Bobcat hunting and trapping opportunities are expanded and the snow geese harvest season is extended under two sets of regulations adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative, New York is working to increase hunting and trapping opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen,” Commissioner Martens said.  With these changes, DEC is implementing strategies of the recently adopted Bobcat Management Plan that will provide sustainable harvest opportunities while maintaining a stable or increasing bobcat population. In addition, I encourage the hunting community to take full advantage of the newly expanded snow geese season in the years ahead.”


After careful consideration of the public comments received, DEC adopted rules affecting bobcat hunting and trapping in New York to implement certain aspects of the state’s Five-Year Bobcat Management Plan.

The harvest of bobcats will be closely monitored by DEC biologists via activity logs maintained by hunters and trappers, a mandatory pelt sealing program, and hunter and trapper surveys.  This will allow for adaptive management where regulations can be modified in the future to keep pace with the changing needs and status of New York’s bobcat populations.

The adopted changes include:

  • Northern New York
    • The trapping season in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6F, 6G, 6H, 6J and 6N is extended to match the hunting season dates; the season in these WMUs now closes February 15th each year.
    • The hunting season in WMU 6N is extended to February 15th each year to match the rest of northern New York.
    • Southern/Western New York Harvest Expansion Area
      • The season in the Harvest Expansion Area will open annually on October 25th. The annual closing date will be the Friday before the opening of the regular Southern Zone deer season. That date changes every year since the formula for the deer season opener is the 3rd Saturday of November.  In 2013, the bobcat season closes on November 15th.
      • To trap or hunt bobcat in the new “Harvest Expansion Area”, which includes  WMUs 3R, 3S, 4A, 4F, 4O, 5R, 6R, 6S, 7S, 8T, 8W, 8X, 8Y, 9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X and 9Y, trappers/hunters must obtain a free bobcat Harvest Expansion Area permit from a Regional Bureau of Wildlife office and maintain a trapping/hunting activity log and return it to DEC at the close of the season (the activity log will be provided by DEC when you receive your permit). 
  • Details on how to obtain a Harvest Expansion Area permit will be available on the DEC website and in the 2013-14 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

Bobcat seasons in the existing harvest area in southeastern New York (WMUs 3A, 3C, 3F, 3G, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3N, 3P, 4B, 4C, 4G, 4H, 4J, 4K, 4L, 4P, 4R, 4S, 4T, 4U, 4W, 4Y, 4Z, 5S, 5T) are unaffected by these regulatory changes and no special permit is needed to hunt or trap there.

Logo courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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One thought on “New York DEC Expands Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Opportunities and Extends Snow Geese Harvest Period

  1. Trapping is the most barbaric and cruel of all of the ways to “hunt”. There really is no “hunting” in trapping. Other animals and domestic dogs get caught in these awful, painful and slow death traps. Many animals have been known to try and chew their leg off to get out of them. Only a moron would use one.

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