Dear Indiana Humanitarian,
The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has proposed a rule to allow for a hunting and trapping season for bobcats.
Bobcat numbers in Indiana plummeted a century ago, and the species was almost eliminated by the mid-1900s. While their numbers have gradually risen thanks to the state's endangered species protections, their recovery is far from complete.
Allowing the killing of bobcats could severely jeopardize Indiana's fragile bobcat population. It is risky and irresponsible to reinstate a hunting and trapping season when it has been shown in the past that the bobcat population cannot sustain such abuse. Furthermore, the proposed rule would allow the use of barbaric, antiquated devices like steel-jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps, or strangling snares.
Please submit a comment to the NRC explaining your opposition to this proposed rule. A template for your comments is included at the bottom of this eAlert, but please be sure to personalize it. To submit a comment, follow these steps:
- Click here.
- Scroll down to the Rulemaking Docket list in the box.
- Next to the third row, entitled "Wildlife Rule Amendments," click "Comment on this rule."
The NRC is also holding two public meetings where you can comment on the proposed rule in person. Please attend one of them, if you are able to do so:
March 14, 2018, 5:30 p.m., ET
Spring Mill Inn Spring Mill State Park-Lakeview Room
3333 State Road 60 East
March 22, 2018, 5:30 p.m., ET
Mounds State Park-Pavilion
4306 Mounds Road
As an Indiana citizen, I strongly oppose the proposed rule to reinstate a hunting and trapping season for bobcats.
Bobcat numbers plummeted a century ago, and the species was almost eliminated by the mid-1900s. They were granted protection on Indiana’s endangered species list in 1969 and hunting of them has been prohibited ever since. While their numbers have gradually risen thanks to these protections, their recovery is far from complete.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has not provided any supporting scientific data or even a current population count to justify the proposed rule. Without a population count, it will be impossible to know the extent of the damage that hunting and trapping inflicts on the state’s only native wild cat if the rule passes. This is an irresponsible and reckless wildlife management strategy.
According to the DNR, livestock predation by bobcats is rare and there are no verified accounts of attacks on pets. Additionally, there are effective, nonlethal methods of wildlife control that could be used should individual bobcats pose a problem. I urge you to abandon the proposal for the bobcat hunting and trapping season.
Share our "Dear Humanitarian" eAlert with family, friends, and co-workers in Indiana, and encourage them to submit comments to the NRC and attend a meeting, too. Thank you for all you do for animals!