Thursday, January 26, 2012

New York State Proposes to Allow Bobcat Hunting and Trapping in Westchester

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to allow bobcat hunting and trapping in Westchester County (Rockland too), at least if I’m reading a newly-released bobcat management plan correctly.

The reason seems to be not that bobcats are causing trouble or that there are too many but simply that there are enough to allow some to be killed.

In recent years, hunters and trappers have killed 400 to 500 bobcats a year. Under this new management plan, that would rise to 500 to 600. Wildlife managers think that the state’s bobcat population, estimated to be about 5,000 animals, could sustain 1,000 a year being killed.

It’s not clear to me when exactly the hunting and trapping season in Westchester would be, but it would be short and in the fall.

You can find a link to the plan on this DEC webpage. I read about it in the Adirondack Almanack (@adkalmanack on Twitter).

By the way, I find the word “harvest,” which is used repeatedly in the management plan (as in, “We believe that these harvest control measures will allow for a limited and sustainable harvest of bobcats ... ”), to be an insulting euphemism.


Anonymous Robert Funicello said...

As some of the comments at Almanac point out, this is not a needed or helpful policy change for Westchester, because Bobcat provide some predatory control for deer, rabbits and other small rodents, each of which have populations that need control here. This appears to be a trapper driven proposal and a bad one.

10:32 AM  

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