Anti-bobcat trapping bill is amended, groups remain opposed

The proposal that would ban bobcat trapping and also the sale of bobcat pelts was amended on Friday to exclude southern Illinois and a handful of western counties from the ban, but trapper and sportsmen groups in the state remain strongly opposed.

Senate Bill 1981, sponsored by Don Harmon, D-Oak Forest, originally would ban trapping as a means of harvesting bobcats. The bill would also prohibit the sale of bobcat pelts in Illinois.

The amendment provides that until June 30, 2019, “it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or trap bobcat in this state on and after the effective date of the bill, except in the south zone and the counties of Adams, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Edgar, Fulton, Hancock, Jo Daviess, Pike, Schuyler, and Scott and provides that DNR may issue a maximum of 500 permits annually to take bobcat.”

The boundary between the north zone and the south zone would be U.S. Route 36. The measure provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or trap bobcat at any time in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will. Effective July 1, 2017.”

The Illinois Trappers Association and the Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources oppose the amended bill.

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