AUGUSTA — The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services is accepting applications for the 2020 Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt, which will be held in Aroostook County.
MBVS Director David Richmond said, “At the bureau, we’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of veterans from across Maine and the country. We assist veterans during each stage of their transition from military service to civilian life, and one of the most popular services we help connect veterans to is the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt. It’s a unique form of recreational therapy for many of the veterans involved and the long-term benefits from this outdoor activity are immeasurable.”
Since the program’s inception in 2010, MBVS has partnered with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Smoldering Lake Outfitters to issue hunting permits and essential equipment to participating veterans. The hunt, which is entirely free for selected veterans, costs roughly $50,000 to administer. Costs associated with the hunt include guiding services, essential adaptive equipment, meat processing and travel and lodging.
Scott Brown, United States Air Force veteran and selected hunter, said the experience he had while hunting in Aroostook County was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “During that one week in The County I quickly realized this event is not about filling a freezer but community, team building and being able to share our experiences with those who understand our unique spin on the world,” he said. “It was truly a bucket list event and I am so very thankful for the opportunity.”
Those who served in the military, no matter the branch, understand the importance of community, organizers said. That need for communal support doesn’t go away when a veteran leaves service – and the bureau takes pride in knowing that Mainers have stepped up to provide collaborative advocacy for our service members. The Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt offers our veterans an opportunity to gain comradery, confidence, and support from fellow veterans who have gone through similar struggles. In fact, veterans who have participated repeatedly share with us the value of the program as well as the significant impact it has had on their lives.
PHOTO: Veteran Scott Brown and his moose on the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt. (Submitted photo)