AUGUSTA (AP) — The lottery that allows hunters to participate in Maine’s expanded deer harvesting season is coming soon.

Maine uses a lottery to distribute “any deer” permits that allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex. The lottery is scheduled for Friday, and more permits are at stake this year.

Maine is giving out more than 66,000 of the permits, up from fewer than 46,000 last year. State officials say deer have been able to survive recent mild winters, and that allows for more hunting.

The firearms hunting season runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 25 this year.

In this June 5, 2016 file photo, a deer stands in a yard in Concord, N.H. The deer-laden states of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire will be issuing more hunting permits this year because so many of the animals survived an uncharacteristically easy winter season. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

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