AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's ready to take applications for this year's deer permit lottery, which will give out thousands more permits than the previous year.

Maine uses the lottery to give out "any deer" permits, which allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex. It's giving out 84,745 permits this year. That's 28 percent more than last year. Wildlife officials say many central and southern Maine deer survived a moderate winter.

State wildlife biologists say the hunt helps maintain a healthy deer herd. Hunters without an "any deer" permit are only allowed to harvest deer with antlers.

The state is taking the applications until the end of the day on Aug. 15. The lottery itself is scheduled to take place on Sept. 7, and the hunt is in the fall.