AUGUSTA — A government agency says hunters in Maine bagged 15 percent more deer in 2013 over the previous year.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said Friday that hunters killed 24,795 deer in 2013, an increase over 21,552 in 2012. It’s the third consecutive annual increase.

The agency says deer populations rebounded following harsh back-to-back winters in 2008 and 2009. The agency reported increases in almost every Wildlife Management District in the state.

Because of the harsh winter this year, however, the department has already said it would cut the number of deer permits being issued in 2014.

In 2013, there was a 36 percent increase in the permits issued over the previous year.

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