OQUOSSOC – Six competitors in the first World Championship Moose Calling Invitational did their best moose impressions for more than 700 people who crammed inside a hangar at Oquossoc Marine on Saturday.
Kevin Deschaine of Madawaska said he imitated a bull moose just as he would during a hunt.
Shuffling around on stage, making bull calls, smashing a potted tree and wearing antlers he could knock together, Deschaine didn’t appear to be pulling any fancy tricks to impress the audience.
Then his 5-year-old daughter Alayna stood up on stage in a floppy camouflage hat and hunter orange vest and pretended to shoot the moose her father was pretending to be.
The crowd went wild, whistling and applauding for several minutes.
The three judges agreed, and Deschaine was given the Moose Calling Championship title and a $1,000 prize.
“We all agreed this man was hunting up here,” said judge Stephen Philbrick.
It was Deschaine’s third moose-calling contest win — the events are relatively new in Maine. He has yet to be defeated.
“I’m not one to say much, as you can see. I’m just glad Alayna went through with it,” Deschaine said of his daughter’s cameo appearance.
Audience member and Rangeley summer resident Diane Adams smiled.
“That was adorable,” Adams said. “We heard one of the contestants call at the Sporting Heritage Museum, so we wanted to hear this today. I just loved it.”
The calling competition was held in conjunction with the region’s first three-day Moose Lottery Festival, and the moose-permit drawing that followed, which alone drew more than 1,000 people.
But some came to Oquossoc just for the calling championship and said it was worth the trip.
“I didn’t even know people did that,” said Michelle Glenn of Harpswell, who was in the region visiting family friends. “When you live in Maine, you have to do these things,” said Glenn’s mother, Phyllis.
That was exactly what the mastermind and founder of the inaugural moose-calling invitational, Roger Lambert, was hoping for when the championship was added to the Moose Lottery Festival itinerary. He thanked the audience for coming out by having them do a group cow call. Then he urged them to use caution when driving home from this region where moose are a common sight.
“We saw a cow and two twins the other night at Smalls Falls. So you be careful going home. They’ll come through your window no questions asked,” Lambert said.
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: