The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is allowing the hunting of bobcats during the upcoming 2016-2017 hunting season… after 40 years of protection due to its once threatened status. So, why now? The bobcats growing numbers have hunters worried about the deer and game bird population… the same animals that hunter’s go after.
“Most the guys that hunt or people [who] hunt are for it, I know a lot of people are excited about having the opportunity to shoot or trap or kill bobcats” says Shane Teas, Illinois Conservation Police Officer. Teas also explains that bobcats are usually hunted for their pelts.
Former Democratic Governor Pat Quinn stated himself that bobcats are a “valuable part of Illinois’ ecosystem” and should be protected. Governor Bruce Rauner, a hunting man himself, approved the bill to allow the hunting of bobcats.
Bobcats do not attack people and this solitary wildcat’s existence is vital in balancing nature. Even though hunters are worried about the deer and game birds population, most of a bobcat’s diet consists of Illinois's high population of rabbits and rodents.
By diminishing the population of bobcats, you run the risk of a high rodent population, along with rodent borne diseases. As an integral part of today's ecosystem, bobcats also help provide Illinois with free waste removal due to their diet including already dead animals.
Please sign and stop the 2016 Illinois bobcat hunt!