This year, Indiana and Ohio officials floated the idea of establishing trapping seasons for bobcats in their respective states (and a hunting season in Indiana). Fortunately, after local AWI members and others expressed fierce disapproval of the schemes, both proposals were taken off the board in quick succession.
The Indiana Natural Resources Commission withdrew the proposed bobcat hunting/trapping season in that state at the commission’s May 15 meeting. Acknowledging the public outcry, Indiana Department of Natural Resources director Cameron Clark said, “We have heard from you. We appreciate the interest. We do feel as though we probably need to work more with our constituencies on sensitive rules like this.”
In Ohio, at a May 17 meeting, the state Wildlife Council voted 6–1 to indefinitely postpone the proposed bobcat trapping season. Chairman Dr. Paul Mechling indicated the council may wait for completion of an ongoing four-year study (currently in its second year) to bring the issue up for a vote again.
Bobcat numbers in both states plummeted over a century ago due to hunting and trapping. While their numbers have gradually risen thanks to the states’ endangered species protections, their recovery is far from complete.