Just last week I received an email from a friend in central Maine who wanted to know when he’d be able to log into the state’s online licensing system and apply for this year’s moose permit lottery.

His timing was perfect. A couple days later I received word that he and other potential moose hunters had been waiting for.

The lottery is now open.

You can get started by clicking on this link: https://www5.informe.org/online/moose/ and following the directions through the quick and painless system.

You’ve got until 11:59 p.m. May 14 to complete the process. Then you’ll wait until June, when Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife personnel (and hundreds of curious onlookers) gather for this year’s permit drawing.

According to the Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsman’s Association, that drawing will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 23, in Rangeley.

Businesses and vendors interested in participating in this year’s lottery festivities can call Sheri Oldham at 864-4323 or send an email to sheriden.oldham@gmail.com.

Some particulars about this year’s hunt:

• A total of 3,840 permits will be allotted, allowing a hunter and his designated subpermittee to shoot a moose during one of four different sessions.

• The sessions: Sept. 24-29, with 890 bull permits in eight Wildlife Management Districts; Oct. 8-13, with 1,765 permits (1,225 for bulls, 540 for cows) in 19 districts; Nov. 5-10, with 985 cow permits in 10 districts; Oct. 29-Nov. 24 (including Oct. 27 for Maine residents), 200 permits in six districts.

• Maine residents no longer can purchase multiple chances in the lottery. They can buy only one chance, for $15.

• Nonresidents can buy one chance for $15, three for $25, six for $35, or 10 for $55. They also can buy unlimited blocks of $10 chances for $55 each. Regardless of how many nonresident chances are sold, no more than 10 percent of the moose permits allotted in each district will be awarded to nonresidents.

• Starting with the 2011 season, applicants whose names are drawn must wait three years before being selected to hunt again. They may, however, apply for the drawing in order to begin building up “bonus points,” or extra chances in the lottery.

• The bonus point formula has changed to help favor those hunters who have spent many years applying without having their names drawn. The new formula: Applicants who have been unsuccessful for one to five years earn one bonus point per year. Those who have been unsuccessful for six to 10 years earn two bonus points per year. Those with 11 to 15 years get three points and those with 16 or more years get 10 points per year.

Two fly-tying courses set

If you’re a particularly avid fly fisher, there is open water in Maine where you’re allowed to fish year-round.

If, that is, you’re willing to brave near-freezing water and more-than-numb toes in order to do so.

For the rest of us, the winter months provide the perfect time to hone our fly-tying skills and fill fly boxes for the seasons to come.

And while many of us spend most of our tying time alone at the vise, tying in groups is a lot of fun and can make the time pass more quickly.

Today, I’m happy to report that there are a couple of options available for those who’d like to tie some flies, swap some lies and learn new skills.

First up: The folks at the Pleasant River Fish & Game Club in Columbia will stage a series of free classes at their clubhouse featuring instructor Dave Klausmeyer, the editor of Fly Tyer magazine.

I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on a Klausmeyer class before, and I can tell you the man really knows his stuff.

The classes will run every Wednesday from Feb. 15 through March 21, and each will begin at 7 p.m. Materials will be provided but each participant must provide their own tying tools. For information, call Klausmeyer at 546-7773 or email him at neangler@myfairpoint.net.

Second up: Don Corey, my BDN co-worker and the proprietor of Annika Rod and Fly Learning Center in Holden, will be holding a series of tying classes at the brand-new Annika world headquarters (36 Kingsbury Road).

The Annika classes will be held 1-3 p.m. Saturdays, and guest tiers will lead each session. Cost is $8 per student, but if students spend $10 in the shop on class day, they’ll pay just $4 for the session. All materials and hooks will be provided, class size is limited to eight per day, and students are advised to bring their own tying tools.

An cool feature: Corey will set up a high-definition camera so that students can see the techniques on a large-screen TV as they learn.

On tap:

• Feb 11, nymphs with Ed Dallide and Don Corey.

• Feb. 18, dry flies with Zack Dunnett and Don Corey.

• March 3, trolling streamers with Rob Dunnett.

• March 17, dabbling with deer hair, with Don “Cubby” McCubbin.

For information, go to annikarodandfly.com.

John Holyoke may be reached at jholyoke@bangordailynews.com or 990-8214. Check out his blog at outthere.bangordailynews.com.

John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...