The regulators of Maine's annual moose hunt are less than a week away from closing the books on this year's paper applications for a permit to bag the state's official animal. 

The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says applications must be postmarked by April 1. The deadline to apply online is May 16.

Getting a permit might be more difficult than usual this year because of a pending cut in permits. State biologists say the permits should be cut by 24 percent to meet public demand to view the animals in the wild.

The state currently plans to issue 2,140 permits at the June 11 drawing to be held at the Kittery Trading Post. The lottery typically attracts tens of thousands of applicants.