Illinois will not join the other 42 states with a bobcat hunting season, as Governor Quinn vetoed legislation on his last day in office that would have created a bobcat hunting season in Illinois.
Sponsored by State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Carlinville), House Bill 4226 aimed to address the overpopulation of bobcats in the state of Illinois by allowing the Director of the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to set the bobcat season between Nov. 1 and Feb. 15. The bill also sets a limit of one bobcat per hunter per year.
Sen. McCann argued, “This legislation was a win for Illinois. It helps preserve our state’s natural resources, empowers our agricultural community, and will likely spur economic development.”
Despite IDNR’s report that the state’s bobcat population is now growing 4-9% per year, Governor Quinn cited that “Illinois should not reverse its 40-year-old prohibition on bobcat hunting” because it would threaten the ecosystem that relies on a thriving bobcat population.
Under the Rauner Administration, it is possible similar legislation could be proposed during the 2015 spring session.