Illinois considers legalizing bobcat hunting

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Bobcat photo from Illinois DNR website

The state’s House of Representatives is considering legislation that would allow hunting bobcats in Illinois.

HB 4226 would allow hunters to trap or hunt bobcats during an open season, which would run from November 1 until the following February 15 each year.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources would be responsible for registering bobcat hunters and distributing tags for pelts.

The latest amendment to the bill would limit hunters to taking one bobcat per season.

Bobcats were placed on the state’s endangered species list in 1977, and were removed from that list in 1999, according to the Illinois DNR.  It is estimated there are 5,000 bobcats in Illinois, with the heaviest concentration in the southern part of the state.

It is already legal to hunt bobcats, with the proper permits, in Iowa.