The officials have set the limit of 500 and enlarged the legal hunting area this bobcat hunting season. The season will kick off from next month. The wildlife experts have predicted a lower population of bobcats for this season. Bobcats were removed from the list of the threatened species 20 years ago. 141 bobcats have hunted three years ago in the governance of Gov. Rauner. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources set the limit of hunting 350 bobcats two years ago but 358 were taken. The statewide limit was set at 375 last year but 343 were hunted.
The date is set for the bobcat season this year as it will run from Nov. 10 to Feb. 15. The limit of bobcats hunting is set at 500 this year by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A lottery took place in September in which 1000 permits were given to the hunters. Jen Walling, the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said, “Under Pritzker, the IDNR has opened up more of the state to bobcat hunting.”
She said that the Pritzker administration took the decision of expanding the hunting field on the base of politics, not science. She told that the hunting field was set on the base of the population estimate taken south of Interstate 64. The population model was not taken appropriately and there was the need for more research, she added.
The Western Illinois University published a study that said that the population bobcat would be lower this season. Jennifer Kuroda, a member of Illinois Bobcat Foundation, said, “This study is more accurate as compared to the previous studies.” Rachel Torbert, the spokeswoman of the IDNR, said, “The decision was taken by the department on the base of the data gathered from multiple sources.”
The Illinois Bobcat Foundation and other advocacy groups are asking the IDNR to reconsider the policy they have taken on bobcat hunting. They say that the department should consider science apart from considering politics.