Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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New law means changes in Illinois bobcat hunting, trapping

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A new state law will allow hunters and trappers to harvest up to a total of 350 bobcats during the 2017-18 Illinois bobcat hunting and trapping season, which opens on Nov. 10. The legislation making changes in the bobcat season, House Bill 3399, was signed into law on Sept. 22.

Additionally, the new law also changed the list of counties in which it is unlawful to hunt or trap bobcats in the state. The following counties are prohibited from hunting or trapping bobcats: Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, DeWitt, DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Ogle, Peoria, Piatt, Putnam, Stark, Stephenson, Vermilion, Will, Winnebago, Woodford, and the area north of U.S. Route 36 in Edgar and Douglas counties and north of U.S. Route 36 to the junction with Illinois Route 121 and north or east of Illinois Route 121 in Macon County.

Bobcat hunting and trapping runs through Feb. 15, 2018.

Illinois resumed bobcat hunting and trapping during the 2016-17 season. During the 2016-17 season, the taking of bobcats was prohibited in a northeast quadrant of the state bounded by Interstate 39/U.S. Route 51 on the west and U.S. Route 36 on the south, and was allowed in the remainder of the state.

Hunters and trappers may apply for 2017-18 bobcat permits through Sept. 30. A total of 1,000 permits have been allocated, and a lottery drawing will be conducted as more than 1,000 permit applications have been received. During last year’s bobcat season, Illinois issued 500 permits and hunters and trappers harvested 141 bobcats, a 28 percent success rate.

Applications may be made through the DNR Direct online license and permit system ($5.00 non-refundable application fee) at

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