AUGUSTA — It’s wild turkey hunting season in Maine.

The season begins Monday and runs through June 4 across much of central, southern and eastern sections of the state. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife held its traditional Youth Day for the turkey hunt on Saturday.

After once being reduced to small numbers, the turkey population in Maine is now estimated at 50,000 to 60,000. Officials say Maine last year issued 17,000 turkey permits, up from less than 1,000 through the late 1990s.

Turkey hunting is considered a secretive sport, where hunters in camouflage use turkey calls to attract the wary birds.

The state has another turkey season in the fall.