New Hampshire has taken another step toward considering whether to again allow people to hunt and trap bobcats.
The state Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to approve initial rules governing a short bobcat season. The rules would allow a maximum of 50 cats to be hunted or trapped in a season.
When the population dropped below an estimated 200 in 1989, the state banned hunting or trapping the cats. Biologists now say the population may be as high as 1,400 in the fall and winter and 2,200 in the spring and summer.
Opponents doubt the population is that high and argue there is no reason to kill bobcats.
Next steps include gathering more public input and a public hearing in late January followed by a vote on final rules.