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Hey, kids - let's all go moose hunting!

Vermont moose hunting permit applications are available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) and at license agents statewide.

On Fish & Wildlife's website, look under "Hunting and Trapping," and then click on Lottery Applications.

Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. The deadline to apply is June 2.

Winners of the permit lottery will purchase resident hunting permits for $100 and nonresident hunting permits for $350. Hunters also will have the option to bid on five moose hunting permits in an auction to be announced later.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will propose a regulation including permit numbers for the hunting season at a Feb. 18 meeting of the Fish & Wildlife Board. Vermont issued 1,251 permits in 2008, and hunters took 605 moose in the 2008 hunting season. Proposed 2009 hunting season dates are Oct. 17-22, or Oct. 24 through Nov. 1.

"We expect to recommend a number of permits similar to last year," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. "But permit allocations will not be finalized until a regulation is adopted in early summer. We are making the applications available now for hunters' convenience. If you are concerned about making Wildlife Management Unit choices before permit numbers are set, you may want to wait to apply."

"We are managing Vermont's moose population to keep it in balance with available habitat," said Cedric Alexander, Vermont's lead biologist on moose. "Carefully constructed hunting regulations enable us once again to enjoy having moose in Vermont on a sustained basis, while their numbers are maintained at levels that fit habitat capacity and the needs of people."

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