First Bobcat Hunting Season in 25 years

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The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission accepted a declaration of emergency to establish a bobcat hunting season to run concurrent with the 2003-04 deer season. The rule presented to the commission at their August 6 meeting, states: "Properly licensed big game hunters may take a bobcat during the open deer hunting season. The season limit on bobcats taken by recreational deer hunters shall be one. Legal shooting hours and methods of take shall be the same as those for deer in each area of the state." The rule will go into effect on September 13, the first opening day of archery season in the state.

Prior to 1978, the bobcat was classified as an outlaw quadruped and could be harvested by a licensed hunter at any time except at night. They were reclassified in 1978 as non-game furbearers. This made them legal to be harvested only by trappers during the trapping season. Their harvest numbers peaked in the early 1980s. Since the mid 1980s, reforestation programs have greatly enhanced the bobcat habitat and their population has increased. Act 1248 of the Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature authorized the commission to create the season.

For more information, contact Tommy Prickett at 225/765-2348 prickett_te@wlf.state.la.us