Bobcat hunting and trapping is another step closer to becoming a reality, after legislation passed the Senate on May 21.
House Bill 352 is an initiative of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which has asked for the bobcat hunting season as a tool to control the growing bobcat population. The scientists and wildlife biologists who maintain and protect bobcat populations view this as a proactive step to safeguard the state’s natural resources before there are serious issues resulting from potential overpopulation.
According to IDNR, currently Illinois is one of only seven states without a bobcat hunting season, and Indiana is currently considering adding a season as well. In 1972, due to concerns over declining bobcat populations, the season was closed. The species was listed as threatened in 1977. The state’s bobcat population is now growing 4-9% per year.