Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

How many bobcat does PA have today?

Let’s have some fun with numbers…

What we know is this:

Bobcat Mngt. Plan 2013-2022

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mathew Lovallo, PGC Biologist
The primary cause of bobcat mortality, in both harvested and unharvested populations, is human-related. Harvest is the most prevalent cause of mortality in bobcats, where hunting and trapping seasons occur.

His model [Fuller], based on 7 years of intensive research on bobcats in southeastern Idaho, indicated little impact on population size until harvest exceeded 20% of the population. Beyond that even small increases in harvest led to large population declines.
PGC Wildlife Note 2003

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Fergus
Beginning in the 1980s, the Game Commission began various field research projects to better understand the factors affecting bobcat density and distribution throughout the state. Based on these studies and related surveys, in 2000 Pennsylvania’s bobcat population was estimated to be approximately 3,500, and a hunting and trapping season, very limited, was once again offered.
Bobcat harvest across the last several years has been about 1,000 annually (which interestingly equals the bear harvest of the 1980’s, and we’ve seen how that population grew). If current harvest represents 20% of the population, then today there are at least 5,000 bobcat in all of PA.

But wait, the bobcat population is supposedly still growing, right? Therefore, it’s more than likely that this harvest number represents a more conservative number – say maybe 13% harvested. If that’s the case, then bobcats number over 8,000 (or 0.30 per forested sq mi), right?

Since this is a furbearer, we also have another indicator to go by – bobcat capture rate. Capture numbers parallel harvest numbers fairly closely, and allow us to gage population size before harvest began back in year 2000. Capture numbers go all the way back to year 1991. I may be wrong, but it seems to me it’s a safe bet that population size parallels capture numbers. If that’s the case, then population trend in PA should look something like this:





What does it all mean?

Well, if the above is true, then bobcats number 3x what they did at the start of the new deer program, and 4x what they did in the 1990’s! And just like the other 2 big predators whose populations have grown since the start of the new deer program - bear (2x) and coyotes (4x) - bobcat numbers are skyrocketing as well!

How does any honest person suggest that this surge in all of the big 3 predator populations is having NO effect on game abundance?





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post #2 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 08:55 AM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

there are plenty of cats still around but i don't care what the numbers they publish say, there are not as many around as there was before they changed the season from permits to a free for all.
maybe its just like the deer.....they end up in areas where they cant be hunted so some see spikes in the population while others dont see any.

Now your diggin' where the 'tators are!
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post #3 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 10:00 AM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

The PGC overprotects predators in this state. They have for as long as I can remember. I believe all of our predator populations are increasing amd the seasons should be liberalized. Thankfully, the commissioners are finally doing so for bear. Others should follow including fishers.

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post #4 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 11:19 AM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

That's merely your opinion. Are they over protected in your point of view, because they kill the animals you want to hunt? The PGG manages for all wildlife, not just the ones you think should be more prevalent, and the ones you want more of so you have an easier time hunting them. That's why biology is based on science, not feelings.

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post #5 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 12:32 PM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden811
That's merely your opinion. Are they over protected in your point of view, because they kill the animals you want to hunt? The PGG manages for all wildlife, not just the ones you think should be more prevalent, and the ones you want more of so you have an easier time hunting them. That's why biology is based on science, not feelings.
If that is directed at me, it was the PGC bear biologists that felt a Saturday opener would harm the resource, lol. Fact is that did not happen so no, it is not opinion! Fisher populations have exploded. Bobcats are expanding their range.

It is the wish of the antis to have predators controlling our game populations. in some cases in this state, the argument can be made that is what is precisely happening.

I understand the role of the PGC is to manage for all wildlife. Many feel our predator populations are overprotected. I am one of them.

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post #6 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 04:27 PM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

Over protected? With new seasons/opportunities in the last 10 years for bear, bobcats, fishers, etc. and essentially no closed season on coyotes, you think they're over protected? It's probably all that tall grass down your way hiding them, and the hunters can't see them to reduce the populations

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post #7 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 04:53 PM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

Yes, predators are overprotected. It is a fact that bears were overprotected and they are finally moving away from that with liberalized seasons thanks to some forward thinking commissioners that got the ball rolling. They are slow to do the same with many of the others and there is some pretty solid information that predators are the main controlling factor on game populations in some areas. Exactly what the antis want.

I think the open prairies you hunt have you seeing mirages while you are drinking your Kool aid.

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post #8 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 05:15 PM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

lol, yeah. What are the "facts" that show they were over protected? Because the population increased? That was the whole plan back them. As the times change, so do the resources involved in managing them. it's not like there are a million bears in PA. The popluations are grawing rapidly where hunter access is a problem, i.e. cites. And that's where the expanded seasons are mostly. Problem is, access is still an issue, so "less protection" won't do much. There are dramatically less bear/people conflicts in other areas. Overprotection isn't the issue. Lack of hunter access in areas with high human populations is the issue.

No open praries up here, I just adapt to the situation at hand, it works pretty well.

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post #9 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 05:21 PM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

putting this predator thingie into perspective, as it relates to deer numbers, hunters still kill over 330,000 deer every year here in pa. while i admit predators probably get their share, and everyones idea of their share is different, hunters are still the only realistic solution to controlling deer numbers in most areas. and even in the areas where predators are having the most effect, habitat and hunters are still the main reason deer numbers aren't increasing as fast as other areas.

this whole predator thing is only getting traction because of hunter demands. more deer for human hunters, 330,000 isn't enough apparently, so kill anything that might keep that number from increasing. plant or animal, kill it if it means more deer.

we also kill 50,000 each years with cars. shouldn't we be lobbying for lower speed limits or limits on nightime driving too?

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post #10 of 217 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 06:10 PM
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Re: Bobcat Abundance - Fun With Numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden811
lol, yeah. What are the "facts" that show they were over protected? Because the population increased?
Mark was literally quivering when the BOC was discussing a Saturday opener. Stated repeatedly concerns form the resource. Same thing is happening with fishers now.

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