Madison (WQOW) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is increasing the state's bobcat harvest quota for the 2017-2018 season, up double the amount compared to the 2016-2017 season.
According to a press release from the DNR, Wisconsin's bobcat harvest is in its fourth year. For the 2017-2018 season, the DNR said Wisconsin's harvest quota is set at 750, compared to 375 for the 2016-2017 season.
DNR officials said the quota of 750 bobcats includes both the Northern and Southern Zone. Wisconsin Highway 64 acts as the dividing line between these two zones. The Southern Zone quota for the 2017-2018 season is set at 200 bobcats; 150 were allowed in 2016-2017. The Northern Zone quota is set at 550 bobcats; 225 were allowed in 2016-2017.
Wisconsin's bobcat hunting and trapping seasons are as follows:
Each year, the department’s Furbearer Advisory Committee meets to review bobcat research, harvest, and survey data to make harvest recommendations. The committee expressed support for increased quota recommendations for both zones.
Bobcat population estimate research is led by Dr. Nathan Roberts, DNR furbearer research scientist.
“DNR works closely with trappers and hunters to learn more about this elusive, but common, species - together, we are working to refine our understanding of Wisconsin’s bobcat population and are finding that Wisconsin’s bobcat population is healthy and robust enough to provide additional harvest opportunities,” Roberts said. “The information we gather from ongoing research efforts will be used to update population models and continue to guide harvest quotas in the future.”
Bobcat research is funded, in part, by a special application fee that was requested by Wisconsin's sportsmen and women to ensure science-based management of this species.
Successful hunters and trappers must register their bobcat by phone within 24 hours and, additionally, must also register their bobcat in person by the fifth day of the month following the date of take.