CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire has raised $23,500 in its annual auction of moose hunting permits.

The group received seven bids from five states for the two permits, with the winning bidders paying $12,000 and $11,500.

Proceeds from the auction help support fish and wildlife initiatives and education programs run by the state Fish and Game Department. This year, the foundation voluntarily reduced the number of permits being auctioned due to a concern that the moose population is under stress from ticks.

Last year, 19 bids were placed for five permits, with a high bid of $10,000.

The New Hampshire moose hunt takes place Oct. 18-26.