Bobcat Hunting Measure Passes House

Mar 28, 2014

Credit flickr/stevendepolo

  Hunters and trappers could harvest bobcats, under a measure that got approval from the Illinois House.

Hunting bobcats has been illegal in Illinois for decades.

But now that Department of Natural Resources numbers show the population growing, especially in southern and western parts of the state, Rep. Wayne Rosenthal wants that ban lifted.

His plan passed the House 91 to 20. Rosenthal, a Republican from Morrisonville, says his critics ask:

"Why do you want to get rid of these pretty, little kitties?"

But he says they're predators. He says it's more about population control than sport, though he says it will be a challenge.

"They're not going to be easy to trap," he said. "They're not going to be easy to hunt. They've very nocturnal, so you can use the light to chase 'em. But it's not just going to be I'm going to go out and kill a bobcat. It's not going to be that easy."

The plan allows permitted hunters and trappers to kill one bobcat a season.