Sports

Bureau of Veterans’ Services plans moose hunt lottery for disabled vets

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services is accepting applications for the 2020 Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt held in Aroostook County.

“At the Bureau, we’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of veterans from across Maine and the country. We assist veterans during each stage of their transition from military service to civilian life, and one of the most popular services we help connect veterans to is the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt,” said David Richmond, MBVS director.

“It’s a unique form of recreational therapy for many of the veterans involved and the long-term benefits from this outdoor activity are immeasurable,” Richmond said.

Since the program’s inception in 2010, MBVS has partnered with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Smoldering Lake Outfitters to issue hunting permits and essential equipment to participating veterans. The hunt, which is entirely free for selected veterans, costs roughly $50,000 to administer. Costs associated with the hunt include guiding services, essential adaptive equipment, meat processing and travel and lodging.

Those who served in the military, no matter the branch, understand the importance of community. That need for communal support doesn’t go away when they leave service. The Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt offers veterans an opportunity to gain comradery, confidence and support from fellow veterans who have gone through similar struggles. In fact, veterans who have participated have shared the significant impact it has had on their lives.

Scott Brown, United States Air Force veteran and selected hunter, said the experience he had while hunting in Aroostook County was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

“During that one week in The County, I quickly realized this event is not about filling a freezer but community, team building and being able to share our experiences with those who understand our unique spin on the world. It was truly a bucket list event and I am so very thankful for the opportunity,” Brown said.

Unlike the regular IF&W moose lottery, the lottery for veterans is limited only to those veterans with a disability rating of at least 50 percent. Each hunter is required to team up with a registered Maine Guide who has specific training for the hunt, and if a veteran has ever tagged a moose through the program, that veteran is ineligible to hunt again.

Applications must be submitted to the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 1.  Applications can be downloaded from the Bureau’s website: maine.gov/veterans/benefits/recreational-licenses/veterans-moose-lottery.html

Results of the lottery will be posted no earlier than Friday, May 29.

For more information about the controlled moose hunt, visit maine.gov/veterans/ or call 207-430-6035.

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