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DEC Revising Permits for Bobcat Hunting and Trapping
New York Ag Connection - 07/13/2017

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Wednesday that the agency is adopting a regulatory proposal to revise the special permit requirement for bobcat hunting and trapping. Upon completion of the Bobcat Management Plan in 2012, regulations were adopted to establish a hunting and trapping season in select Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in central and western New York, referred to as the "Harvest Expansion Area" (HEA).

In areas open to bobcat hunting and trapping, individuals are required to have a license and to have the animal "pelt sealed" (i.e., have a plastic tag affixed by DEC staff) after harvest. However, to hunt or trap bobcats in the HEA, licensed hunters and trappers were also required to obtain a free "special permit" from their regional wildlife office.

This requirement allowed biologists to collect information on participation, harvest, harvest pressure (e.g., number of days afield, number of traps set) through a diary or "log," and to collect biological samples. This robust data set allows biologists to assess the status of the bobcat population and evaluate harvest. After three seasons of data collection, sufficient information on harvest pressure and take has been collected and the special permit is no longer needed. Hunters and trappers who pursue bobcats in the HEA are still required to have a hunting or trapping license and to have the animal pelt sealed.

Bobcat hunting and trapping regulations can be viewed on DEC's website (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/45559.html and www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/355.html) and the Notice of Adoption for the revised regulation can be viewed in the New York State Register (www.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2017.html).

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