The wildcats with bobbed tails, which are about twice the size of cats, disappeared from the Lower Peninsula after the logging boom in the late 1800s but can now be found in every Michigan county.
In addition to creating an 11-day season in the southern counties, state regulators also expanded the hunting and trapping season in the northern Lower Peninsula to 20 days with two full weekends. The limit per hunter remains one.
“The population is fairly resilient and able to absorb harvest pressure,” said Adam Bump, a bear and furbearer specialist for the Department of Natural Resources, which recommended the expanded season.
“When we’re opening those nine counties, we’re really just opening a larger area to harvest the same population.”
National Resources Commissioner David Nyberg said state data indicates the bobcat population is expanding and can support an expanded hunt.
“We’re also going to be able to further support the actual act of conservation through the funding of licensed dollars that supports that work,” Nyberg said.
Expanding bobcat hunting to the southern Lower Peninsula means more people can buy licenses that fund the state’s wildlife conservation efforts.