HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission, with assistance from several interested observers, today publicly drew by computer the names of 720 individuals who each will be awarded one bobcat permit for the upcoming 2006-07 hunting and trapping season. The drawing was held at the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters today at 10 a.m.
After a review of the 5,000 applications received for the drawing, the Game Commission disqualified 20 individuals for failing to follow instructions, including mailing in multiple applications and bounced checks. Of the 4,980 eligible applicants in the drawing, an additional 20 applications were drawn as alternates in case any of the first 720 individuals are declared ineligible during an application review by the Bureau of Wildlife Protection.
Those selected in today’s random drawing will receive one permit for no additional charge to either hunt or trap one bobcat in the next few weeks. The hunting season will run from Oct. 21- Feb. 17. The trapping season will run from Oct. 22- Feb. 17.
Top counties for those receiving bobcat permits are: Lancaster (39); Lycoming (36); Berks (34); Tioga (31); York (31); and Westmoreland (30). Also, of the 720 drawn for a permit, 27 were women.
Hunting and trapping bobcats is restricted to Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. A statewide map of the WMUs, as well as a series of maps of each WMU, appears on pages 42 through 45 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
In 2000-01, when the first bobcat hunting and trapping seasons in 30 years were held, 290 permitted hunters and trappers took 58 bobcats. In 2001-02, 520 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 146 bobcats; in 2002-03, 545 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 135 bobcats; in 2003-04, 570 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 140 bobcats; and in 2004-05, 615 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 196 bobcats. Last year, in 2005-06, 615 permitted hunters and trappers harvested 221 bobcats.
Based on Game Commission survey methods, Dr. Matthew Lovallo, Game Commission furbearer biologist, noted that Pennsylvania’s bobcat population is healthy.
“Using the results from our annual Game-Take and Furtaker surveys, sighting reports and incidental captures by trappers, we clearly see that the state’s bobcat population is expanding numerically, as well as geographically,” Dr. Lovallo said.