ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says preliminary numbers show that hunters took 40 moose in this year's hunting seasons.

Hunters have reported eight moose taken during the archery season and 32 during last month's rifle season.

This year, 80 permits were issued, down from 165 last year. Five permits were also sold at the state's annual moose hunting permit auction.

The department says permits were restricted to bulls only in 16 of the state's 21 Wildlife Management Units. Officials say the restriction along with the reduction in hunting permits was aimed at increasing population growth.

A final tally of the moose hunting season will be available in January.