The bobcat, a creature seldom seen in the wild because of its incredibly elusive habits, has made an extraordinary comeback. Bobcat numbers once suffered due to habitat loss and over-hunting, but with strict regulations on hunting and trapping, the creatures are being seen more frequently and the population is increasing. Because of their proliferation, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) plans to make some changes to bobcat hunting regulations.
With the proposed changes, new areas of New York would be opened up to bobcat hunting and trapping because the cats are more abundant in the area now. The Southern Tier and Central New York, as well as an area just north of New York City, would be opened up to bobcat hunters. In order to not complicate anything, the DEC plans to make the bobcat season uniform throughout the state, making the season run from Oct. 15 - Feb. 15. This would lengthen the season by two months in the North Country. Currently, hunters are allowed to take 500 bobcats per season but since the DEC estimates the bobcat population to be over 5,000, it is speculated that New York State's bobcat population can allow 1,000 bobcats to be taken each season.
You can read more about the DEC's bobcat management plan on their website
. The DEC is accepting comments on the plan until Feb. 16. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(please type "Bobcat Plan" in the subject line).