ALLAGASH – Two of the moose downed by hunters in the state’s annual moose hunt two weeks ago left Maine with two teenagers taking part in a Hunt of a Lifetime.
The two teens have life-threatening diseases and had sought moose hunting excursions from Hunt of a Lifetime, a Pennsylvania-based organization supported by donations.
The teens, one from Indiana and the other from Utah, came to Maine specifically to hunt moose. Maine allows the organization two licenses a year for moose.
Ryan Dennis, 15, of Indiana hunted with Wade Kelly of Allagash and went home with the meat and antlers of a 790-pound bull moose. The antlers, 45 inches across, had 22 tines with many of them large and considered extraordinary.
Jordan Arave, 16, of Utah hunted with Dave Drexel of Pennsylvania at the Lugdon Camps in Eagle Lake. He went home with a moose and a bear, according to Drexel.
Arave has leukemia. Dennis has diamond blackfan anemia, a disease of white blood cells similar to leukemia, Drexel said. Both diseases are life-threatening.
“Yes, he stayed at my camps and we had a great time,” Kelly said of Dennis. “What a great kid.
“He had never hunted moose before, and he was intrigued by them,” Kelly said. “It’s something he wanted to do, and he got to do it here in Allagash.”
Kelly said Dennis was awed by moose, their size and just everything about them.
Kelly said Dennis, who came with his “Uncle Buck,” Curtis Spurlock of Indiana, stayed a week, Sunday to Sunday. They videotaped the trip.
Dennis, according to Kelly, turned down smaller moose sightings as they hunted. He brought down his bull Tuesday morning. After the hunt, he spent time riding through the northern Maine woods with one of Kelly’s friends and went on a bear hunt.
“They [Curtis and Spurlock] were both impressed with Maine,” Kelly said. “They were impressed with the size of the state, its hills, its beauty and of course the leaves which were in full color that week.
Drexel said Arave also had a great time.
“They both had the time of their lives,” Drexel said by telephone Sunday. “Jordan, who came with his father, Tracy, had a great week. Ryan did not want to leave. He loves the woods so much.”
Drexel said it was the second time the organization had come to Maine. “We had two young people here last year and two this fall.