BDN crew heading to Rangeley for moose lottery festival

The weeks, or months, (or, in many cases, years) of waiting are nearly over. On Saturday, hundreds of Mainers and vacationers “from away” will gather in the western mountains to find out if they’ve won a coveted permit that allows them to take part in the 2012 moose hunt.

And I’m happy to tell you that an enthusiastic crew from the BDN will be on hand in Rangeley — Oquossoc, actually — to keep readers informed on the most ambitious moose permit lottery the state has ever staged.

What sets this lottery apart? Well, for one thing, the folks in Rangeley have rolled out the red carpet and decided to turn a simple three-hour event into a massive three-day festival. Instead of rolling into town on Saturday afternoon, as has often been the case at past permit lotteries, a full slate of events begins on Friday and runs through Sunday.

Tom Cole (left) and Herb Melanson celebrate after both won moose hunting permits during the annual Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife moose permit lottery drawing at L.L. Bean in Freeport in 2010. (AP Photo/Joel Page)

If you like to fish, they’ve got events for you. If you like to shoot, they’ve got you covered. If you like to golf, you’re included. And if you like to eat, I’m sure you’ll find all kinds of places that will take good care of you.



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Add in the majestic Rangeley setting, with mountains and lakes and rivers galore, and you’ve got the setting for a fantastic weekend of fun.

And that’s why the BDN is heading there with a full crew.

This year, for the first time, we’ll be among the vendors at the moose festival “village” at Oquossoc Marine. Pat Lemieux, our events guru, will do a lot of the heavy lifting for us there, and will be on hand all weekend long to talk to folks about our outdoor offerings. I’ll be there, too (though I might have to head afield a few times to check out the many activities. And our resident hiking enthusiast, Aislinn Sarnacki of “1-minute hike” fame, will be on hand as well.

What will we be doing?

Our first priority is to provide you the best moose permit lottery coverage that we can. We’ll have the names of lucky winners up on our website as soon as possible on Saturday evening. We’ll provide you a breakdown on your odds of winning in a “behind the numbers” story. We’ll take you behind the scenes at the lottery festival, and show you how much fun people are having. And we’ll introduce you to a few lucky folks as soon as their names are called.

But that’s not all we’re going to be doing. Not even close.

Our booth at the vendors village is a big priority as well. We hope you stop by to chat about our outdoor coverage, and to share any ideas you may have. We’ll tell you about our blogs, including my regular “Out There” offerings and Aislinn’s popular “Act Out with Aislinn” posts.

And we’ll proudly hand you a copy of our latest BDN Maine Outdoors publication, which has been hitting newsstands across the state over the past couple of weeks. The summer issue is full of great outdoor stories and stunning photos, and we’re confident that you’ll like what you see. Several stories and photos in this edition focus on Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park, but that’s not all you’ll find inside. We also explore Down East, talk about bears with a state biologist, and offer some suggestions on campfire cooking that even the most finicky kids will love.

We’re also busy working on our fall issue, and might even let you hear about a few of the stories that we’re considering for inclusion.

We’re committed to providing top-notch outdoor coverage that you won’t find elsewhere. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why you’ll see us in Rangeley, and why you’ve seen a BDN presence in Fort Kent, and Kittery, and Scarborough, and Rumford and Phippsburg, covering moose lotteries in the past.

So stop by. Say “hi.” Share a few stories with us.

We hope to see you there.


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.