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Another fisher season has come and gone and I have still yet to connect. I have been driving over 100 miles round trip every day this week to set a location that isn't exactly loaded with either fisher or bobcat. My question is, what parts of PA have higher populations of these animals. I have been trapping the last two years in the NW corner of 2F. Although some locals i have spoken with see one of these critters now and then, my scouting has turned up very little sign. Despite this i still chose to give it a try because its the only area within a reasonable distance that I knew i atleast had a chance. Next year id like to concentrate my efforts in areas where these animals might be more prevalent, even if that means I might have to do a little more driving. Im not asking for anyones hotspot, just general regions that hold a slightly higher population than the areas i am used to. Thanks
 

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Problem i see is both critters leave very little sign that can be hard to find...and can be weeks before they return to the area...so sign might not be there and the next day the critters are there...

Not to mention our season comes in right after deer season...fisher are known to.find gut piles and deer and live on them for days...

Atleast we have a season.....

I didnt bother this year due to the dang weather...it was likely better than last year slightly...but, between the drive, time, money etc, and work involved and trying to.keep sets functioning in the mud i didnt go...i just do not enjoy trapping in heavy rains and walking a foot line...i was rather miserable last year most days...this year the heavy rains fell sat-sunday.and would been a real mess trying to put in sets..
 

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I've seen tons of fisher sign in 2F and the portions of 1B that I hunt that border it. Thick, hemlock creek bottoms seem to have the most sign but any place thick is a good place to look.
 

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I missed a Fisher here in 2G last night due to the half inch of freezing rain we got last night, which I was OK with since the season is over, and I don't really feel like releasing any more of them.........I do know that there are a lof of Fisher in 2G, 2E, and 4D......it is just hard to catch them during a 5 day season..............

I think there is a decent cat population everywhere in the state for the most part...........the hard part with targeting cats over 3 weeks is finding where they are at, at that given time........I have found places loaded with cat sign, but the cat didn't come back through the area for 2 weeks...........
 

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I feel the bobcat trapping season is at the poorest time of the year for success.

If it was before deer season many trappers have a lot more canine sets out which ups the chances of snagging a cat. There are many trappers who release multiple bobcats and some more unscrupulous ones store bobcats in the freezer until the season opens.

If the season was later there would be a better chance for snow and frozen ground which makes cat locating easier and all animals become more receptive to bait in the winter.
 

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But if later, the guys that cant trap in snow and frozen ground will complain..i think that is why the season is when it is....

I rather have snow and frozen ground than freeze and thaw and rain we get now....
 

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i know very little about fisher as we dont have many but trapping cats is all about location down to feet. you could have a great area with lots of cats but not going to get them unless your right on target. if i was looking to trap a cat i'd start scouting when the snow flys for next year. they do slide around from one area to the next sometimes but within those areas are always common spot. big rock lege, beaver dams, pinch points between clearcuts and swamps ect. find the common ground and set heavy in a few spots. thats another reason i liked the long season with tags.
 

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I caught my first fisher this year, about a month too early. When the season came in, nothing! I was talking to Bob Noonan at the PA Trappers convention and he said the PA's season is too late. The fisher are feeding on gut piles from deer season and makes it more difficult to connect with one.
 

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Bobcat,
I think both trappers and houndsmen benefitted from the longer season with limited tags. I think the ideal situation would have been for the PGC to have set up a database with tag applicants and determine how many tags out of X amount of years would meet their harvest goals. For example, every furtaker would get a tag guaranteed every 3 years has the whole season to harvest.

The way it is now does benefit the guys in areas of high cat population because they have a good chance of taking a cat yearly.

The hound guys should have pushed for a longer BOBCAT season instead of split seasons and everyone would have benefitted. December 26 to season end would be ideal. Trappers could have planned to set a few beaver traps on thier cat trips upstate.

I agree that the bobcat and fisher seasons are at the worst possible time. Maybe that is by design.
 

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CoonDuke said:
December 26 to season end would be ideal. Trappers could have planned to set a few beaver traps on thier cat trips upstate.

I agree that the bobcat and fisher seasons are at the worst possible time. Maybe that is by design.

x2
 

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i liked the lottery system the best, you had a whole season so you could pick the right time to go after them, now it has that first day of deer season feel to it.
 

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If cats are in the area and the weather permits foothold trapping, they can be trapped as easily as possum.

Fishers also are easily trapped but, are less widespread IMO.
 

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Another thought...

Why is the bobcat permit so cheap? I mean, a bobcat pelt is worth 30-70 dollars, people spend 500-700 for a mount, pay guides hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a kill fee, trappers and hunters spend thousands of dollars on equipment and gas...and the tag is only a couple bucks.

I would prefer to see the permits cost more (maybe double) so it would weed out the guys who buy a permit that have no intention of harvesting a cat. That way, less permits would be sold which may in turn lead to a longer season. Revenue to the PGC would be unaffected since the drop in permits sold would be offset by the higher price.
 
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