On this page:
- Why hunt for moose in Maine?
- Who can hunt for moose?
- When and where can you hunt for moose?
- Preparing for a Maine moose hunt
- Field dressing methods
Why hunt for moose in Maine?
Maine's moose population is the largest of all the lower 48 states, estimated at 60-70,000 animals. This presents an incredible hunting opportunity for those lucky enough to win a Maine moose permit. And the appeal is no secret — every year, the Maine moose hunt is among the most coveted in the nation, with an average of 50,000 applications for the 2,000 to 3,000 moose permits typically issued.
Who can hunt for moose?
To hunt for moose in Maine, you will need to either hold a permit or be chosen by a permit holder as their sub-permittee. Due to high demand, Maine moose permits are administered in three ways only: through a chance lottery, a competitive auction, and a small allocation for disabled veterans. Please visit our moose permit page to learn how you can qualify and apply.
The moose permit lottery is open February through mid-May each year.
When and where can you hunt for moose?
Moose hunting is allowed in 20 of Maine's 29 Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) during certain weeks in September, October, and November, with exact dates varying by WMD. Since the re-institution of moose hunting in 1980, moose seasons and areas open to hunting have changed several times, with split seasons starting in 2002.
If you win a permit, you will be assigned a specific region, date range, and type of moose: bull, antlerless, or any (you'll have a chance to indicate your preferences for each of these things on your application). You must only hunt within the WMD written on your permit, and not within any restricted areas (these are usually well marked and easily identified). Anyone wishing to hunt on Native American Territory should contact the appropriate Native American agency for information.
For more information on permitting and WMD selection, visit the Moose Permit page.
Preparing for a Maine moose hunt
A Maine moose hunt is a considered a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you are lucky enough to receive a moose permit, you are guaranteed the opportunity to hunt Maine’s largest mammal. You are not guaranteed a successful hunt, a mature “trophy” bull, or quality meat. A Maine moose hunt requires proper planning, scouting, gear, and hard work.
If you were selected for an Adaptive Unit permit, learn about the special requirements.