WOODS CROSS – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Regional Advisory Council is currently taking advice from locals about possible changes to cougar and bobcat hunting this season.
Initial meetings have already taken place in several RAC regions and currently involve making changes for bobcat hunters.
The proposed change will allow hunters to take home more bobcats when the season starts in the fall.
A review of the possible changes has been outlined on Utah DWR’s website and is available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
The bobcat population is growing in Utah according to DWR biologists, which could mean more permits will become available for hunters this fall.
The Utah Wildlife Board made 4,600 permits available for the 2013-2014 season, but mammals coordinator Leslie McFarlane said in a press release sent to the Clipper that the board is going to recommend placing an unlimited number of permits for the 2014-2015 season due to the population growth of bobcats.
The number of permits a hunter or trapper can get will also increase to six for the upcoming season, double the number of permits from last year.
The Bobcat Management Plan has provided biologists with four population performance targets, said McFarlane, and three of those have already been met since last season.
The fourth, an average number of days a trap was set before a bobcat was captured, still hasn’t been met. The times between traps has decreased in the past four seasons, however, so there is optimism among biologists that the fourth target will be met soon.
“As long as two or more of the targets are met the total number of permits doesn’t need to be capped,” McFarlane said. “Each trapper or hunter can be allowed to obtain the six permits this season.”
The public meeting for the Northern Region will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 6 at the Brigham City Community Center located at 24 N. 300 West in Brigham City.
Comments can also be e-mailed to the RAC board for those who do not wish to attend the meeting. E-mail addresses for RAC members is available at wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/rac-members.html.
The Northern Region chair is Centerville resident Robert Byrnes. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utah DWR also wants the 2014-2015 bobcat hunting season to run from Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 to Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.
Any approved changes to the bobcat or cougar hunting season will be announced by DWR after its series of meetings.