Maine hunters are taking to the woods with the start of deer-hunting season.

The 25-day firearms season begins today for residents, with non-residents allowed to start hunting on Monday.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is projecting that hunters will take about 4,800 antlerless deer and another 12,000 bucks.

The department this year issued 26,390 any-deer permits, a sharp cut from last year when more than 40,000 permits were issued. Officials have cut back on the number of hunting permits to give the deer population a chance to recover following harsh winters in 2008 and 2009 that thinned the herd.

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