An Iowa State University ecologist is unsure how many more people might start hunting bobcats if the Iowa Department of Natural Resources decides to go ahead with a proposal to lift the seasonal quota for the cats. This DNR allowed hunters to trap 450 bobcats in Iowa this past season in a limit determined by population data and reproduction rates for the cats.
ISU professor Bill Clark is one of the people that help gather the data. “I think one of the reasons they chose to propose that is that in practical terms, it’s difficult to regulate,“ Clark says.
The season runs until the quota is reached and any bobcats caught after that must be returned to the DNR. “So, one justification in their mind is well, we should just allow the trapper to keep those animals, and if they decide to sell the fur or have a mount made that’s not a waste of the resource,” according to Clark.
He says it’s hard to predict if the number of bobcat hunters would increase without a cap, but says he thinks if the season gets out of hand, the DNR would reinstate the quota. Clark made his comments on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” program.