MONTPELIER (AP) - The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board has given preliminary approval for 355 permits for the state's annual moose season in October.

The 355 permits proposed by the department represent a slight decrease from the 385 permits issued last year. Under the proposal, hunters are expected to harvest close to 200 animals during the Oct. 19-24 season.

Moose project leader Cedric Alexander says the intent is to allow slow population growth in some regions while continuing to stabilize moose numbers elsewhere.

Alexander estimates Vermont has 2,500 to 3,000 moose statewide with the greatest concentration in the Northeast Kingdom.

Vermont also holds a special "archery-only" moose season, allowing 50 permits for Oct. 1-7.