DNR bobcat researchers seeking help from trappers
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Trappers who incidentally capture bobcats in 12 northern counties are encouraged to contact Department of Natural Resources staff and participate in a bobcat research project. The bobcat monitoring project began in early 2014 and seeks to better understand populations and habitat preferences of Wisconsin bobcat.
“Trappers can help by allowing us to radio-collar any incidentally captured bobcats before they are released,” says Nathan Roberts, large carnivore and furbearer research scientist.
This research will help the department better understand the northern zone bobcat population size and status; and ultimately inform the annual quota setting process. For the 2015-2016 trapping season, research efforts are focused on a 12 county area of the Northwoods and includes Ashland, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas counties.
Harvest data from Wisconsin’s 2014–15 bobcat seasons has shown that hunters and trappers harvested 274 bobcats. This marks the fourth year of expanded bobcat harvest and includes results from the newly opened southern bobcat harvest zone. The Department of Natural Resources works in partnership with the Wisconsin Trapper’s Association to monitor and improve regulated trapping opportunities in the state.
“The Wisconsin Trapper’s Association highly supports bobcat research in the northern bobcat zone,” says Scott Zimmerman, president of the Wisconsin Trapper’s Association. “With research like this, it can only help with quotas. The WTA strongly encourages trappers to report any incidental bobcats that they may catch.”
In the event of an incidental bobcat capture in the 12 county area, DNR staff will promptly work with participating trappers to determine if the bobcat is a good candidate for the research project. Interested trappers can contact department researcher staff by calling 715-401-1051.