Bobcats seen in Columbia County dazzle viewers | Columbia County

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Bobcats were spotted in Stockport and west of Ghent this week.

Stockport resident Lisbeth Karlsson posted a video on Facebook of a bobcat walking through the snow on her property near Route 25. Karlsson stepped out onto her wooden deck to see the bobcat, also known as the North American red lynx name. He looked at her, paused momentarily, then quickly walked away.

Responses to her video came from Columbia County residents who shared similar stories of bobcat sightings.

Bonnie Davidson, a freelance writer and editor, recalled one morning that a routine New York Times Spelling Bee reading had been cut short.

“Oh my god, there’s a fox out there,” Davidson told her husband Michael, a retired TV producer.

“It’s not a fox,” Michael replied to his wife, who quickly used her phone to take pictures.

The couple moved to West Ghent six years ago from New York. They jokingly remarked that looking out the window resembled a scene from a Disney movie, where animals meander in harmony with humans.

The next morning, they were surprised and delighted that the lynx reappeared.

“This time he was playing with a dead squirrel like he was a kitten playing with a ball of yarn,” Bonnie Richardson said.

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, bobcats have a distinctive ponytail 2 to 8 inches long as well as elongated ear tufts that are said to improve their hearing.

George Gardner, a wildlife removal expert and owner of Problem Wildlife Humane Exclusion & Removal in Hillsdale, doesn’t think bobcats are a threat to humans. “They pose absolutely no threat unless you have free range chickens – and who has free range chickens these days?” Gardner said.

Bobcats are twice the size of house cats, weighing about 25 pounds, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. New York has a healthy bobcat population, and the DEC actively monitors the statewide population in case it dips too low or rises too high.

Bobcats are predators that feed on small rodents, small fawns, chickens, birds, and sometimes other cats.

Bobcats can move so quietly that it is often difficult to register their presence. This is why they are successful predators. This also makes them difficult to hunt.

Stockport Police Chief Eric Buchinsky regularly hunts bobcats with his son.

“No, it’s not illegal but it’s hard to shoot or catch them,” he said.

Bobcat hunting season in Stockport begins on October 15 each year and ends on February 15.

Columbia-Greene Humane Society President Ron Perez said it was legal to trap and shoot bobcats during the allotted hunting time. There is no limit to the number of bobcats a hunter can kill or possess in New York.

“You can sell the skin,” Buchinsky said. Pelt is animal skin and fur and must be sealed with a plastic seal in New York before being sold.

While bobcat hunting is legal in New York, a Colorado General Assembly bill has proposed a complete ban on bobcat hunting. Indeed, organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals oppose the unnecessary hunting of animals like bobcats. PETA specifically points out that the steel traps used to capture bobcats and other animals are inhumane.

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