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Illinois Senator Proposes Ban on Bobcat Trapping

SPRINGFIELD, IL — A state senator from suburban Chicago plans to move forward with a bill that would ban the trapping of bobcats and the sale of their pelts ahead of the state’s first legal hunting season for the once-threatened species in more than 40 years.

This senator has it right that trapping is not sound scientific management. “With trapping, there’s really no way to gauge how many animals you might take. If you set a half a dozen traps and you have a permit for only one bobcat, what happens if you take two?”

“Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said he was holding his bill because he’d reached an agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that would have reduced the number of permits available for hunting and trapping the small wild cats and further restricted where they could be hunted. But he said the department’s director, Wayne Rosenthal, walked away from the agreement toward the end of the General Assembly’s spring session “for reasons unknown to me.”

Harmon said he’d like to ban the sale of bobcat pelts because proponents argued that allowing the species to be hunted was about controlling a growing population that was becoming a nuisance, not trophy hunting or pelt sales.”

“I’ve gotten conflicting information about that since,” he said. “There appears to be some value to the pelts, and there appears to be a great deal of interest in trophy hunting.”

Full story here.

Photo courtesy of Art Services at The Southern Illinoisan.

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