Pennsylvania GC Announces Bobcat Numbers

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Pennsylvania Game Commission officials announced that hunters and trappers harvested 356 bobcats during the 2007-08 bobcat seasons.

Harvest numbers for 2007-08 by WMU are: WMU 2A, 3; WMU 2C, 23; WMU 2E, 21; WMU 2F, 31; WMU 2G, 127; WMU 3A, 33; WMU 3B, 72; WMU 3C, 27; and WMU 3D, 14.

"The 2007-08 bobcat permit holder success rate was the third highest since the season began in 2000," said Dr. Matthew Lovallo, Game Commission furbearer biologist and author of the agency's bobcat management plan. "We expect that, if average winter conditions prevail, the permit holder success rate will range from 39 percent to 42 percent during the upcoming 2008-09 season.

"All of the tools that we use to monitor the state's bobcat population indicate increased abundance and continued geographic expansion outside of the established harvest area. The addition of WMU 2A in 2007-08 increased the available harvest area by 10 percent. Similarly, the addition of WMU 4D for the 2008-09 season will increase the allowable harvest area by 14 percent, and will better distribute harvest throughout the established bobcat range."

During the 2006-07 season, 258 bobcats were taken; 221 bobcats in 2005-06; 196 bobcats in 2004-05; 140 in 2003-04; 135 in 2002-03; 146 in 2001-02; and 58 in 2000-01.

Last year, the Game Commission awarded 1,010 permits from an applicant pool of more than 6,000. In 2006-07, the agency allocated 720 permits from an applicant pool of nearly 5,000; in 2005-06, 615 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of more than 4,600; in 2004-05, 615 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of nearly 4,200; in 2003-04, 570 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of nearly 3,500; in 2002-03, 545 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of more than 3,100; in 2001-02, 520 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of more than 3,100; and in 2000-01, the first bobcat season in 30 years, 290 permits were awarded from an applicant pool of 3,276.

GAME COMMISSION TO ISSUE 1,435 PERMITS FOR 2008-09 BOBCAT SEASON

Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced the agency will award 1,435 permits for the 2008-09 bobcat hunting/furtaking seasons at a public drawing in its Harrisburg headquarters on Friday, Sept. 12. As part of the public drawing for the allocated permits, those applicants with six preference points (five previous points and one for this year's application) will automatically receive a bobcat permit.

"As Pennsylvania's bobcat population continues to increase in abundance and continued geographic expansion, we are able to again take steps to enable more hunters and trappers to participate in the bobcat season and to expand the harvest area," said Dr. Matthew Lovallo, Game Commission furbearer biologist and author of the agency's bobcat management plan. "Consistent with our conservative approach to increasing the bobcat harvest opportunities, we have increased the statewide harvest objective to 530 bobcats and adjusted the permit allocation accordingly to offer more bobcat permits for the upcoming season. We also have opened WMU 4D to the list of areas in which permits may be used."

Those who received one of the 1,010 bobcat permits issued during the 2007-08 season are not eligible for this year's drawing.

The 2008-09 hunting season for bobcats is set for Oct. 20 through Feb. 16, and the trapping season is set for Oct. 21 through Feb. 17. Those hunters or trappers receiving one of the limited permits through a public drawing will be restricted to pursuing bobcats in WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4D in southwestern, northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania.

Beginning on June 27, the Game Commission will accept applications for 2008-09 bobcat permits from holders of resident and nonresident furtaker licenses, resident and nonresident junior furtaker or combination licenses, or resident senior furtaker or lifetime combination licenses, along with a nonrefundable $5 fee. This is the first year in which nonresidents may apply for the public drawing.

Mail-in applications are on page 85 of the 2008-09 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. 15, or submitted to any agency region office or Harrisburg headquarters no later than Aug. 15.

Also on June 27, to better serve its customers, the agency will begin accepting applications for bobcat permits through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website 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 Sept. 2.

To demonstrate its confidence in the Game Commission's bobcat management plan, in 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted the agency "multi-year" export status for bobcat pelts legally harvested in Pennsylvania.