HARRISBURG, (PRNewswire) – Pennsylvania Game Commission
officials today announced that hunters and trappers harvested 221 bobcats
(112 females, 108 males and one was not identified) during the 2005-06
bobcat seasons. During the 2004-05 seasons, 196 bobcats were taken; 140 in
2003-04; 135 in 2002-03; 146 in 2001-02; and 58 in 2000-01.
At a public drawing last September, the Game Commission awarded 615
permits from a field of more than 4,600 applicants who applied to receive a
bobcat harvest permit. Each permit allowed a hunter or trapper to harvest
one bobcat. In 2004-05, the agency awarded 615 permits; 570 in 2003-04; 545
in 2002-03; 520 in 2001-02; and 290 in 2000-01.
Initially, bobcats only could be harvested across parts of northcentral
and northeastern Pennsylvania. The area in which bobcats could be legally
harvested changed slightly with the adoption of Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs) in 2003. In 2004, the bobcat harvest area was increased by about 30
percent with the addition of two WMUs. During this past season, bobcat
harvests were allowed in eight WMUs: 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D in
southwestern, northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania.
Harvest numbers for 2005-06 by county were: Bedford, 2; Bradford, 29;
Cameron, 6; Centre, 3; Clearfield, 18; Clinton, 11; Columbia, 1; Elk, 12;
Fayette, 5; Forest, 3; Indiana, 3; Jefferson, 2; Lackawanna, 1; Luzerne, 8;
Lycoming, 23; McKean, 9; Monroe, 1; Pike, 4; Potter, 22; Somerset, 5;
Sullivan, 9; Susquehanna, 3; Tioga, 28; Venango, 1; Warren, 2; Wayne, 2;
Westmoreland, 2; and Wyoming, 6.
Game Commission staff collected biological data and body measurements
from a sample of the harvested bobcats, as well as tissue samples,
digestive tract and female reproductive samples. A tooth also was collected
from these bobcats and will be used to estimate the age composition of the
Also, a survey was mailed to permit recipients who did not report a
bobcat harvest during the hunting and trapping seasons to measure
participation and harvest effort.
“This past season’s harvest demonstrates that Pennsylvania has a
thriving population of bobcats, and that our recent limited harvests have
not impacted the population,” said Dr. Matthew Lovallo, Game Commission
furbearer biologist and author of the agency’s bobcat management plan.
“Weather conditions were favorable during January and February,
particularly for trapping because of limited precipitation. In fact, 55
percent of the harvest occurred during 2006.”
On June 30, the Game Commission will begin accepting applications for
2006-07 bobcat permits from holders of resident furtaker, junior
combination or senior lifetime combination licenses, along with a
nonrefundable $5 fee. Mail-in applications are included in the 2006-07
Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which will be
provided to each license buyer. All mail-in applications must be postmarked
no later than Aug. 15.
Also on June 30, to better serve its customers, the agency will begin
accepting applications for bobcat permits through “The Outdoor Shop” on the
agency’s website (http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/). Applicants may charge their
hunting/furtaking licenses, as well as a bobcat application, to their Visa,
MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit cards. Online applications
will be accepted until midnight of Sept. 6.