It’s time to Send in your Public Comment on the rulemaking proposal to open a trapping and hunting season on bobcats. This is the single most important thing you can do to Save NH Bobcats.
Subject line >>> Bobcat – in opposition to season
Mark Your Calendars for this later:
Attend a Rulemaking Hearing
Time: February 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm.
Location: Representatives Hall in the Statehouse, Concord, NH 107 Main St.
The public hearing will be continued on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at Fish and Game’s Region 1 Office at 629B Main Street in Lancaster, N.H.
The hearing is being continued on the second day to ensure that North Country citizens have an adequate chance to participate.
The Fish and Game Department is proposing to readopt with amendment Fis 303.05 to establish rules for a bobcat season. Taking bobcats is currently prohibited by the existing rule. The rule would allow the issuance of 50 bobcat permits distributed geographically in the state, issued via a lottery, and would establish separate seasons for trapping and hunting. Baiting and hounding would be allowed with certain restrictions. Sub-permittees would also be allowed. The fee for a bobcat permit would be $100. The Department is also proposing to adopt Fis 303.051 and Fis 303.052 regarding the required bobcat hunter diary and regarding baiting for bobcat. Finally, the Department is also proposing to readopt with amendment Fis 303.11 regarding the required seal under RSA 210:8. Bobcats would be required to be sealed under the proposed rule.
Why Protect Bobcats? Bobcats have been protected in NH from hunting and trapping since 1989. That moratorium on the killing gave the population a chance to recover. This recovery provided a convenient excuse for F&G to propose opening a season on bobcats for recreational hunting and trapping.
Top predators, such as the bobcat, serve a vital function in our ecosystems. They exert a top-down regulation keeping not only their prey populations in check, but also keep entire ecosystems healthy, abundant and diverse. The bobcat also self-regulates its population in response to environmental triggers. Hence there is no fear of bobcat overpopulation, and there is no need to kill the bobcat to manage its population.
Wildlife watchers in NH greatly outnumber hunters and trappers, yet F&G policies cater only to hunters and trappers. NH’s wild outdoors belong to all Granite Staters. Those who appreciate bobcats and don’t want them to be killed, for the pleasure of a few, need to have their voices heard!
Patrick Tate, the furbearer biologist at NHFG, stated in a 2011 article in the Hippo Press that these two questions should be answered before a bobcat season would be opened.
1, Are bobcat populations so large as to be unhealthy for the animal and the ecosystem?
2, Are they causing problems with humans?
The answer to both of these questions is NO. Bobcats are not causing any problems with humans in NH and they are not over-populated. Fish and Game freely admits to open a season on bobcats is solely to provide an opportunity to hunters and trappers. There is no need, only a recreational opportunity, and just for a small minority of NH residents.
TALKING POINTS from HSUS:
Oppose a bobcat trapping/hounding/baiting
Until they were protected in 1989, New Hampshire’s bobcats were trapped
to the brink of extinction. It’s estimated that there are only 1,400-2,200
animals, and a trapping, hounding, and baiting season could jeopardize this
fragile species by allowing the same methods that led to their demise in the
Because of their elusive nature, the cruelest and most unsporting methods
will be used to kill bobcats –including hounding, baiting, and trapping –likely using
inhumane and painful steel-jawed leghold traps.
Trapped bobcats can sustain debilitating injuries such as broken limbs and
broken teeth; dislocated shoulders; lacerations; fractures; amputation of
digits, paws, or whole legs; physiological stress and or pain; dehydration;
and exposure to weather.
Because they’re only required to be checked once a day, bobcats could be stuck
languishing in pain for hours until the trapper returns to shoot
the animal at point-blank range.
Hounding is equally barbaric for bobcats. Allowing packs of dogs to chase a
bobcat through the woods, until the animal is either caught on the ground
or shot off of a tree branch is unsporting, inhumane, and unnecessary.
Hunting hounds can kill kittens and other sensitive wildlife, as well as trespass on private property.
Bobcats are not hunted for their meat –people do not eat bobcat. Instead,
bobcats are killed for their fur, and their pelts are sold to overseas markets.
Why are we allowing a small group of individuals to exploit our public resource just so they
can make a quick buck by selling bobcat fur to China, Russia, and Greece?
Bobcats only weigh about 15-35 pounds, and are just slightly larger than the
average housecat. Shy creatures, they pose no threat to humans, and
actually spotting a bobcat is a rare and treasured event. Because they prey
on rabbits, mice and other small rodents they are actually considered beneficial to farmers.
Please continue to sign the SAVE THE BOBCAT PETITION. This petition is for NH Residents Only and will be given to NHFG on Feb 1.
Below is the contact info for our Fish and Game Commissioners. Everyone in NH has a commissioner who represents us by county and they are the ones who will decide if to open a hunting, hounding and trapping season on NH’s bobcats. Yes, they are actually considering chasing these wildcats with dogs (hounding), as if trapping isn’t bad enough! In addition to writing your commissioner make sure you also sign the petition.
Milton, NH 03851
PO Box 151
Pembroke, NH 03275
Theodore A. Tichy
12 Spruceville Road
Milan, NH 03588
John W. McGonagle
165 Potter Hill Road
Gilford, NH 03249
David L. Patch
PO Box 10
Glen, NH 03838