Wednesday, 7 January 2015
NEWSLINK: Bobcat hunting may return to Illinois after 40-year hiatus
The Illinois Environmental Council is lobbying the governor to veto the measure.
Measure would allow hunters to kill one bobcat in a season that would run Nov. 1 to Feb. 15.
The bobcat was on Illinois' threatened species list from 1977 to 1999.
Five years ago, amateur photographer David Horning was driving along a gravel country road in southern Illinois when the sight of a bobcat with a rabbit clenched in his teeth stopped him in his tracks.
He took several pictures before the brown spotted cat disappeared with his prey into a thicket of woods. A printer by trade whose hobby includes wildlife photography, Horning said such sightings in that part of Illinois are much more common nowadays, though the bobcat doesn't always succeed at finding a meal.
"I saw one trying to take some wild turkeys and he didn't stand a chance," the Eldorado man said. "He was so small, they were almost laughing at him."
Illinois may lift its more than 40-year-old ban on hunting bobcats, which were once a protected species in Illinois. The measure, which is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's approval, amends the wildlife code to allow hunters to kill one bobcat in a season that would run Nov. 1 to Feb. 15. Hunters may use a gun, dog, or bow and arrow.