Bobcats

After almost three years of study, Monday night fish and game officials from New Hampshire and Vermont said they will not go ahead with a controversial proposal to stock the Moore Reservoir in the North Country with walleye.

The idea was scrapped over a concern that the walleye – which typically eat other fish – might hurt the trout population, not just in the reservoir, but in the Connecticut River downstream.

Stocking the walleye was suggested by fish and game officials from both states.

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New Hampshire Fish and Game officials have reversed course on plans to allow a state bobcat season.

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A legislative committee has voted to object to a controversial proposal for a bobcat hunting and trapping season in New Hampshire, saying the traps also could catch Canada lynx — a threatened species.

The committee, which reviews rules proposed by state agencies, voted yesterday to send the proposals to Fish and Game committees of the state House and Senate for further review after about 20 people testified, most of them against the season.

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A Legislative committee is preparing to review a state proposal for a bobcat and hunting season in New Hampshire that's received much public opposition.

The 10-member Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules is meeting Friday morning at Representatives' Hall.

In February, New Hampshire's Fish and Game Commission narrowly approved a bobcat hunting and trapping season after more than a quarter-century. Fifty bobcat permits would be issued through a lottery.

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With a narrow five to four vote, New Hampshire's Fish and Game Commission has approved new rules that would let hunters and trappers to kill fifty bobcats a year. The season would begin with a month of trapping in December of this year, and continue into January of 2017 with a month of hunting with dogs and firearms. Sportsmen will be awarded permits based on a lottery.

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New Hampshire's Fish and Game Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on bringing back a bobcat hunting and trapping, a proposal that's generated more than 5,000 letters — most in opposition. That's the biggest response it's received during a public comment period in years.

The commission proposes to issue 50 bobcat permits through a lottery. The timing of the draft season would be December for trapping and January for hunting. If adopted, the proposal would take effect this December.

NH Fish and Game

Should New Hampshire sportsman be allowed to hunt and trap bobcats?

Since the idea of a season on bobcats was first put on the table more than a year ago, that question has stirred up strong emotions, and those emotions came to a head Monday night.

The proposal Fish and Game is weighing would let New Hampshire hunters and trappers kill 50 bobcats a year. There are more than 600 such trappers, and permits would be given out using a lottery, at $100 a pop.

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Fish and Game officials are holding public hearings this week on a plan to allow hunting and trapping of bobcats. 

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Bobcats have been all over the news lately. It's kind of amazing to think that 30 years ago wildlife biologists estimated there were only 150 bobcats in New Hampshire. That's not the case anymore - their numbers are now estimated to be around 1400! How did these cats make such an impressive recovery?

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  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.

  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.

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This past year's especially harsh winter has prompted the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to rethink a proposal to bring back the state's bobcat trapping season.

In January, the state Fish and Game Commission voted to have the department draw up a proposal for a bobcat season, but those plans were put on hold by the harsh winter.

Fish and Game's Doug Whitefield says winters are hard on young bobcats.

The Telegraph reports the last time New Hampshire allowed bobcat trapping was 1989.

Fish And Game's Glenn Normandeau

May 11, 2015
Kevin Micalizzi / Flickr/CC

Fish and Game Executive Director joins us to discuss his agency's mission, its 150th anniversary, and its wildlife management planning process - including decisions around hunting permits and fishing catch limits.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In a meeting Wednesday, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission began a discussion on whether to open a bobcat trapping season. The proposal is far from final, but it’s already attracting the ire of the animal rights community.

Late last year biologists at the University of New Hampshire announced the results of a study, commissioned by Fish and Game. They estimated that from 1989 to today, the bobcat population in New Hampshire had rebounded from less than 200 cats to somewhere between 800 and 1,400.

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A new study from the University of New Hampshire and Fish and Game finds that the state’s bobcat population has rebounded substantially.

Bobcats were hunted and trapped all the way through 1989, when the cats became so scarce that the state ended bobcat hunting. Back then there were estimated to be fewer than 200 bobcats in the state. Today, the new study estimates there could be as many as 800 to 1,200 of the elusive felines.

The study didn’t ask the question of what factors are leading to the recovery, and there is almost certainly more than one.