The state of Illinois said the first season of bobcat hunting and trapping yielded good results.
Preliminary numbers show hunters took 141 bobcats during the 2016-17 season. More than 6,400 people applied for 500 permits to hunt bobcats. Permits were predominantly issued in western and southern Illinois.
“We are very pleased with the response to Illinois’ new hunting and trapping season for bobcats,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal. “The recovery of the bobcat is a conservation success story in Illinois. We were pleased with the response of hunters and trappers that applied for permits, and we will continue to evaluate the program.”
The program for the once-endangered species proved controversial, with some environmentalists and animal rights advocates applying for licenses with the intent of not using them.
The only county in Central Illinois with bobcats hunted was Fulton, with two kills.