For many visitors, catching a glimpse of the iconic Maine moose is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are majestic to watch, and it’s always exciting to capture one on film. Did you know that a mature bull moose can easily tip the scales at 1,000 pounds or more, and their antlers span an average of six feet? State biologists estimate the Maine moose population to be around 75,000—that’s the largest concentration of moose in the country next to Alaska.
Best Viewing Times & Spots
Moose can be seen throughout the state, but their population is greatest in Aroostook County. The best times to spot them are at dusk and dawn from mid-May through July and again in the fall during their breeding season. Fall is also when the impressive antlers of the Bull Moose are fully formed. They will shed their antlers in November or December and new, larger antlers will begin to grow in the spring. Much of Aroostook County is rural so you don't have to travel any particular place as moose pop up and find great habitat everywhere here.
Because of their massive size, moose find it easier to move about in open areas – making it fairly easy to catch sight of one if you are fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time. They can often be spotted along logging roads, diving for dinner in wet boggy areas, hanging out in gravel pits, and clip-clopping down hiking or snowmobile trails.
Read: The three best drives to see moose in Maine's Aroostook County.
The Maine Moose Permitting Process
To hunt for moose in Maine, you will need a permit; and due to high demand, these permits are administered in four ways only:
- Through three chance lottery drawings: resident, non-resident, and the adaptive management zone
- Through a competitive auction
- Through a controlled moose hunt for disabled veterans
- Through a hunting lodge moose lottery
Ninety percent of all permits in Maine's 21 eligible Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) are allocated to residents, no more than 8% to non-residents, and no more than 2% to hunting lodges. It is highly recommended to hunt with a Registered Maine Guide. View the Maine Hunting Laws Handbook here.
While the moose in Maine are usually docile animals, please resist the temptation to approach a moose too closely. They have been known to charge people when they feel threatened. If you spot a cow with her young or a bull during breeding season, give them a wide berth.