The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today delivered rules to implement regulated harvest of bobcats in the State. Authority was granted by Public Act 99-0033, which took effect January 1, 2016.
Proposed rules will be reviewed by the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to determine compliance with statutory provisions. The process includes a period for public comment. Adopted rules will be reviewed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assure compliance with federal regulations on trade of bobcat pelts, and with an international treaty governing their export. Approval of export authority by USFWS requires adequate measures to protect Illinois’ bobcat population from over-harvest.
Proposed amendments to administrative rules 550 and 570 are posted on the Department’s website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/adrules/Pages/Proposed.aspx.
Proposed rules include:
• Harvest of bobcats will be prohibited in northeastern and east-central Illinois.
• People must purchase a $5 Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit before attempting to take the species. A limited number of permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
• The bag limit will be one bobcat per person per season.
• Hunting season dates will run from November 10 through January 31 with brief closures during the firearm deer season.
• Trapping season dates will run from November 5 through January 20 in the northern zone and November 10 through January 25 in the southern zone.
• People who harvest a bobcat must purchase a $5 Bobcat Registration Permit. They will be mailed a federal tag, which must be affixed permanently to the pelt before it is exported or transferred to a fur buyer, fur tanner, taxidermist or garment manufacturer.
Comments on these or other proposed changes to administrative rules 550 and 570 may be submitted to the Department by mail:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Office of Legal Counsel
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
The public comment period is open for 45 days (through March 7, 2016).