Niagara Gazette

Opinion

April 2, 2013

CONFER: Don't expand bobcat hunting

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — To put it into perspective against a non-game animal, across New York there are 2,000 breeding ospreys. If they support 2 chicks per pair, were looking at a statewide population of 4,000 birds. At such numbers, the DEC labels the birds as a species of “special concern”.

Maybe it’s that rareness that gives the bobcat the mystique it has. It’s that rareness, too, that should continue to prevent its killing in Western New York. Even some hardened hunters like me are against the expanded hunt – and I’m someone who makes over 20 hunting outing into WNY woods each year while consuming venison 7 times a week.

If, like me, you harbor reservations about the new rules, there is still some time to make your voice heard about the expanded harvest opportunity. The second round of public comment comes to a close next Monday, April 8th (the first round was used to help craft the proposals last year). If you would like to see the hunt stay as is (limited to the eastern half of the state) or more limited in scope as it heads westward, contact the DEC. You can send a letter to Bryan L. Swift, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233; or you email the DEC at wildliferegs@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

If you’ve never seen a bobcat, you are missing something special; they are far more attractive and interesting than any domesticated cat ever could be, and they may be the most handsome of New York’s wild mammals. Let’s just hope that your first chance to view them isn’t as a trophy or a fur hanging on someone’s wall.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. He also writes for the New American at TheNewAmerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer and e-mail him at bobconfer@juno.com.

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