AR-News: 140 bobcats killed for sport in Pennsylvania
jmmiele at optonline.net
Sun Jun 13 18:23:15 EDT 2004
Game Commission Announces Bobcat-Harvest Results
June 13, 2004
HARRISBURG - According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Game
Commission, hunters and trappers harvested 140 bobcats (73 males and 67
females) during the 2003-2004 bobcat seasons.
During the 2002-2003 seasons, 135 bobcats were taken.
At a public drawing last September, the game commission awarded 570 permits
from a field of more than 3,000 applicants who applied to receive a
bobcat-harvest permit. Each permit allowed a hunter or trapper to harvest
The area in which bobcats could be legally harvested changed slightly with
the adoption of Wildlife Management Units in 2003.
During this past season, bobcat harvests were allowed in six wildlife
management units including 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D in northcentral and
northeastern Pennsylvania. Harvest numbers by county were: Bradford, 22;
Cameron, 4; Centre, 5; Clearfield, 8; Clinton, 9; Columbia, 2; Elk, 12;
Forest, 4; Luzerne, 2; Lycoming, 15; McKean, 1; Monroe, 2; Pike, 1; Potter,
15; Sullivan, 15; Susquehanna, 1; Tioga, 12; Venango, 1; Wayne, 2; and
Game commission staff collected biological data and samples from every
bobcat that was harvested, including basic body measurements, tissue
samples, stomachs, intestines, and reproductive tracts from females.
A tooth also was collected from each bobcat and will be used to estimate the
age composition and distribution of the harvest. This information will be
provided to successful hunters and trappers once the analyses are complete.
Also, a survey was mailed to permit recipients who did not report a bobcat
harvest during the hunting and trapping seasons to measure participation and
"During past seasons, bobcat harvests have been limited primarily to the
northcentral and northeast regions," said Dr. Matthew Lovallo, game
commission furbearer biologist and author of the agency's bobcat management
plan. "However, recent survey data indicates well-established and expanding
bobcat populations in some southcentral and southwestern counties. All of
the tools we use to monitor bobcat populations indicate that Pennsylvania's
bobcat population continues to increase."
Wildlife Conservation Officers reported 105 bobcat roadkills in 28 counties
in 2003. These reports were added to a database of more than 900 roadkills
documented since these efforts began in 1985.
Based on the agency's annual furtakers survey, the game commission estimates
that furtakers who did not possess a bobcat permit captured and released
more than 520 bobcats while pursuing other species during the 2002-2003
seasons. Most recently, the game commission incorporated questions regarding
bobcat sightings on its annual Game-Take Survey, which is sent to 20,000
general license buyers. A total of 9,777 hunters responded to this survey
and reported seeing 936 bobcats in 61 counties throughout the state.
"Based on these results, we have added two additional WMUs - WMUs 2E and
2C - to the areas where bobcat permit holders may harvest a bobcat in
2004-2005 seasons," Lovallo said. "The northern portion of WMU 2E,
specifically Clearfield County, was open for harvest prior to the adoption
of the WMU system. So, the addition of WMU 2E will re-establish
opportunities for this area.
"Adding WMU 2C to the harvest area will provide greater access and
opportunities for hunters and trappers who reside in southern counties. An
analysis of hunter/trapper surveys during previous seasons shows that permit
holders who reside in or near the WMUs open to bobcat hunting and trapping
are more successful."
Lovallo noted that the agency's objective for expanding the number of WMUs
open for bobcat hunting or trapping by permit holders is to more uniformly
distribute hunter/trapper pressure within areas that can sustain bobcat
harvest and to improve the success rates among permit holders.
"The addition of these WMUs has not resulted in a dramatic increase in the
number of permits that the game commission allocated during the 2004-2005
seasons," Lovallo said.
On July 1, the game commission will begin accepting applications for
2004-2005 bobcat permits from holders of resident furtaker, junior
combination or senior lifetime combination licenses, along with a
nonrefundable $5 fee.
Mail-in applications are included in the 2004-2005 Pennsylvania Digest of
Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which will be provided to each license
buyer. All mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 20.
Also on July 1, to better serve its customers, the agency will begin
accepting applications for bobcat permits through "The Outdoor Shop" on the
agency's Web site ( www.pgc.state.pa.us). Applicants may charge their
hunting/furtaking licenses, as well as a bobcat application, to their VISA,
MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit cards. Online applications
will be accepted until midnight of Aug. 20.
In keeping with a harvest objective of 175 bobcats, Pennsylvania Game
Commission Executive Director Vern Ross recently announced that the agency
will award 615 permits for the 2004-2005 bobcat hunting/furtaking seasons at
a public drawing in its Harrisburg headquarters on Friday, Sept. 10.
"Based on the harvest success rate of the 2003-2004 season and our survey of
unsuccessful bobcat permit holders, we plan to conservatively increase the
number of permits allocated in order to move closer to our harvest objective
of 175 bobcats," Ross said.
- Pennsylvania Game Commission
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