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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 00-840


[58 PA. CODE CH. 147]

Bobcat Hunting-Trapping Permit

[30 Pa.B. 2477]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 4, 2000, meeting, adopted the following change:

   Amend Chapter 147, by adding Subchapter S (relating to bobcat hunting-trapping permit) to allow properly licensed hunters and trappers to obtain a permit to take a bobcat.

   This amendment is hereby adopted under the authority of 34 Pa.C.S. §§ 101--2965 (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

1.  Introduction

   To more effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Commission, at its January 11, 2000, meeting proposed and at its April 4, 2000, meeting finally adopted a bobcat hunting and trapping season. It is believed that bobcat populations are sufficient to allow a limited harvest. To regulate the bobcat harvest it will be necessary to add Subchapter S to establish a permit to accomplish that purpose. A new Subchapter S for a bobcat hunting-trapping permit was proposed at the January 11, 2000, meeting and finally adopted by the Commission at its April 4, 2000, meeting. Section 2901(b) of the code (relating to regulations for permits), authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   After some years of studying bobcats and bobcat populations in this Commonwealth, the Commission biologists have concluded that limited numbers of bobcats can be safely harvested by hunting and trapping. The Commission has therefore adopted a bobcat season as part of its seasons and bag limits for 2000-2001. To control the harvest, however, the Commission has decided to adopt a permit system to strictly limit the harvest and allow monitoring of the harvest. Permits will be issued on a random drawing basis to individuals holding a furtaking or combination license.

   Section 2901(b) of the code (relating to regulations for permits), authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit. Section 2902(c) of the code (relating to general categories of permits) authorizes the director to ''. . . issue other permits, with or without charge, as required to control the taking of game or wildlife . . .'' Finally, section 2904(18) of the code (relating to permit fees), mandates that the Commission ''. . . shall set a reasonable fee for any permit required by this title which is not specifically set forth in this section.'' These sections provide the authority for the adopted regulations.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The adopted regulations require holders of furtaker or combination licenses to submit an application together with a nonrefundable fee between July 1 and August 31. Those receiving a permit and harvesting a bobcat will be required to comply with tagging requirements.

4.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing to harvest a bobcat by hunting or trapping will be affected by the adopted regulations.

5.  Comment and Response Summary

   The Commission received a total of 6,271 comments with regard to the proposed bobcat season, seven of which were in favor and 6,264 were opposed. Over 70% of the opposition comments were in the form of signatures on petitions. It was quite clear that the opposition was based on general opposition to hunting and trapping of any species.

   Section 103(b) of the code (relating to method of management), mandates that: ''the Commission shall utilize hunting and trapping as methods of effecting necessary management of game, furbearer and wildlife populations.'' The Commission closed the bobcat season in 1970 because of concerns about bobcat populations. The Commission biologists have been studying bobcat populations for over 10 years and have concluded that populations are adequate to support very limited recreational harvests of bobcats. The adopted permit provisions will provide the necessary limits for the harvest.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirement

   Applicants for a permit will be required to pay a nonrefundable fee of $5 which should cover the cost of issuing permits and tagging bobcats.

7.  Effective Date

   This change will be effective on final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

8.  Contact Person

   For further information on the adopted change, contact William L. Hutson, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, (717) 783-6526, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  The public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.

   The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 147, are amended by adding § 147.702 to read as set forth at 30 Pa.B. 1268 (March 4, 2000) and adding § 147.701 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall submit this order and Annex A, and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (c)  This order adding §§ 147.701 and 147.702, shall become effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48-117 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A





§ 147.701.  General.

   This section provides for permits to be issued for the hunting and trapping of bobcat during the season established and in areas designated under § 139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year).

   (1)  A permit will only be issued to residents of this Commonwealth who possess a valid resident furtakers license, junior combination license, senior combination license or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706 of the act (relating to resident license and fee exemptions) or to persons who qualify under section 2363 of the act (relating to trapping exception for certain persons).

   (2)  The fee for a permit to take a bobcat is $5.

   (3)  Applications shall be submitted on a form supplied by the Commission and shall contain the required information as requested. A check or money order in the amount of $5 payable to the ''Pennsylvania Game Commission'' shall accompany the application and is nonrefundable. Applications shall be mailed to the Commission's Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9797.

   (4)  Applications may only be submitted by mail between July 1 and August 31. Applications received later than August 31 will be rejected.

   (5)  Only one application per person may be submitted. Anyone submitting more than one application for a permit will have all applications rejected.

   (6)  The selection of mailed application forms will be made by random drawing from all eligible applications submitted. The drawing will be held at the Commission's Harrisburg headquarters on the second Friday in September and shall be open to the public.

   (7)  A special permit authorizing the lawful taking of one bobcat will be delivered to successful applicants by standard first class mail through and by the United States Postal Service. Permits shall be mailed by the first Friday in October and will be limited to the first 290 valid applications drawn.

   (8)  Tagging requirements are as follows:

   (i)  A permitted person taking a bobcat shall immediately, before removing the bobcat from the location of the taking, fully complete a temporary carcass tag furnished with the permit, which contains in English the person's name, address, special permit number, date of harvest, county and township of harvest, furbearer management zone of harvest and method of harvest and attach the tag to the bobcat. The bobcat carcass shall remain intact, that is, with entrails, until examined and tagged by a Commission representative. The temporary carcass tag shall remain attached to the animal until it is tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag. The person taking the bobcat may remove the pelt provided the pelt is kept with the carcass for examination and tagging.

   (ii)  A permitted person taking a bobcat shall contact the Commission within 48 hours of the taking by telephoning the number specified on the permit to arrange for carcass examination, data collection and tagging.

   (iii)  A bobcat taken under authority of a special permit shall be tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag no later than 4 p.m. on the 10th day following the closing of the bobcat season.

   (iv)  The tag shall remain attached to the bobcat until it is mounted, tanned, made into a commercial fur or prepared for consumption.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-840. Filed for public inspection May 19, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]

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