Wild Bulletin, IN DNR Fish and Wildlife: Bobcats, the only resident native wild cat in Indiana, are common in southern and parts of central Indiana, and increasing in northern Indiana. They are rarely seen because of their ability to blend into their surroundings and move silently.
Bobcats have been reported from almost every Indiana county but are most common in southern and west-central Indiana. A study conducted by the DNR in south-central Indiana revealed that bobcats are capable of dispersing up to 100 miles from where they were born. The DNR collects reports of bobcat sightings, trail-camera photos, and mortalities. Bobcat reports are also collected through the annual Archer’s Index, in which volunteer deer bow hunters report the number of hours they hunted and the species they saw while hunting. Snapshot Indiana, a citizen-science trail-camera survey, also helps document bobcat presence in some areas.
Bobcats prefer forested areas that have brushy areas, fields, or clear cuts that are beginning to regrow mixed in. Female bobcat home ranges may vary from 6–12 square miles, and male bobcat home ranges may vary from 30–75 square miles. Bobcats are primarily nocturnal, hunting and moving during early-morning and late-evening hours; however, seeing a bobcat during the day is not cause for concern.
To identify and learn more about Bobcat, please visit the Bobcat basics: Indiana’s Only Native Wild Cat.
A Template for Your Wildlife Habitat Management Plan, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Purdue Extension – FNR playlist
Wildlife Habitat Hint, Purdue Extension – FNR playlist
Ask an Expert: Wildlife Food Plots, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
Indiana Department of Natural Resources