Hunters took down 141 bobcats during the 2016-2017 Illinois Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Season, according to government officials.
With only 500 permits to hunt bobcats available, the state received more than 6,400 applications. Officials used a lottery system to award the permits and asked hunters to register their harvest within two days, as well as purchase a Bobcat Pelt Temporary.
“We are very pleased with the response to Illinois’ new hunting and trapping season for bobcats,” Wayne Rosenthal, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director, said in the release. “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.”
Hunters registered 69 bobcats by hunting, 49 by trapping, 12 by archery, and salvaging 11 from roads.
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The top counties were Pike County with 11 bobcats, Jackson County with 10 bobcats, Jefferson County with seven bobcats, Carroll County with six bobcats and Randolph with six bobcats.
While no bobcats were harvested in Madison and Jersey counties, St. Clair reported the harvest of four bobcats, Clinton County reported three, Monroe County reported five, Greene County reported two and Calhoun County reported three.
The release stated these numbers are preliminary.