The Senate has passed a bill that would make Illinois bobcat hunting legal, now it will need the governor's approval.
As soon as next year, Illinois bobcat hunting could become legal, thanks to a 30-19 vote by the Senate. The bill will now be forwarded to Gov. Pat Quinn.
For 15 years bobcats have been on the threatened species list, but in recent years the population has grown significantly.
Senator Sam McCann told reporters, the population of bobcats has spread into the rural and non-farming areas of southern and western Illinois.
Illinois bobcat hunting has been deemed necessary to help control the species population, however opponents to the bill are dismissing this as a valid reason.
Senator Linda Holmes told reporters, "We're doing this for trophy hunting."
If approved, Illinois bobcat hunting would last from Nov. 1 to Feb. 15 each year, and would allow only one bobcat to be harvested by each hunter.