Bobcats are elusive but more of them apparently are roaming in Ohio with Belmont County being second in the state in the number of verified bobcat sightings in 2013.
The 2013 figures recently were released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, and last year was the first time that verified sightings increased to 200 in the Buckeye State.
This, however, isn't the first time for Belmont County to claw its way up the ladder of numerical sightings as the county sometimes has had more sightings than Noble County, which usually occupies the catbird seat in numbers.
The nocturnal creatures, named for their stubby tails, are the most common wildcat in North America, and they're in many counties in the Buckeye State but are most numerous in Southeastern Ohio.
Belmont County's verified sightings last year totaled 21, while Noble County had 32.
They are about twice as big as a house cat, and had a total of 106 sightings in the counties near Noble.
In addition to Belmont County, these included Washington County, 17; Guernsey County, 15; Monroe, 12; Morgan, five; and Muskingum, four.
In other nearby counties in East Ohio, Jefferson County sightings totaled five while four are listed for Harrison County.
An ODNR press release notes that the 200 bobcat sightings in 2013 marks the fourth consecutive year more than 100 verified sightings.