(VIGO COUNTY) - Indiana Conservation Officer responded on December 30th to information that a bobcat was illegally poached in Vigo County.
When questioned, 28-year-old Randy W. Paugh of Terre Haute stated that he had shot a bobcat with his bow and arrow during deer season. A bobcat was recovered from Paugh's residence.
Paugh is now facing charges for the illegal killing and possession of the bobcat. In Indiana, the illegal harvest of a protected furbearer, such as a bobcat, is a Class C misdemeanor.
A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a jail sentence of up to 60 days. Any equipment used in the illegal taking of a protected furbearer is also subject to seizure.
Bobcats are considered to be protected furbearing mammals under Indiana law. The increasing number of bobcats in recent years has led wildlife managers to change the status of the bobcat from a "state endangered species" in 2005 to a "species of special concern".
Although currently there is no season in Indiana to lawfully harvest bobcats, the possibility of a limited harvest may exist in future years. Wildlife managers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, who are optimistic about the bobcats' future, anticipate continued success of bobcats in most areas of the state.
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