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October 11, 2021

Bobcat photo wins Pa. Game Commission's trail cam contest

An image showing a group of the wildcats crossing a road in Snyder County beat out nine other finalists

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Pennsylvania Bobcats Photo Pennsylvania Game Commission/Facebook

The Pennsylvania Game Commission's 2021 Trail Cam Photo Contest winner is a resident from Selinsgrove, Snyder County, who submitted a picture of a family of bobcats crossing a road. The photo received the most support during a vote on Facebook this month among ten finalists.

Trail cams are an invaluable way for humans to get a surreptitious look at how animals behave in the wild when their habitats and routines aren't being disturbed.

To celebrate the sights captured by trail cams across the state, the Pennsylvania Game Commission holds an annual contest, inviting people to submit their best trail cam photographs of wildlife.

The contest rules are fairly broad, permitting photos of any bird or mammal as long as it was snapped from a trail cam in Pennsylvania. Game species are preferred, but not required for entry.

On Monday, after a voting period that began last week, the game commission announced the winner of its 2021 contest. The best photo was taken by Jeremy Napp of Selinsgrove, Snyder County, where his trail cam captured a group of five bobcats crossing a pebble road.

Congratulations to Jeremy Napp from Selinsgrove for winning the Game Commission’s 2021 Trail Cam Photo Contest!...

Posted by Pennsylvania Game Commission on Monday, October 11, 2021

"Jeremy’s photo received more than 4,500 likes, the most out of any other photo submitted this year," the Game Commission said. "Jeremy will be receiving a new trail camera and an assortment of Game Commission merchandise as a prize."

Napp's photo was one of 10 finalists selected by the commission, which had shared the best trail cam images in another Facebook post.

The 2021 Trail Cam Photo Contest Finalists are in! Now we need your help to determine who submitted the best photo!...

Posted by Pennsylvania Game Commission on Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Bobcat populations have been on the rise throughout much of the U.S., including in Pennsylvania, where they number about 20,000. They're not considered particularly dangerous, but they occasionally become the subject of shocking headlines, such as an incident in North Carolina earlier this year when a man grabbed a bobcat off his wife in their driveway and chucked it halfway across their yard. He later shot the animal, and its remains tested positive for rabies. 

If you come across a bobcat in the wild, the telltale signs of rabies will be opposite ends of the spectrum — either friendly or extremely aggressive behavior.

But if they're crossing the road as a family? That's just a lucky look at animals living their best lives.