Back On The Bobcat Hunt

Jan 16, 2015

There are an estimated 2,220 bobcats in 13 of Illinois' southern counties.

 A state senator is still smarting from former Governor Pat Quinn's last minute veto of a proposal to once again allow bobcat hunting in Illinois. The senator says he's going to try again now that Quinn's out of office.

In a press release issued on one of his final days as governor, Quinn's office said he vetoed the bobcat hunting measure because it violated the state's responsibility to protect wildlife.

That came as a surprise to Senator Sam McCann, a Republican from Carlinville. McCann says Quinn had promised he would sign the controversial plan into law, as long as it was after the November election. McCann says upset Quinn didn't honor his word.

"I feel so sorry for the man because he came to office at a time when we needed a leader, and so many people--Republicans, Democrats, downstaters, upstaters, conservatives and liberals all alike--believed in Pat Quinn," McCann said. "You can't tell people around here that you'll do one thing and then go off and do another."

McCann says he'll reintroduce the measure now that it's a new legislative session. He says hunting will help Illinois manage the bobcat population.

Bobcats were once protected in Illinois, but the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says now their numbers have boomed.