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DNR Considers Allowing Hunting, Trapping Bobcats

DNR officers say bobcats are not a safety threat to people, livestock, or pets.

The state is considering a proposal that would allow Hoosiers to hunt bobcats.

The Natural Resources Commission gave preliminary approval to a wildlife related rule package that includes a hunting and trapping season for the animals.

Bobcats moved from endangered to “of special concern” in 2005. In 2012 the state completely removed them from the list. Bobcats have now been confirmed in more than half of Indiana’s 92 counties.

DNR spokesperson Marty Benson says the hunting proposal is the mark of a successful wildlife management program.

“Bobcat populations are expanding and thriving in Indiana. They’ve been protected for nearly 50 years,” Benson says. “They’re now common in southern Indiana and continue to expand throughout the state, and we’re very happy about that.”

Any changes are at least a year away.

The proposal must go through public hearings, recommendations by the Division of Fish and Wildlife and back to the natural resources commission before it is legal.

If passed, the proposal would apply to only three counties in southern Indiana and there would be a quota – once hunters and trappers reach whatever number the DNR establishes the hunting season would be over.

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