Despite attracting heated opposition, a plan to allow the trapping of 50 bobcats every year will go forward following a Fish and Game Commission vote Wednesday. The proposal will still it still will have several public hearings before Fish and Game and a legislative committee.
Seven of eleven commissioners voted in favor of the proposal.
Carroll County’s commissioner Dave Patch said that if all fifty permit holders managed to trap a bobcat that would be only a fraction of the overall population estimated in a UNH study last year.
The odds of all fifty people getting one are pretty slim,” said Patch, “That’s extremely conservative that’s extremely cautious… this is about as low-impact as you can get.”
But a few dozen opponents to the proposal packed into the hearing room, to express their displeasure with the decision, organized by a newly formed group called Voices of Wildlife. Those opposing the decision included long-time hunter and outdoors writer John Harrigan.
“It boils down to this, I don’t think that killing bobcats, for the reasons that people want to do so constitutes a wise use of such a wonderful animal,” said Harrigan following the decision
Fish and Game closed the Bobcat season in 1989 when it was estimated there were fewer than 200 cats in the state. Fish and Game thinks there are now between 1,400 and 2,200 bobcats in New Hampshire.