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John Olson, DNR furbearer ecologist, 715-685-2934


Wisconsin will offer a southern zone bobcat hunting and trapping season beginning in fall 2014. State wildlife officials say the creation of a southern management zone will make new opportunities available for people to hunt and trap bobcats.

The southern management zone, which includes all of Wisconsin south of Highway 64, is the result of recent research regarding bobcat population density and habitat use in central Wisconsin conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The effort was supported by hunters and trappers who asked for a surcharge on the fee for bobcat permit applications; these charges were used to fund the research.

The northern harvest zone will remain unchanged.

Bobcat hunting and trapping period dates will remain the same, and are as follows:

Period 1: Oct. 18 to Dec. 25.

Period 2: Dec. 26 to Jan. 31, 2015.Those interested in hunting and/or trapping bobcats will need to apply to a specific zone (north or south) and time period (period 1 or 2) for the upcoming season. The application deadline for bobcat permits is always August 1. It is important to note that applicant preference points will continue as in the past.

More on hunting: Hunting headlines | Browse big buck photos | Watch Deer Camp Live | More hunting photos | Registration station map

Since the number of people who would like to hunt or trap bobcats exceeds the number of permits that are available, a lottery system is in place to distribute permits. Those who were unsuccessful in a previous year's drawing are awarded a preference point each year. Previously accumulated preference points can be used in applying for either a southern or northern zone permit.

Those who have already applied for a 2014-15 bobcat permit will be allowed to change their application and will be notified via mail with instructions explaining how to do so. Final permit numbers for each zone will not be known until early August and will be published on the DNR website once finalized.

While education requirements are not necessary to apply for a harvest tag, all hunter education and trapper education requirements apply in order to legally harvest a bobcat. For more information on bobcat hunting and trapping in Wisconsin, please visit and search keyword "trap."

More news from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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