Maine's annual deer permit lottery is ready to begin, and there are thousands of more permits available this year than in years previous.
The state is giving out 84,745 permits this year, which is 28 percent more than last year. Biologists say the state's deer herd has shown strong survival over recent winters and can withstand more hunting pressure.
The permits are "any deer" permits which allow a hunter to take a deer of either sex. Only hunters who possess these permits are allowed to hunt antlerless deer and bucks with antlers that are less than three inches long.
The permits are needed for the hunting seasons for regular firearms and muzzleloaders. The regular season runs Oct. 29 to Nov. 24. The muzzleloader season is from Nov. 26 to Dec. 8.