New bobcat hunting regulations in Illinois

Updated: Sep. 26, 2017 at 4:48 PM CDT
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law on September 22 that makes changes to the hunting regulations of bobcats in the state of Illinois.

Under the new law, there will be a cap of 350 bobcats that can be hunted or trapped with a permit. The state is issuing 1,000 permits in the 2017 season according to the Department of Natural resources.

This is the second season where bobcats can be hunted after no longer being a protected species said the DNR. Last year, there were 141 bobcats harvested under a permit in Illinois where 500 permits were issued and no cap was set.

These animals were either hunted, trapped, or salvaged from the side of the road.

The new law has some wildlife experts confused. Beverly Shofstall from Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation is one of them, saying she doesn't understand how the cap is going to be enforced.

"It strikes me as odd from the standpoint of doing the math. If they're giving out that many permits, what if everyone gets successful? How will they know when they've reached the cap and let the rest of the hunters know they've reached it?"

We reached out to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about enforcement of the regulations and will update upon their response.

Over 1,000 applications have been filled for a bobcat hunting permit for this season. Hunters will receive a permit if their application is drawn lottery style.

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