AUGUSTA — Moose hunting season is kicking off in eastern and northern Maine this week.

The season begins on today. Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says there are about 950 hunters who have permits for the hunting season’s first week.

The department says more Mainers have moose hunting permits this year than ever before. But it says the number of permits has increased in the north where moose are more prevalent and decreased in other parts of the state where moose are less common.

The moose population is estimated to be about 70,000.

The season is divided into four segments, the first of which runs until Saturday. The second segment is  next month and the two final segments are in November.