SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois would allow hunting and trapping of bobcats under legislation headed to the governor.

The House approved a plan Sunday that would establish a hunting season for the previously endangered animal.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner, an avid hunter, declined to say whether the Republican has a position on the matter.

Democratic Rep. Patrick Verschoore (vur-SHOHR’) of Milan (MY’-lihn) says there are 3,000 to 5,000 bobcats in the state.

He says the predator was taken off the endangered species list in 1999 and its growing numbers pose a nuisance and potential danger.

State-issued permits would allow no more than 300 bobcats to be taken during a season running from Nov. 1 to Feb. 15.

Environmental groups remain opposed to hunting the cats.


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