Bobcat rules set: A modern first in Illinois outdoors

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A bobcat stalking prey in a photo from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Credit: Steven Wayne Rotsch/Painet Inc.

One of the great success stories in conservation in Illinois takes another step forward with a very restricted hunting and trapping season.

The restrictions included very limited permits (500 total), season bag of one, and a closure across a big chunk of northeastern Illinois (at least for fall of 2016).

Below is the announcement of the rules from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

IDNR Announces Rules for Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Season Applications Available Online Sept. 1-30 SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal announced rules governing the 2016-2017 bobcat hunting and trapping season today. Hunters and trappers are asked to carefully review the following rules and apply for a Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit from Sept. 1 – 30. The recovery of the bobcat in Illinois is a conservation success story that must be credited to our state’s hunters and trappers, whose licenses, stamps and fees fund conservation efforts for many species in Illinois – including the bobcat, Rosenthal said. 1. Hunters and trappers must possess a Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit BEFORE taking or attempting to take a bobcat. Applications will be available online only during Sept. 1-30. Applicants must submit a $5 non-refundable fee. Five hundred permits will be allocated during a lottery and mailed to successful applicants. Any leftover permits will be sold online on a first-come, first-served basis. 2. If you receive a Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit, you may take one bobcat by hunting, trapping, or salvaging a road-kill during open seasons. Examples of legal methods of hunting include archery, predator calling, stalking, and treeing with dogs. The 2016- 2017 hunting season for bobcats is November 10, 2016 through January 31, 2017 with a closure during firearm deer seasons. The 2016-2017 trapping season for bobcats is Nov. 5, 2016 through Jan. 20, 2017 in the northern zone and Nov. 10, 2016 through Jan. 25, 2017 in the southern zone. 3. If you take a bobcat, you must purchase a $5 Bobcat Pelt Temporary Permit within 48 hours (Privilege Code 306). The Department will mail you a federal CITES tag within 2-3 weeks. NOTE: Bobcat Temporary Pelt Permits are not available at license vendors or DNR DIRECT. 4. A federal CITES tag must be permanently affixed to each bobcat pelt before it is exported from the United States or transferred to a fur buyer, taxidermist, fur tanner, or garment manufacturer. If you plan to have a bobcat mounted, we recommend making a slit between the inner lip and eye hole, then placing a piece of wood or plastic in the slit before freezing the bobcat. This will make it easier to insert the federal tag when you receive it. 5. For Fall 2016, bobcat harvest will not be allowed in that area of Illinois that is east of Interstate 39 and north of U.S. Route 36. 6. More information, including the map of the closed bobcat zone, will be available in this year’s upcoming Hunter and Trapping Digest.

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