Illinois hunters kill 318 bobcats during 2017-2018 season

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Approximately 318 bobcats were killed in Illinois during the hunting and trapping season that was in effect Nov. 10 through Feb. 15.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that 1,000 permits were issued to hunters and trappers for the season. Permit holders salvaged 40 road-kill bobcats during the season.

There were 500 permits given out during the 2016-2017 season, the first year of legal bobcat hunting. There were 141 bobcats killed during the 2016-2017 season.

State law prohibits the taking of bobcats in 33 Illinois counties, and in portions of three additional counties. The law allowed hunters and trappers to harvest up to 350 bobcats for the 2017-18 season.

The harvest limit will be 375 bobcats for the 2018-19 season, which is scheduled for Nov. 10, 2018 through Feb. 15, 2019. Permit applications will be accepted in September.