Bowhunter survey indicates growing bobcat population in Illinois

Ralph LoosA DNR survey of bowhunters in the state reveals that the number of bobcats spotted during archery deer hunts has boomed over the past decade.

The annual Illinois Archery Deer Hunter Survey is completed by hunters who were in the field from Oct. 1-Nov. 15 last year. It showed a total of 896 bow hunters participated in the survey and logged more than 55,000 hours afield.  According to the survey, the numbers of bobcat, coyote, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and squirrels observed per 1,000 hours increased since the survey began in 1992.  

"The most striking change is a 10-fold increase in the number of bobcats observed by hunters between 1992 and 2013," DNR noted when providing the survey results, adding that declines in observations of red and gray fox are probably related to changes in habitat and greater abundance of coyotes.  

The 2012 Archery Deer Hunter Survey is available at this link:  http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/adhs2013report.pdf
 

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