bobcats

Western Illinois University

Bobcat season is approaching in Illinois. There is disagreement over how expanded hunting will impact the species long term.

Illinois resumed bobcat hunting just a few years ago. Rachel Torbert is a spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. She says IDNR asks hunters to report animals they encounter.

"Surveys that we’re working with have been conducted since the early 1990s and they show a steady increase in bobcat population in Illinois," she said.

Illinois DNR website

Bobcats have been considered a threatened species in Illinois since the 1970's, but not now.

Sen. John Sullivan, a Democrat from Rushville, explained it when legislators debated lifting the bobcat hunting ban.

"I used to never see a bobcat, now it's uncommon to go to the woods and not see bobcats. And not one or two, but three or four of five or six of 'em," Sullivan said.

The hunting and trapping season begins in November. For the rare hunter who gets a permit, that is.