On December 9th, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission voted on the details and final draft of the Bobcat Hunting Season Proposal. All the details have yet to be posted however, the following has been confirmed:
1. The season will allow the Hunting, Baiting, Trapping and Hounding of NH bobcats
2. Permission will be granted via a lottery system, issuing permits to 50 hunters total during the season.
3. The Fish and Game Commission is stating that it will only allow 50 bobcats total to be killed, however, the laws and regulations within the proposal to monitor that have yet to be clarified.
Please review the Quick Facts below regarding the methods that will be allowed during the season. If you feel that you do not agree with the proposal and you wish to prevent a trophy hunting season on bobcats, this is what you can do to help:
1. NH Residents: Sign Petition Here
2. NH Residents: Come To The Public Hearing
There will be a public hearing (most likely in January) where you can speak in opposition to the bobcat proposal. (Date of hearing will be posted on StraightTwist once released)
2A. Sign-In As Being Opposed At Hearing
Too Bashful For Public Speaking? No worries. You do Not have to speak at the hearing for your voice to matter. All you must do is come to the meeting and Sign In As Being Opposed.
3. NH Residents: Get Your Pens and Keyboards Ready
NH residents may write written testimony to be submitted on the date of the public hearing. There will also be a public comment period where those who wish to comment may submit their written statements. (StraightTwist will list the due dates of those statements here once released)
Our Presence Is Essential
The NH Fish and Game Commission is well on the road of passing this hunting/trapping/hounding proposal with nothing legally stopping them. The only way we can make a difference is to prove that the people of NH are opposed to it and to apply strong public pressure.
Strong, Not Crazy
The number one go-to for any person that is in favor of this proposal is to assume that those who are opposed to it are “tree hugging hippies and crazed animal rights activists”. This is the furthest from the truth; licensed hunters, land conservationists, biologists, nature lovers, professional writers, photographers and simply NH residents that enjoy wildlife and care for the safety of the people walking in the NH woodlands, are opposed to this proposal. However, we can not demonstrate that if we do not use our time wisely and communicate our thoughts and opinions in a rational manor. Remember, facts, courtesy and kindness go a lot further then anything else.
Hunters set up painful leghold traps and then leave the premises. While they’re away, animals get stuck in the traps. While in the trap, animals sustain serious injuries such as broken limbs, broken teeth, dislocated shoulders, lacerations, fractures, amputation of digits, paws, or whole legs, physiological stress, pain, dehydration and exposure to weather.
If you think they might not be in the traps for long, you’d be thinking wrong. Current NH law requires that traps must only be checked once a day, so even if the rules are followed, the animal could be in excruciating pain for hours and exposed to extreme weather until the trapper returns to kill the animal at point blank range.
Please do not be disillusioned, these traps are left in our NH woodlands with no warning signs around them. That means that our children, our pets (even on a leash), the people and dogs working in our NH rescue groups, as well as non-targeted wildlife are all at risk of getting suck in a trap leading to serious injury, lost limbs and/or death (graphic images have not been included, but please trust examples of such do exist).
Not much sportsmanlike activity is involved with this method either. The animals are chased by packs of dogs. The chase can go on until the exhausted bobcat seeks refuge to escape, such as up a tree. The dogs do all the work and are typically fit with tracking collars, so all the houndsman needs to do, is follow a signal to the tree and kill the terrified bobcat at close range. Oftentimes, the bobcat is unable to make it up a tree, forcing her to defend herself against the dogs on the ground, which causes injury and/or death, not only to the bobcat, but frequently to the dogs as well.
What Is The Purpose?
Bobcats are not killed for meat, do you know anyone that eats bobcat? Neither do I. They are unfortunately killed most often for trophies, or for the sale of their fur, which is often sold overseas to Russia and China.
For More Information:
1. View details regarding the October 2015 Fish and Game Commission meeting, as well as view points from those for and opposed here.
2. Keep checking back on Straight Twist as updates continue.