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Possible cougar, bobcat hunt changes

Cougars and bobcats are doing well in Utah. For that reason, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are recommending only minor changes for Utah’s 2016–2017 cougar hunting season.

And, for the bobcat trapping and hunting season, they’re recommending no changes: just like this past season, each hunter and trapper could buy up to six permits. The bobcat season would run Nov. 16, 2016 to March 1, 2017.

You can see all of the biologists’ cougar and bobcat recommendations online. The recommendations should be posted by July 20.

Learn more, share your ideas

After you’ve reviewed the ideas online, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.

RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on Sept. 1 to approve cougar and bobcat rules for Utah’s 2016 – 2017 seasons.

Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:

Central Region
July 26, 6:30 p.m.
Springville Civic Center
110 S Main St, Springville

Northern Region
July 27, 6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N 300 W, Brigham City

Southern Region
Aug. 2, 7 p.m.
Beaver High School
800 W 200 S, Richfield

Southeastern Region
Aug. 3, 6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E Main ST, Green River

Northeastern Region
Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m.
DWR Northeastern Region Office
318 N Vernal Ave, Vernal

Email

You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email. Email addresses for your RAC members are available online.

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s email address. You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

Cougar permits

After hunters take a cougar, the animal must be inspected by a DWR biologist. Data gathered during these inspections show Utah’s cougar population is doing well, with plenty of cougars in the population.

One area biologists are concerned about is the number of sheep and cattle that cougars killed this past season. A total of 60 incidents of cougars attacking livestock were reported. That’s 26 more incidents than the 34 reported the season before.

During the 2015–2016 season, hunters took a total of 371 cougars. To try to reduce the number of livestock that are killed, biologists are recommending changes that should result in some additional cougars being taken during the 2016–2017 season.

“Most of the additional opportunity will be focused in areas where increased livestock incidents happened last season,” says Leslie McFarlane, mammals coordinator for the DWR.

Specific recommendations should be available by July 20 at wildlife.utah.gov/board-rac.html.