Public hearing set for bobcat hunting season

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing on proposed rules to establish a bobcat hunting and trapping season at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, in Representatives Hall at the Statehouse.

The Fish and Game Commission is proposing to issue a total of 50 bobcat permits through a lottery process. The timing and attributes of the draft season would be similar to New Hampshire’s fisher season, with December trapping and January hunting. If adopted, the proposal would take effect in December.

All of New Hampshire’s neighboring states and provinces – Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Quebec – have bobcat seasons, although none limit their take using a permit system as proposed by Fish and Game.

Following a multiyear collaborative bobcat research study carried out by Fish and Game with the University of New Hampshire, the Fish and Game Commission directed the department to assess whether New Hampshire’s bobcat population could sustain harvest without adverse impact to the population.

The department concluded that the population could sustain modest harvest while still accommodating slow growth.

The commission subsequently asked the department to formulate a conservative season proposal consistent with those findings. A draft framework was presented to the commission in April, and a final proposal was adopted by the commission in December.

For more information about New Hampshire’s bobcat research and other related findings, visit www.wildnh.com/wildlife/
profiles/bobcat.html#
research.

The complete rulemaking notice, with proposed rule language for this proposal, can be viewed at www.wildnh.com/legislative/
proposed-rules.html.

Written comments regarding this proposal must be received by the department by Wednesday, Feb. 10. Send comments to comments@wildlife.nh.gov (use the rule name in your subject line); write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to 271-5829.

For answers to some common questions about New Hampshire’s bobcat season proposal, visit www.wildnh.com/wildlife/bobcat-season-proposal.html#faqs.