An Indiana Department of Natural Resources official has recommended making adjustments to two proposals regarding bobcats, raccoons, opossums and coyotes that have been met with fierce opposition.
One proposal would create a bobcat hunting season. Hunters would be limited to catching one bobcat and there would also be an overall statewide quota. The season would likely run from Nov. 8 to Jan. 31 and be limited to southern Indiana.
The other proposal would require animal control workers to kill captured raccoons, opossums or coyotes.
The proposals are minimal and don’t fully address the public’s concerns, the department’s chief administrative law judge Sandra Jensen said in a report.
“With respect to these administrative rule proposals, the hearing officer recommends additional enlightened discussion and thorough consideration by the commission,” she wrote.
More than 200 people attended public meetings about the proposals and more than 2,000 comments were submitted online, most of them against the changes.
Many comments said the department didn’t provide enough evidence to justify a hunting season. Others said trapping is a cruel and inhuman practice.
Companies that specialize in removing animals from people’s homes say the nuisance rule would hurt business. Michael Meservy, owner of Advanced Pest Control, said the department shouldn’t be able to force him to kill a healthy animal.
“All three of these species can harm domestic animals and damage crops. This rule will help alleviate these concerns without jeopardizing the overall populations of these animals,” the DNR said on its website.
The 12-member Natural Resources Commission is expected to vote on the proposals Tuesday.