Moose callers replicate the barks, bellows and grunts of the giant denizens of the north woods, and this year is the first that combines the contest with the lottery. Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the lottery drawing. This year, there are 3,725 hunting permits up for grabs to the tens of thousands of hunters who have entered the drawing. The whole thing is part of a three-day festival, which is good for tourism, said Judy Morton, executive director of the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce.
"Our region is enthused about hosting the moose lottery and the moose calling contest and our shops, restaurants and bars will be joining in the festivities with moose-themed specials, like chocolate mousse, moose whoopie pies, moose jewelry and moose shots.
The moose calling semifinals will be held June 22 at Moose Alley in Rangeley and the finals the following day in front of the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum. Participants will have previously qualified at one of several preliminary competitions across the state.
Winners are judged in cow call, bull call, other attraction techniques (props allowed) and presentation/sportsmanship. First-place winner gets $1,000 (and bragging rights), and top finalists earn packages from Cabela's and Extreme Dimension.
It's three days of all manner of outdoor activities and events, information on which can be seen at www.rangeleyoutdoors.com/2012-moose-lottery-festival/ And for a video clip of moose calling in action, check out www.maineprmaven.com/tag/video/ It shows Maine guide Roger Lambert demonstrating various calls, that you can presumably try on your own. If a befuddled squirrel taps at your window looking for Bullwinkle, you may want to turn down the volume.
Photo from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website