The Maine moose lottery is known to be a party, a reunion, even a celebration. But this year’s host plans to take it to a whole new level.

“It’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen before,” said Cabela’s spokesman Greg Sirpis.

The annual moose lottery is held in a different location around the state each year and will be in Scarborough this year — at Cabela’s in mid-June.

In recent years the lottery has been held at outdoor outfitters such as Kittery Trading Post and L.L. Bean in Freeport, which hosted it last year.

The era of the corporate host has meant the event is now an all-day event full of seminars and demonstrations.

However, Sirpis promises that this year’s lottery will be bigger than before, with activities, seminars, unusual food and unexpected demonstrations taking place for several hours. All activities will be free.

This year’s lottery will award 3,205 moose permits in 28 hunting districts, an increase of 65 permits from 2010.

The moose hunt will be held Sept. 26 to Nov. 26 at different times in different parts of the state.

The annual lottery, which draws hundreds of hopeful hunters, is still in the planning stage. But Sirpis said those attending likely will see, among other things, a moose being field dressed; a demonstration of how to move a deer with an ATV; and numerous activities for youth.

For kids, Sirpis already has planned an indoor and outdoor climbing wall, some kind of bungee jump activity, ATV safety lessons and archery lessons.

“It will be a day of seminars. We’ll have a barbecue cook-off throughout the day to have food folks can snack on,” Sirpis said. “My vision is to have every corner of the parking lot full, almost like a carnival.”

The annual lottery originally was held in Augusta. But after the Legislature decided it should move around the state starting in 1999, it has traveled from northern to southern Maine.

Sometimes the location has been determined with a coin toss, but after L.L. Bean hosted it last year, Cabela’s was given the right to hold the lottery this year.

Sirpis said it’s an honor, and he hopes to display one of two famous moose locked-antler displays, either the one in Maine housed at L.L. Bean or the one in New Hampshire, owned by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Sportsmen’s groups from around Maine also will have displays at the moose lottery, making it similar to the classic sportsmen’s shows held in the spring.

Representatives from fish and game clubs as well as the Maine Professional Guides Association, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization and the Maine Bowhunters Association will be present.

Local guides will show off homemade calling devices. They also will offer demonstrations on everything a novice hunter needs to know about bagging a big bull.

“It will be soup to nuts. We’re hoping to have demonstrations on cooking moose meat, on how to use different seasonings,” Sirpis said.

The seminars and activities will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by the lottery at 6 p.m.

 

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

dfleming@pressherald.com