Master of ceremonies Roger Lambert entertains the crowd during the moose-calling contest at the Maine Moose Permit Lottery and Festival at Cabela's in Scarborough on June 8, 2019. In all, 2,820 moose permits were to be awarded to lottery entrants. Credit: John Holyoke

Maine’s annual moose permit lottery, which was to have been staged live in front of a large crowd in Jackman in June, has been switched to a ‘virtual’ format instead due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced on Thursday afternoon that the lottery will be broadcast live on June 13 at 1 p.m.

“We’re still working on finding the best format [for the broadcast] to include as many people as possible and will release more information about the broadcast after we work those details out,” said DIF&W communications director Mark Latti.

Original plans had the event being staged at Unity College’s Sky Lodge in Jackman. Moose permit lotteries typically draw several hundred spectators who show up to learn if their names will be drawn.

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According to the DIF&W news release, the names of the lucky hunters — 3,135 permits have been proposed to be allotted — will be drawn, and special presentations will be offered by department biologists and wardens. Those presentations will focus on moose biology, management and hunting techniques.

Jackman will host the moose permit lottery in 2021, according to the department.

This year’s moose seasons:

— Sept. 28-Oct. 3 in Wildlife Management Districts 1-6, 10, 11, 18, 19 and 27/28, with 936 bull permits.

— Oct. 12-17, in WMDs 1-14, 17, 18, 19 and 27/28, with 1,414 bull permits.

— Oct. 26-31 in WMDs 1-6 with 745 cow permits.

— Nov. 2-28 in WMDs 15 and 16, with 40 any-moose permits.

The deadline to register for the permit lottery is May 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

Maine’s modern moose hunt was first held in 1980, on an experimental basis. After a one-year hiatus, it returned in 1982 and has been staged annually ever since.

Watch: Opening day of the 2019 moose hunt

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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...