According to the January 17 IndyStar article by Sarah Bowman, there is another attempt to authorize the hunting and trapping of Indiana bobcats via Senate Bill 241.
Please raise your hand if you have ever seen a bobcat. Why do people feel the need to hunt these native predators and decide to return to Indiana? The Department of Natural Resources should not make any decision on this matter without first conducting a “formal study” that would allow sufficient time to determine what the actual population count of bobcats living in potential hunting areas is.
Currently, one of the ways the DNR counts them is through the number of sightings reported by John Q Citizen. Not very scientific.
Perhaps the more someone claims a sighting because the more they know about what is being “seen,” the more likely it is that a hunting season will open. What about the person who thinks they see one, but really isn’t sure? We can be wrong, right? Is this report considered by the DNR to be an observation? And then, unfortunately, one of them is hit by a car and killed. Is the DNR assuming that because it crossed a road that there are too many in the area?
In 2019, the DNR told IndyStar there was not enough science to support a sustainable bobcat season. Has the DNR since done a study to determine the actual number of bobcats and where they live? Because bobcats are elusive, this can be a difficult task. The idea of an open hunting and trapping season is absurd. Bobcats are our state’s only natural predators. They need to be here to do what they’re supposed to do.
They have been well received and are now at risk of being hunted rather than being hunters. The point is this: Indiana is probably not overrun by bobcats. It is not too late to let your legislators know that without the results of a full and fair study by the DNR, no killing or trapping should take place.
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