that will determine which hunters get to head afield in search of moose this fall.
The moose permit drawing is a tradition that began back in 1980, when the state sponsored its first lottery for those coveted licenses.
In today’s Our Maine Heritage photo, we take you back to that day — July 15, 1980 according to BDN files — and a scene you haven’t seen replicated for years.
On that day, young Todd Rogers of Brewer, a member of Cub Scout Pack 11, drew the first winning name from an actual drum that was used to mix up the entries. Also shown: Greg Palman and Dick Greene of the Penobscot County Association and Janet Potter of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
That first “experimental” hunt included just 700 hunters — 39,269 Mainers applied — and a single six-day hunting season was offered in September.
This year, 2,740 hunters will receive permits, and a number of hunting sessions are scheduled. And the manual-selection of permits? That’s also a thing of the past. Nowadays, a computer selects the winning hunters, and names are read aloud from lists that are provided to the presenters at the lottery.