With the 2012-13 bobcat season beginning December 8, Game, Fish and Parks officials remind hunters and trappers of several new requirements and opportunities.
The first-ever bobcat season east of the Missouri River will run from December 8 through December 30. Only the counties of Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix, Bon Homme and Yankton are open. Hunters and trappers are restricted to one bobcat per person in those open counties.
The bobcat season in all counties west of the Missouri River will open December 8 and close on February 15, 2013. There is no limit on bobcats in West River counties. A South Dakota Furbearer License is required to hunt or trap bobcats and all bobcats must be checked and tagged by GFP personnel.
All hunters and trappers who take bobcats are required to remove the pelts from the carcasses and surrender the entire carcasses within five days of harvest to GFP personnel for registration and tagging. Once the season is closed, an individual has 24 hours to notify GFP personnel of any untagged bobcats harvested during the season. No person may possess, purchase, or sell raw bobcat pelts that are not legally tagged.
GFP, in conjunction with South Dakota State University, is conducting research on bobcat carcasses to obtain important population and biological information.
“GFP is researching bobcats in several areas of South Dakota,” said Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk. “We’ll be evaluating reproduction, body condition, and stomach content of all harvested bobcats. As a result, carcasses – minus the lower jaw — may not be returned to hunters or trappers for several months.”
The evaluation project is expected to last the entire season.
“This information is necessary for managing bobcats and will assist us in future management direction in South Dakota,” Fisk said.
For more information on the complete set of rules associated with trapping and shooting bobcats, visit the GFP website http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/trapping/default.aspx or contact a local wildlife conservation officer, wildlife damage specialist, or GFP Division of Wildlife office.