From the Utah Division of Wildlife ResourcesApproved bobcat hunting changes
Cougar hunting rules also approved
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hunters & trappers will have more chances to take bobcats in Utah - Photo courtesy of Gary Kramer & the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
At their Aug. 28 meeting, members of the Utah Wildlife Board approved a recommendation to allow an individual hunter or trapper to obtain up to six bobcat permits.
During the 2013–2014 season, each trapper or hunter could not obtain more than three bobcat permits. Also, during the 2013–2014 season, not more than 4,600 hunters and trappers were allowed to participate. This season, there's no limit on the number of hunters and trappers who can purchase up to six permits each.
Board members also approved cougar hunting rules at the meeting. The rules that were approved should result in hunters taking about the same number of cougars this season as were taken in Utah during the 2013–2014 season.
During the 2013–2014 season, hunters took 330 cougars.
All of the bobcat and cougar hunting rules the board approved will be available in two free guidebooks. The guidebooks should be available at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks by Sept. 15.
Bobcats are doing well
Leslie McFarlane, mammals coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says bobcat populations are growing in Utah. She says Utah's Bobcat Management Plan provides biologists with four population performance targets. How close bobcats come to meeting the targets helps biologists determine the health of the state's bobcat population.
Three of the targets were met this past season. The fourth target — the average number of days a trap was set, before it captured a bobcat — was still longer than the target time outlined in the plan. But the time has gotten shorter each of the past four seasons.
"As long as two or more of the targets are met," McFarlane says, "any hunter or trapper who wants to participate can be allowed to obtain up to six permits."
The bobcat management plan, including the performance targets the plan outlines, is available online.
Utah's bobcat season runs from Nov. 19, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Permits will be on sale Oct. 1–20.