Illinois hunters and trappers harvested a whole bunch of bobcats during the 2017-18 winter season. In fact, they were only 32 cats shy of the state quota limit.
Even though Illinois prohibits bobcat hunting and trapping in about a third of the state's counties, sportsmen and women were able to harvest 318 cats in the rest of the state during the 2017-18 season.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources placed the state's quota at 350 animals. This was the second year where bobcat harvest was legally sanctioned. The 2016-17 season saw 141 harvested bobcats.
Permits doubled from last year's 500 to 1,000 this year. Next year's harvest quota will be 375 animals.
The harvest limit will be 375 bobcats for the 2018-19 season, which is scheduled for Nov. 10, 2018-Feb. 15, 2019. DNR will accept applications in September.
The Illinois bobcat population is healthy. The state estimates the population to be somewhere around 5,000 animals.
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