IOWA COUNTY, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Resources estimates Iowa's bobcat population has surged to around three thousand cats and continues to grow by about eight percent each year. The bobcat was considered a threatened species in the state in the 1980's, but have made steady growth in recent years, according to Tim Thompson of the Iowa DNR.
"When you start getting road kills you know they're out there," Thompson said.
The DNR allows hunting of bobcats in many southern and western Iowa counties. They're now considering expanding that area to add Iowa and Muscatine counties in Eastern Iowa.
"It's not going to jeopardize the population and they're only going to become a pest," said Cory Holland, who works at Fin and Feather in Iowa City. Holland has hunted bobcats in Mississippi and sees them as a threat to the pheasant population.
Thompson said bobcats primarily prey on small animals and are afraid of humans.