SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is asking bobcat trappers to assist with a new study in Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker counties.
“We’re asking trappers in those counties who catch bobcats to call wildlife biologists so a research crew can place a radio collar on their animal and release it,” said Gary Foster, assistant chief for Wildlife Management. “A $100 gift card, useable at several locations, will be awarded to all trappers contributing an animal for the study.”
Animals caught and released will not count toward the trapper’s seasonal bag limit, and trappers may contribute multiple animals to the study. Researchers retain the right to refuse animals based on research needs or condition of the bobcat.
The study will help DNR refine the population model used to manage bobcats in the state and guide harvest recommendations in the future. Radio-collared bobcats will yield important data regarding home range size, habitat use and mortality factors. The study will take two trapping seasons to complete and biologists are hoping to collar 30 bobcats each season.
Upon trapping a bobcat in the targeted counties, trappers should leave the animal on site and call one of the numbers listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. A research crew will be dispatched to process and release the animal. Trappers should not keep animals through the weekend or holidays, as research crews will not be available to respond.
Kirsten Belcher (West Virginia University) 304-293-0050 or 304-216-8482
Rich Rogers (WVDNR) 304-822-3551