Not so long ago, prior to 1999, Illinois considered bobcats a threatened species. Come winter, hunters will be able to harvest the cats.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is an avid hunter -- of birds. No word on if that hobby contributed to his decision to sign a new law, authorizing bobcat hunting.

His office sent word of his signature without comment.

Flickr user / docentjoyce "Bobcat - Lynx rufus" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois hunters may soon be able to kill bobcats.

The legislature barely passed the proposal Sunday.

Bill sponsor Rep. Patrick Verschoore, D-Rock Island, had to postpone the vote because it didn't have enough support. But it passed the second time around with the minimum number of required votes.

Verschoore says it's an important bill to manage the bobcat population.

"They're becoming a nuisance in the southern part of the state,” Verschoore said. “They're killing. There was an instance where here just recently they killed several kid goats at a farm."


A handful of states have already passed measures that would ban the use of drones to hunt or fish, and Illinois could be next.

Senator Julie Morrison sees her bill as a precautionary measure. She says hunting and fishing with drones hasn't yet become a problem in Illinois, but the Democrat from Deerfield wants to make sure it never is.

"Drones are a piece of technology that we are not completely prepared to deal with yet, but this will be one step forward," she said.

Wisconsin DNR

For the third year in a row, Wisconsin hunters killed more wolves than allowed by law.

Illinois Legislators Vote For Bobcat Hunting

Dec 5, 2014
Flickr user / docentjoyce "Bobcat - Lynx rufus" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers voted to create a bobcat hunting season.

The once-threatened species rebounded to the point the state's Department of Natural Resources says there are too many. Supporters say Illinois needs a bobcat hunting season to manage their growth.

Senator Dave Koehler, a Peoria Democrat, says this is a way to bring their numbers under control.

"Prevent starvation, overaggressive animals from having to survive ... that hunters are really used as part of a management tool."

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Wisconsin's deer season doesn't start for another week and a half, but state wildlife officials remind hunters to play it safe.

The Department of Natural Resources says hunters should treat every firearm like it's loaded and always point the muzzle in a safe direction.

Wisconsin has seen four gun seasons with no deaths since 1972.


The final days of deer season are at hand. Firearm deer season runs 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset January 18-20. According to a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, hunters are limited to taking no more than two antlered deer in all seasons.