The 2020 Maine moose lottery will be a virtual event on June 13 instead of a live drawing that is typically part of a day-long festival, the state announced Thursday. The move has been made in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lottery, which was slated for Jackman, moves around the state to a different host town every year, drawing thousands of hunters who often travel hours to hear their name drawn as a moose-permit winner. Last year the lottery was held at Cabela’s in Scarborough, and in recent years has been part of moose festivals in Bethel, Presque Isle and Skowhegan.

State wildlife biologists have recommended issuing 3,135 permits this year. It would be the third year of increasing permits and an 11-percent increase from 2,820 last year. The increase in permits since 2018 followed a four-year stretch when the number of permits decreased 49 percent – largely because of the winter tick parasite.

Maine’s statewide moose population is estimated at 60,000, according to the state.

The virtual moose lottery will include presentations on moose biology and hunting techniques by state biologists and game wardens with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The lottery will return to Jackman in 2021, according to IFW.

The deadline to apply for a moose permit is May 14.

AUTO RACING

OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY: The season-opening American-Canadian Tour event scheduled for April 26 at Oxford Plains Speedway has been postponed because of Maine’s stay-at-home order, tour officials announced Thursday.

OPS was scheduled to host a pair of 150-lap races – season openers for both the ACT and Pro All Star Series North tours. An official postponement for the PASS race has not been announced, but Maine’s stay-at-home order is in effect through April 30.


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