Outdoors: Ohioans won’t be hunting or trapping bobcats anytime soon

It doesn’t appear Ohioans will be trapping or hunting the elusive bobcat in the near future. The Ohio Wildlife Council has decided to “indefinitely postpone” a proposal that would create a limited trapping season.

Bobcats were taken off the state’s endangered species list in 2014. They were wiped out in the 1800s but probably through migration from Pennsylvania, they’re making a comeback. The Ohio Division of Wildlife estimated there were 1,000 in the state in 2014.

You’re not likely to see one around here. If you do, it was probably a kitten bought at one of those disgusting animal auctions. Most of the bobcats live in the woods of east and southeast Ohio.

As a former Ohio University Bobcat, I wouldn’t want to see the furry creatures hunted in Ohio. I know, stupid reason. But as a longtime sportsman, I say, “Have at it.” I’ll let you know which side of my split personality wins.

It appears the reason the council balked on bobcat trapping/hunting was pressure from anti-hunting groups. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but it bothers me when out-of-state anti’s sound off on Ohio wildlife issues. Like Kitty Block, acting president of the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington, D.C.

“It’s high-time that state wildlife agencies stop catering to the wishes of trophy hunters and trappers and acknowledge the wishes of the general public that values wildlife alive and flourishing,” Block said.

The Division of Wildlife had hoped to get a more accurate count of bobcats in Ohio through the use of licensed trappers.

Coincidentally, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission voted to remove a bobcat hunting/trapping proposal in that state.

Free youth fishing: New youth fishing opportunities will soon be available in Xenia. A recently added fishing area at the Division of Wildlife's District Five office will provide new shore fishing opportunities at several former spring-fed hatchery ponds.

The youth fishing area is located at 1076 Old Springfield Pike in Xenia. Youth 15 years and under will be allowed to fish by reservation only; no walk-ins will be admitted. Fishing is planned for three sessions each day on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning in June, and will continue through Labor Day. A limit of six reservations per session has been set. Young anglers may keep one fish per day at the youth fishing ponds and catching and releasing fish for the duration of the visit is expected.

A parent or guardian must accompany all young anglers while in the youth area, but adults are not required to have a fishing license. Adults are not allowed to fish in the youth area, but may assist young anglers. Equipment, bait, and Division of Wildlife staff assistance will be provided at no charge thanks to the purchases of Ohio fishing licenses and monies from the Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

Reservations have begun. Youth are limited to one reservation per month. To register, call the ODNR Division of Wildlife District Five office, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (937) 372-9261.

Memorial Day hike: Caesar Creek State Park will host the hike today at 10 a.m. Meet the park naturalist at the nature center for a 5-mile guided hike to the fossil fields. See Pioneer Village, the Swinging Bridge, Horseshoe Falls and a rock gorge. For more information, call 513-897-3055.

About the Author