Target: New Hampshire Governor, Maggie Hassan
Goal: Block the reinstatement of a bobcat harvest in New Hampshire.
A recent vote by the Fish and Game Commission of New Hampshire will allow for the reinstatement of a bobcat hunting and trapping season. The hunting of bobcats has been illegal in New Hampshire since 1989 when their numbers dropped below 200, largely due to overharvesting. While proponents of reinstating legal bobcat hunting argue the animal’s numbers have improved, there is a lack of information on the implications for the bobcat population if the reinstatement of the bobcat harvest is implemented.
If the bobcat harvest is reinstated, 50 permits will be issued by the Fish and Game Commission, and hounding, baiting, and trapping of the animals will be allowed. The argument for allowing legal hunting of bobcats is primarily based on research completed at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), which stated that bobcat numbers have rebounded to between 1,400 and 2,200. However, after reviewing the research of UNH, The Nature Conservancy found that the study lacked enough concrete empirical data to ensure that the bobcat population is stable enough to withstand the added mortality of an annual harvest. Not only are the findings of the study based on limited data, but they fail to take into account other factors that could increase bobcat mortality, including harsh winters, disease outbreaks, and vehicle accidents. In addition, the reported bobcat numbers are really not that high, and there is simply no ecological or environmental need for an annual harvest to be reinstated.
Ultimately, it has not been very long since bobcats in New Hampshire were dangerously at risk. These animals are rarely sighted and don’t cause problems for civilians, and they deserve to continue to have legal protection from hunters and trappers. Please sign the below petition to show your support for bobcats by demanding that an annual harvest is not implemented.
Dear Governor Hassan,
I am writing to request that you please prevent bobcat hunting from being reinstated in your state. The Fish and Game Commission recently voted to allow for annual hunting to occur, despite the testimony of hundreds of residents who vehemently opposed the hunting of these animals in the state. It was not so long ago that bobcats were nearly eradicated from New Hampshire, and these animals need your support so that their previously devastated populations can continue to recover.
Back in 1989, the hunting of bobcats was made illegal in an attempt to allow their numbers to grow. At the time, there were less than 200 bobcats in New Hampshire, and these limited numbers were primarily due to overharvesting through hunting and trapping. Today, proponents of reinstating the annual harvest argue that bobcat numbers have rebounded. However, The Nature Conservancy found that the numbers quoted by proponents are based on limited empirical data, and that there is simply not enough concrete information to ensure that the current bobcat population could withstand the added mortality of an annual harvest.
Reinstating the annual harvesting of bobcats in New Hampshire poses an extreme risk to these animals who are only just finally starting to recover their populations. Bobcats don’t currently pose a risk to civilian populations, and there is simply no ecological or environmental need for an annual harvest. Basically, there are zero reasons why the state of New Hampshire should allow bobcats to be hunted, trapped, and baited every year. Please take every effort to ensure that these beautiful animals continue to be protected from annual hunting,
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kramer Gary