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Bobcat season reaches quota on Dec. 28

by Brandon Roberts & Western News
| January 7, 2009 11:00 PM

Bobcat season closed on Dec. 28 for trappers and houndsmen.

The Dec. 1 opening lasts until a quota is reached, which Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks area biologist Jerry Brown said is usually around 250.

“Closure normally begins when we have reached 200,” Brown said. “This gives trappers time to remove their sets and all bobcats must be checked within 10 days, so we have a pretty good idea of what was taken and when to close the season.”

Fisher season is also closed due to quota, and Brown said one was taken from Region 1 in the Troy area and three total.

A ruling last November closed wolverine trapping in the western part of Region 1, which includes the Cabinet, Purcell and Salish ranges. The wolverine now accompanies lynx and swift fox for closed season in the Kootenai.

Marten season is getting into full swing with an opening date of Dec. 1, however with light snows and marten residing in higher elevations, many trappers target bobcat early and once those sets are removed, they place their marten traps.  

Brown said the lack of early snow makes problems for houndsmen but easier on trappers.

“It helps one group but not necessarily the other,” he said.

Otter season is quota dependent as well. Fourteen have been taken and the season will close upon the capture of 21.

Beaver, muskrat and mink are not quota dependent and have an extended season through April 15.

For trapping updates go online to fwp.mt.gov . For trapping ethics, visit www.fwp.mt.gov/hunting/trapping/info_ethics .

Furbearer Season Dates for Trapping District 1

Beaver, Otter, Muskrat, Mink – Nov. 1-April 15, with early closure on otter if quota is reached

Bobcat, Marten, Fisher – Dec. 1-Feb. 15, with early closure on bobcat and fisher if quota is reached

Lynx, Swift Fox – Closed season

Wolverine – Closed in western part of Region 1