AUGUSTA (AP) — Wild turkey hunting season is under way in Maine.

The season begins Monday and runs through June 1 across the southern half of the state.

Wildlife officials say Maine’s turkey population is strong after once being reduced to small numbers. More than 5,000 birds have been harvested annually in recent years, up from under 1,000 in the 1990s.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is asking hunters this spring to be on the lookout for a turkey virus known as lymphoproliferative disease virus, or LPDV, that causes lesions on a turkey’s head and legs. Hunters that come across diseased birds should contact a wildlife biologist or a game warden.

Several cases of LPDV have been confirmed since the first case was reported in Maine last April.

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