Starting Nov. 1 and running through Feb. 15, 2007, New York will conduct a three-year experimental research trapping season for fisher and bobcat through special permits issued to trappers.
There will be an extended trapping season for fisher in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 6A, 6C, and 6H, which include northern parts of Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. Under this program, trappers who obtain a special permit for bobcat trapping season will be able to trap bobcats in WMUs 4F, 4N and 4O, which include parts of Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Broome and Chenango counties.
The bobcat season has been closed for more than 20 years in the three WMUs that DEC is proposing to open for trapping this year. An increased incidence of road kills and incident captures over the last 10 years led to the rethinking of the issue.
During the research seasons, bobcat hunting will not be allowed in the three experimental WMUs. The 2007 and 2008 seasons will begin on Oct. 25 and run until Feb. 15.
Trappers who wish to participate in the experimental bobcat trapping seasons must obtain a free special permit from DEC, agree to keep a daily trapping log of their activities and, if successful, provide the entire skinned carcass to DEC. Trappers may keep the animal pelt.
The season for fisher in WMUs 6A, 6C, and 6H will run from Oct. 25-Jan. 10. Permits are free, but trappers will be required to maintain and submit a daily trapping diary log book and submit the lower jaw of each fisher taken in these WMUs. A log book and jaw submission tags will be mailed to trappers with their permit.
Trappers may obtain permits by phone or mail from their regional DEC Wildlife office. They will need to provide their name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address (if applicable) and trapping license ID number.
The experimental season is a part of a research project to collect biological harvest data and measure trapper effort to evaluate furbearer management.
Henderson's outdoors columns appear in the Press & Sun-Bulletin on Tuesday and his Field Notes columns on Sunday. Write to him at Henderson Outdoors, 202 Prospect St., Endicott N.Y. 13760 or fax information to 785-8337 or via e-mail through his Web site at www.HendersonOutdoors.com.