Indiana citizens who went to great lengths to submit comments and attend public hearings to vocalize opposition to IDNR’s rule package (#17-436), rightfully feel betrayed by the latest news of IDNR’s upcoming workshop and recent meeting with hunters and trappers apparently meant to garner support for the implementation of a bobcat hunting and trapping season. This, despite the Department’s recent public announcement that the agency would not adopt a bobcat season.
Some proponents of a bobcat season contend these animals are abundant and allegedly causing problems with domestic animals and other “nuisance” complaints. As evidenced by IDNR’s own “Proposed Limited Bobcat Harvest Season FAQs” these claims are unsubstantiated.
Not surprisingly, this information was recently removed from the agency’s webpage shortly following CWE’s blog post criticizing the agency’s rule package. Among the information that IDNR has taken offline is the following:
“We get very few reports of bobcats being a nuisance or causing damage. The proposal to have a limited season is not because of complaints or conflicts with bobcats…”
(IDNR’s FAQ page was removed from its website, but you can view it in its entirety here.)
Contrived bobcat conflicts fail to justify any need for a hunting and trapping season as any allegedly "problematic" bobcats can legally be managed under the authority of a “nuisance wild animal control permit” (312 IAC 9-3-18.1(a)).
Here’s how you can help Indiana Bobcats:
· Write to Governor Eric Holcomb at:
Office of the Governor
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797
Or contact Governor Holcomb via webform at: https://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm
· And/or contact Governor Holcomb's press secretary Rachel Hoffmeyer, 317-914-5634, firstname.lastname@example.org to raise awareness about the IDNR's recent actions.
· Urge the Governor to instruct IDNR’s Director, Cameron Clark, to honor the spirit of the agency’s act in May 2018 when the bobcat hunting and trapping provisions were withdrawn from the rule package. Request that IDNR cease and desist all activity that directly or indirectly serves to advance the implementation of a bobcat hunting or trapping season.
· Be sure to maintain copies of all correspondence with Governor Holcomb or his Press Secretary for future reference.