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

Illinois bobcat season: Some tweaks in place, and some notes

SHARE Illinois bobcat season: Some tweaks in place, and some notes
SHARE Illinois bobcat season: Some tweaks in place, and some notes

Gov. Bruck Rauner signed into HB3399 on Friday. It tweaks the regulations for bobcat hunting and trapping in Illinois, including upping the harvest cap to 350.

The upcoming season will be the second in modern times for bobcats. The return of bobcats in Illinois is one of the great success stories of modern conservation.

The deadline to apply for a permit is Saturday. More than 1,000 applications have already been received, so there will be a lottery to select the 1,000 successful applicants.

Here are the details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

New Law Results in Changes in Illinois Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Season

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A new state law will allow hunters and trappers to harvest up to 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 season dates are Nov. 10, 2017 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 can be made through the DNR Direct online license and permit system ($5.00 non-refundable application fee) at

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