Hunters and trappers took a preliminary total of 141 bobcats during bobcat hunting and trapping season, with Randolph County hunters accounting for six of the state"s total.
"We are very pleased with the response to Illinois" new hunting and trapping season for bobcats," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal in a news release. "The recovery of the bobcat is a conservation success story in Illinois.
"We were pleased with the response of hunters and trappers that applied for permits, and we will continue to evaluate the program."
More than 6,400 people applied for 500 permits to take bobcats. Those awarded a permit in the lottery were required to register their harvest within 48 hours and purchase a bobcat pelt temporary permit.
They reported taking 69 bobcats by hunting, 49 by trapping, 12 by archery, and salvaging 11 from roads.
Bobcats were harvested in 44 counties in the open zone, which included western and southern parts of the state. Pike (11) and Jackson (10) counties led the state, with Randolph County ranking fifth.
Of the county"s six bobcats, three were trapped and three were salvaged from roads.
The 2016-17 season for hunting bobcats with bow or gun was conducted November 10, 2016 through January 31, 2017 (closed during Firearm Deer Season), while permitted trappers were able to take bobcats Nov. 5, 2016 through Jan. 20, 2017 in the northern zone and Nov. 10, 2016 through Jan. 25, 2017 in the southern zone.