Game Commission to Offer 615 Permits for 2004-2005 Bobcat Season

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In keeping with a harvest objective of 175 bobcats, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross announced 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.

Last year, the Game Commission awarded 570 permits from an applicant pool of more than 3,000. In 2002-2003, the agency allocated 545 permits from an applicant pool of more than 3,100. In 2001-2002, the agency allotted 520 permits from an applicant pool of more than 3,100. In the 2000-2001 bobcat season, the first in 30 years, the agency awarded 290 permits from an applicant pool of 3,276.

Last year, 140 bobcats were taken by hunters and trappers. During the 2002-2003 season, 135 bobcats were harvested. In 2001-2002, 146 bobcats were harvested, and in 2000-2001, 58 bobcats were harvested.

Following last year's creation of a preference point system, individuals who applied for a bobcat permit in 2003 and were not selected will have their names entered into the drawing twice if they apply this year. However, only one application per person will be accepted by the Game Commission, and multiple submissions will result in the applicant being ineligible for the drawing.

Those who received one of the 570 bobcat permits issued during the 2003-2004 season are not eligible for this year's drawing.

The hunting season for bobcats is set for Oct. 16 through Feb. 19, and the trapping season is set for Oct. 17 through Feb. 19. Those hunters or trappers receiving one of the limited permits through a public drawing will be restricted to pursuing bobcats in Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D in northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania.

To demonstrate its confidence in the Game Commission's bobcat management plan, last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted the agency "multi-year" export status for bobcat pelts legally harvested in Pennsylvania.