Citizens oppose bobcat hunting proposal - 636 citizens, 1491 responses

Oct 15, 2015

In October, the NH Fish and Game Commission voted in favor of considering opening a season for trapping or hunting bobcats. The hunt would take the form of a limited lottery. In light of the move, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) put the issue to Facebook members, asking, “Should NH allow bobcat hunting and/or trapping?”

A total of 88% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, a 92% majority said they opposed allowing bobcat hunting in NH with only 8% in favor. Of the remaining respondents, 9% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 3% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 636 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 1491 responses. 

Those opposed to the move argued that the current bobcat population was not large enough to justify a hunt. “Until the bobcat population has increased to the point of becoming a problem, we should postpone hunting them,” a citizen said. “They are not a food source and are not overrunning New Hampshire,” another argued. “For what purpose other than trophy hunting would you want to kill a bobcat?” a respondent asked. 

Supporters of the hunt countered that bobcats did, in fact, constitute a nuisance. “There is an excess number of bobcats in the state, an unsustainable population. When this happens these predators start taking the easy prey like cats and dogs,” a citizen pointed out. “I would support a hunt to control the population and it may help increase the small game population,” one hunter suggested. 

Those opting not to give a yes or no response instead discussed broader issues related to hunting and conservation. “Wild animals aren't the problem. Humans over populating and making all the forests and wilderness disappear are the problem,” one wrote. Others suggested variations on a Fish and Game license lottery. “I think only livestock farmers should be able to shoot them on farm land,” a citizen said. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion for this question. 

Do you support a bobcat hunt? Why or why not? Leave a comment

Comments

JBenson's picture
Jacquelyn Benson
- Kensington

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 9:14am

In April 2016, the Fish and Game Department announced it was withdrawing its proposal for a bobcat season in New Hampshire, citing opposition from citizens and the Legislature. 

Jackie Benson
- Kensington

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 11:59am

After initial approval of a proposed bobcat hunting season in New Hampshire, the Legislature has stepped in to put the plan on hold. The Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules voted nearly unanimously that a bobcat hunt could be in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, as traps set for bobcats - which are not endangered - might inadvertantly catch Canada lynx, a protected species.

Fish and Game commissioners must now respond to the committee's objections before they can move forward with the proposal.

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