MOUNT VERNON — Sometimes, the hunt extends past state lines.
For Greg Quick, the real adventure comes not from Ohio’s famous white-tail deer, but from different game, in different parts of the country.
“I enjoy deer hunting,” Quick said, “but I’ve never been able to bag a buck to hang on my wall.”
So Quick turns to other game around the country.
“I’ve been to Wisconsin for elk hunting. I’ve been to Tennessee to go on a Russian Boar hunt, and again to catch wild turkey,” Quick said.
But his biggest catch came in the early morning hours of Oct. 11. While hunting in Squacan Mountain, Maine, Quick bagged his first bull moose.
“This was the best hunt (in my life),” Quick said. “I’ve never had a bad hunt, really. But this was definitely the best hunt.”
Quick and his wife, Connie, go to Maine every year. He’s been hunting there twice. The first time, he returned with a black bear. Most recently, he bagged the moose.
Getting a moose permit from the state of Maine is no easy task. Hunters have to enter a lottery and hope to be drawn. No more than 10 percent of all permits are given to non-residents. So most of the time, the out-of-state hunter ends up empty-handed.
Last year, about 65,000 applications were received from the state of Ohio alone. Out of those, only five permits were given to Ohioans.
Out-of-state residents can increase their chances by applying more than once. But it costs significantly more — $55 for 10 applications.
“I was one of the lucky ones,” Quick said. “I applied every year for five or six years. This year I paid the maximum amount of chances I could buy. I got lucky and I got drawn.”
There is another way. The state of Maine accepts written bids for one of 10 permits that guarantee a spot in the moose hunt. The bids are accepted in a sealed-bid auction format, so the top 10 bids each receive a permit. But if you’re planning on bidding, be prepared to dig pretty deep. In 2010, the winning bids were between $9,551 to $11,000.
“I’m just a regular blue-collar worker,” Quick said. “I don’t have a lot of money to spend on this. My wife and I work overtime so I can afford to go on these hunts.”
Once Quick’s moose is back from the taxidermist, it gets added to the elk, the bear, the turkey and all the other trophies. But this brings up another problem –– a lack of space.
“The elk measured 372 green,” Quick said. “Right now it’s in my garage. … The ceiling’s too low to keep it in the house.
“Hopefully, in the next couple years, we’re going to have a room built into the house where all the game stuff will go,” Quick added.
Quick has been hunting literally as long as he can remember. His father would take him squirrel hunting before he was old enough to carry a gun. Later, when he was ready, he’d help his dad hunt rabbits.
“I’ve watched those nature shows. I always been fascinated with these big game hunts, and watching other hunters getting them,” Quick said.
“It gets me away from the hustle and bustle. I can just forget about everything and relax. You can be by yourself, and it’s just peaceful,” Quick said. “My wife can tell you I’m a high-stress person.”
Throughout his life, he’s lost count of how many big game he’s bagged in his life. But what he hunts depends on one key thing.
“I’ll eat anything I hunt,” Quick said. “Turkey, boar, bear, deer. My wife will eat some of it, but she doesn’t care for deer.”
And what game meat is his favorite?
“The moose,” he answered.