Indiana DNR considering a 'bobcat hunt' for southern counties

CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Next year, hunters in Indiana may be allowed to hunt and trap bobcats if a new proposal is approved.

Currently, Indiana does not allow hunting or trapping of bobcats, though 40 other states across the country do, including Michigan and Kentucky.

The bobcat populations are growing so quickly that the hunt would be enacted to control the population, but only in southern Indiana counties. Bobcats are frequently spotted in Harrison–Crawford State Forest in Corydon, which is more than 23,000 acres

“They are very secretive, and you don’t see them very often,” said Allen Edwards, who owns Gun World, a fishing and Hunting store in Corydon. 

Edwards has seen bobcats on his property but knows that is rare. However, increased sightings by bow hunters and the number of cats hit by cars is a large part of why the hunt is being considered.

  • The 11-week hunt would be Nov. 8, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020.
  • Each hunter would be allowed to shoot/trap one cat or until the state’s quota is met, a number yet to be determined.
  • The carcasses would need to be turned over to the DNR to track and study the cats before they are made into fur pelts.
  • DNR officials receive very few complaints of bobcats causing a nuisance or damage. They are not naturally a threat to humans, because they are so shy.
  • The season will not jeopardize bobcat populations in Indiana, because it would be closely regulated and monitored.

“Twenty years ago, this would not even have been considered,"said Indiana DNR Spokesman Marty Benson. "So this is a big conservation win for Indiana. It is very exciting that bobcats have increased in terms of population since the year 2000.”

The Natural Resource Commission will discuss the bobcat hunting legislation at a meeting in May.

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