SPRINGFIELD – Illinois hunters will have the opportunity to hunt bobcats under a plan approved by the Senate on Thursday. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently determined that bobcat populations had reached a level where the number of animals should be managed through public hunting.
State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) co-sponsored HB 4226, which creates a bobcat season from Nov. 1 through Feb. 15 starting in 2015.
"We have seen a large number of bobcats in western and southern Illinois due—in part— to the restoration of habitat. Conservation practices and effectively managing our natural resources are at the heart of this proposal," Sullivan said.
This bill allows IDNR to create a hunting season in the counties where bobcat populations have grown. The department would also determine the total number of permits to be issued each year.
The proposal passed both the Senate and the House with bipartisan support, and now goes to the governor for his signature.