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Old 03-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
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Public opposes bobcat plan

Judging by written comments, the public is overwhelmingly against DEC's plan to allow more hunting and trapping of bobcats. But it doesn't follow that DEC will abandon the plan.

The Adirondack Explorer tallied up the 1,500 or so comments.

Click here to read the results.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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I wonder how many non-residents commented.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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I wonder how many non-residents commented.
I wonder how many voted on an emotional basis as opposed to an scientific/biological/economical basis.
We hire experts to make decisions for us all the time,and this is the same with the biologists of DEC hopefully making sound decisions on a renewable resource.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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So the mostly liberal, non-hunting readership of your paper is overwhelmingly opposed to the DEC's recommendation?

If you tallied 1500 comments from avid bobcat hunters do you think the results would be the same?

Statistically 50% of all statistics are misleading....
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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I'm a hunter and if I lived in NY state I would oppose it. I just asked a couple of guys I work with that hunt and they would as well. I have a hard time believing they are that plentiful. I am always skeptical of what biologists tell us. I could tell you more about the wildlife population around my area than any of them.

A local hunter recently shot one and everyone asked him what the hell did you do that for? He dosen't have much between the ears anyway.

There is a beautiful black wolf or coyote hybrid that has been spotted by many people including myself just north of town. The elders in the local wolf hunting gang have said if anyone in the gang shoots it they can find someone else to hunt with. My nephews were gung ho about going after it and all it took was for there two uncles to say WHY?
Most of the people I know aren't big into trophies.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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I'm a hunter and if I lived in NY state I would oppose it. I just asked a couple of guys I work with that hunt and they would as well. I have a hard time believing they are that plentiful. I am always skeptical of what biologists tell us. I could tell you more about the wildlife population around my area than any of them.
But you don't live in NY, so how do you know how many bobcats are here? Answer is - You don't. That's why the DEC biologists collected data for many years before proposing this plan. They have a much better handle on it than any of us. And it's based on data, not opinion and speculation.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:44 PM   #7
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I am always skeptical of what biologists tell us. I could tell you more about the wildlife population around my area than any of them.
I seriously doubt that. You have an MS in Wildlife Management?

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That's why the DEC biologists collected data for many years before proposing this plan. They have a much better handle on it than any of us. And it's based on data, not opinion and speculation.
Indeed. Professional research trumps anecdotal observation.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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But isn`t alot of what is called professional research actually observation and I bet alot of biologists depend heavily on anecdotal evidence.

I know professionals who are very knowledgeable and thats because they have been in the woods as much as I have. But that is rarely the case because most end up pushing paper in the office. Only the ones who get research grants or who are so dedicated to spend the necessary time afield.

You can't go into the field once a week and know what is going on. You can't spend a summer in the woods as many who are educators do. You have to be there in all four seasons.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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But isn`t alot of what is called professional research actually observation and I bet alot of biologists depend heavily on anecdotal evidence.

I know professionals who are very knowledgeable and thats because they have been in the woods as much as I have. But that is rarely the case because most end up pushing paper in the office. Only the ones who get research grants or who are so dedicated to spend the necessary time afield.

You can't go into the field once a week and know what is going on. You can't spend a summer in the woods as many who are educators do. You have to be there in all four seasons.

The DEC has the numbers of cats harvested by both trapping and hunting, at least the number tagged.This info is by specific areas.Most trappers are honest with their reports, you can't sell your catch without a tag...THese are hard numbers reported...

I do not know if they have the numbers for incidental catch and released from traps in areas that are currently closed to trapping . If there were allot of these non target catches, I would assume it would be less expensive to monitor these areas if it were legal to trap cats. And if there were allot, that means there is a viable population.....



I would like to think that most of my fellow trappers would release any cats trapped in non open trap areas.


So much is based on reporting, which is digested by DEc biologists who spend there time on computers, field work is much more interesting, but it doesn't pay the mortgage

I have worked with field technicians, they all love their work, BUT admit they will have to find "office/Computer" work tp pay the billls...
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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Gman, I suggest you take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_and_recapture

Capture-Recapture is one of the most common methods used by wildlife managers in estimating the size of a population. The methodology is quite a bit different than the "anecdotal evidence" that most of us garner from simply hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting in the woods.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
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BTW DSettahr....I love your trip posts!! You are the man....makes me think when I was alot younger haha. Don't get old!

Anyway....I am aware of mark and recapture as I have assisted the Ontario MNR many times over the past 40 years with population assessments and with lack of anything better its what the scientific community has to work with. But that dosen't mean its accurate.....not by a long shot.

The problem especially when we are trapping predators.... is it overwhelming captures younger individuals that because of natural and human mortality are part of the population for a short period. Most of the coyotes for example that hunters take are younger, the ones killed on the road...younger. Starvation, sickness and disease its usually the younger animals so with a one to two year turnaround populations can swing dramatically.

To complicate things a predators range changes with the season so any study needs to take this into account. A population study done in August will yield far different results than one done in March.

Mark and recapture is no more reliable than fisheries assesments which are easier for the layman to understand because this is one area where many anglers are more knowledgable about fish and there habits than a lot of fisheries professionals and alot more deadly at catching fish.

A senior state biologists sends a bunch of fishery biology students out sloshing about a creek with an electric brail and catch a few stocked trout and likely sends any trout that has some wild in it hiding in rocks and crevices. The kids record there catch and the biologist reads there findings and says trout do not holdover in this creek and there is no natural reproduction and publishes this in an offical study. In fact he pretty much says this is the condition of all Adirondack trout streams.

Meanwhile the biologist takes an outing on the stream....and despite being commissioned for a major study on the stream which will impact future management its his first time ever! But the biologist can fish and knows where to put a size 16 Adams and has a field day catching a mess of big wild browns. Having written the river only contained mainly yearling stocked trout he's contridicted and even admits it!

You can find this in the biological study of the Ausable River back in the 90's by William Schock a Senior DEC biologist and he says all this.

To me its was very sloppy research but it has resulted in the management strategy for the Ausable and other Northern NY trout streams for the past 15 years and how long into the future? A biologist would be better off picking superb guide Rich Garfields brain.

How sloppy was the bobcat research?

Last edited by Gman; 03-28-2012 at 11:40 PM..
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:09 PM   #12
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Funny, if you can't see the justification or need for taking an animals life for fun or it's pelt you are labeled "emotional".

Justify all you want, I can't see the need for killing bobcats except for whatever money you can make on their pelts -

but my advice would still be to find another more humane line of work.

But what do I know - I'm just some fool who hasn't lost his soul yet.

PS - I'm not a religious person.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:34 PM   #13
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Amen Forest Dweller. My pet peeve with hunters is its all or nothing. Your with us or against us. I spent my whole life in the bush and the ones who I find mainly with this attitude are the arm chair outdoorsmen who only go into the woods at hunting season....just about the time I'm heading for cover.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:28 AM   #14
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I gotta agree with Forest dweller and Gman (not a big surprise if you read my posts). I'm not terribly emotional, live in the ADKs about half time and a stone's throw away the rest of the time. I grew up in a hunting family eating hunted meat, and still respect my Dad and his ability to hunt well into his 70's. I'm not a wildlife manager or biologist, but I have a bio minor and have since studied wildlife on my own through research and observation, because I wasn't impressed with the biologists I studied under and their points of view on the nature and value of animals.

Most hunters I grew up with taught us not to kill any animal we weren't going to use every part of. That made sense to me. I don't understand any other kind of hunting, and I don't get the need to kill more bobcats. We're hardly overrun with them; and I'm not sure whatever market they are serving is a market I could ever support. I don't particularly like being labeled as emotional, uninformed, or anti-hunting because I don't consider myself any of those things. But you've got to do a lot of convincing to get me to believe that humans aren't killing enough wildlife.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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Your argument is in itself an emotional one.

You are making an emotional appeal, particularlty invoking memories of your father and his value as a provider for the family. Even the - taught not to kill sentence is an emotional appeal to the reader perhaps beginning to hint of ethics.

Are the hunters you grew up with no longer the hunters of today? I don't understand how in previous posts people can say hunters are "for us or against us", and then the same exact logic is applied to "all hunters".

I'll tell you where the emotional/ethical hunting argument originates. Many people, particular country folk don't look at animals as people. Therefore most of the arguments employed based on emotions or appeals to humanesque ethics don't relate to them and fairly easy for those folks to point it out in the "anti" camp.

A leading cause of bobcat fatality is a lack of food. The harvest has been averaging about 400 cats per year, I'm not sure what the goal is but part of the plan is to ensure the population grows in some areas and that's an important part of the plan. i.e. Some peaks are accessible to the public in order to protect the larger part of the park.

I haven't read through the plan thoroghly nor do I hunt bobacat so I'm not sure if I am for (or against it!) yet. But I think resource management is paramount with the limited habitat available. Not to mention the policy of not allowing burns definately hurts this species.

Killing a ton more coyotes would certainly boost the bobcat population and I see the plan accounts for the already extendied trapping season for competing species.

I grew up with hunters that said "if it fly's it dies", I think hunters now are much more concious of the environment and their role in it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:18 PM   #16
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The emotional response comes mainly from anthropomorphic personification of wildlife. When you are not regularly confronted by wildlife it tends to take on a mythical embodiment to many folks. Thats where you get the "all hunters are out there murdering Bambi" mentality. Once you make the leap from harvesting wildlife to murdering innocent animals you have added in the emotional component and changed the discussion to one of sustainablity to one of personal values. Thats where I usually walk away from the discussion. I am simply not going to listen to someone tell me that its wrong to hunt game animals when they regularly get in the car to go drive-thru Taco Bell or Mickey D's or open cans and microwave frozen meals all the while casting aspersions on how I source my meals. For those vegetarians out there who are so concerned about the animals but could care less if the vegetables they eat were harvested by a fellow human who is being paid insanely low wages and working 12 hour days I even hold a higher degree of contempt. Thats really letting emotions cloud judgement.

This discussion is about Bobcats though, and apparently the cats are doing just fine. With a 400-500 individual take rate for decades its clear the population is about 8 to 10 times that. If it wasn't you wouldn't be able to harvest 400-500 individuals a year for very long. I hope we can all agree about that at least. You can't have that many individuals leaving the population every year if the population isn't exponentially larger than the amount of those individuals leaving it. (for whatever reason) If you did the population would become zero eventually, and as you progressed towards that point of zero individuals in the population the bag rates would obviously keep dropping to the point that few if any individuals in the population are taken every season. Because of the amount of hunters and fisherman who report or cooperate in accounting for thier catch/take officials have a much better notion of the size of a given population than they would have if they just did physical counts or estimations based on the Lincoln-Petersen or Schnabel methods. Not only does this provide wildlife managers with more rubust data than what they could source on thier own, but it allows them to then use this more robust data to make better decisions regarding bag limits and opening and closing dates of seasons.

Its interesting how folks at home can look at a picture on the TV or internet and say "pretty kitty, anyone who would kill one of those is evil", but ask them if they want to have one for a pet or have the kids get in a pen and play with one and its "no fuggin way!" So its completely an emotional response, and not at all based on logic, or god forbid, science.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:14 PM   #17
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Thats where I usually walk away from the discussion. .

.
What he said....
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:02 PM   #18
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What he said....
X2! (run don't walk)
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:19 PM   #19
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A leading cause of bobcat fatality is a lack of food. The harvest has been averaging about 400 cats per year, I'm not sure what the goal is but part of the plan is to ensure the population grows in some areas and that's an important part of the plan. i.e. Some peaks are accessible to the public in order to protect the larger part of the park.

I haven't read through the plan thoroghly nor do I hunt bobacat so I'm not sure if I am for (or against it!) yet. But I think resource management is paramount with the limited habitat available. Not to mention the policy of not allowing burns definately hurts this species.
So to grow a population you gotta significantly reduce a population?

We don't allow burns?

The Adirondacks are lush and green and I doubt fires were ever very common before humans got here.

Did fires benefit the rain forests of Olympic National Park too?

And what is this resource management stuff? Something tells me that the Adirondacks are large enough that if we allowed all species that lived there historically, including predators, the natural world could take perfect care of itself, like it always has.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:06 PM   #20
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FD, are you out dragging lines in the water again or did the obvious confound you?

Ever heard of lightning? How exactly do you think humans tamed fire for the first time? I realize matches are so easy a caveman could use them, but they sure as hell didn't invent them. I really don't understand how you got from "The Adirondacks are lush and green" to "I doubt fires were ever very common before humans got here" Nor do I understand the correlaton to rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula, though I am quite sure wildfires have occured there as well throughout time and have contributed greatly to the current state of the land there. Perhaps somebody has a reading suggestion for you if you don't understand the benefits of fires on wildlands and thier effects on lifecycles and ecosystems.

What I really don't understand is your attitude towards resource management. I figured that concept would be right up your street. Its all about conservation and remediating the effects humans have on thier natural surroundings. Fact is things can't take care of themselves anymore all on thier own and in many cases need a helping hand. Roads, dams, and power generation/transmission are a few things among the multitude of human impacts on the environment which have made it increasingly difficult for various species to survive on thier own without some "management". It has various effects on different populations in the wild. Some benefit and become unnaturally advantaged by human presence, and others suffer a similar amount of hardship. So letting things be is clearly no longer an option if we want to maintain the levels of flora and fauna we have and be able to pass that along to future generations. There are 6 billion+ people in the world now. Population is still growing. The natural world cannot "take perfect care of itself, like it always has" unless you view things as a purist in that humans are part of that natural world and that all of our impacts are therefore completely natural. Somehow though, I don't think thats the kool-aid you have been drinking.

Now, back to my original question. Is this a troll, are you just picking on Pumpkin, or are you serious? Do we need a poll for this? Those are always popular around here.

Maybe a better poll is which of these is best:

1)Bobcat hat
2)Bobcat gloves
3)Bobcat thong for your girlfriend
4)Bobcat bedspread
5)All of the above.

With 2 extra months in the upcomming season, I'm gonna go ahead and choose number 5.
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