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For Immediate Release

Date: 03/10/11

Rep. Wood's Bill Would Establish Moose Hunting Permit Program for Lodges and Guides

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Stephen Wood has formally presented a bill that directs the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) to establish a lottery to issue 100 moose hunting permits each year to sporting camps, hunting lodges and Registered Maine Guides.

In testimony before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee on March 9, Rep. Wood (R-Sabattus) said the 100 permits would be in addition to those moose hunting permits allotted under the regular lottery system. Last year, the IF&W department issued a total of 3,140 permits.

He also told the committee that such a program would provide an economic benefit to the state's recreational-services economy and set up a funding stream to support biologists conducting moose-related research. Another 30 percent of the money raised from the fees would fund youth conservation programs, such as sending young Mainers to one week at a Maine conservation camp.

Rep. Wood's bill, LD 450, is titled "An Act to Create a Lottery to Provide Moose Permits to Maine Licensed Sporting Camps, Hunting Lodges and Resident Licensed Hunting Guides." The legislation establishes a fee structure of $1,500 for a bull moose permit and $1,000 for a cow moose permit. No single guide, lodge or camp could receive more than two permits per year. It also allows the permits to be sold as part of a moose hunting package at sportsman shows.

"After consultation with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 100 moose permits was determined to be a reasonable number of permits for the program," Rep. Wood told the committee.

To qualify, sporting camps and hunting lodges must provide their operating license. They also must have a capacity to house at least six clients. Licensed Hunting Guides must have filed Maine state tax returns for three consecutive years prior to the permit auction as a limited liability corporation or as an S-corporation. Moose hunting permits will only be issued for hunting zones that the sporting camp or hunting lodge is in or adjacent to.

Rep. Wood said that as a Registered Maine Guide, he would abstain from voting on this bill. ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445