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In one of his anti-hunting, (read anti-gun) last hurrah actions, outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed an important bill.
House Bill 4226 would have allowed Illinois hunters to hunt Bobcats. While this may seem trivial to some, it’s not. Bobcats, are not your average house kitty. They can grow a bit bigger. And with big growth, comes a big appetite . . .

Sure, a bobcat’s diet will consist of many smaller things that creep and crawl, but they have the ability to kill much larger game. And they do. A simple bing or google search will yield many news stories and photos of their prowess. Here is a pic of a bobcat taking down a whitetail deer. Yes, a deer.

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And the occasional attack on humans.

While a bobcat may not eat much during its first feeding, it likely won’t come back for too many subsequent feedings as the meat will rot. And they like to roam. What’s the kitties’ solution? Why, kill another something. Be it your chickens, or the family dog. Or a farmers spring newborns

What is worse is that the outgoing Governor did this completely against all evidence presented to him.

According to a recent article,

HB 4226, which was supported by wildlife professionals at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), would have amended the wildlife code to allow hunters to kill one bobcat in a season that would run November 1st to February 15th. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 91-20 while the vote was closer in the Senate, 30-19.

Governor Quinn’s stance on the outdoors has nothing to do with the science of conservation, but with the politics of it. His veto came on his last day in office. Republican Bruce Rauner will be inaugurated on Monday.

The bill was supported by the professionals hired to help maintain the wildlife resources of the state. And by his legislative body, yet Quinn still basically said F.U.

With any hope, a new house bill will be drafted, voted on, and placed on to the new governor’s desk. And he will sign it.

For what it’s worth, small to medium calibers work well on these thin-skinned critters. My hunting buddy whacked one at a bit over 100 yards with a .22 pistol. An AR sporting the 5.56/.223 is also a great choice. And if you are limited to shotgun hunting, might I suggest #4 buck?

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51 Responses to Outgoing IL Gov Vetoes Bobcat Hunting Bill Despite DNR Recommendation

  1. “With any hope, a new house bill will be drafted, voted on, and placed on to the new governor’s desk. And he will sign it.” There is a reason voters elect Republicans and even more so, elect conservative Republicans and it is not just they usually won’t break the bank for our grandchildren. We will see in this case, very soon.

  2. We have Bobcats in Illinois? Of course I have heard rumors that the DNR has murmured that there are Cougars or some other big cats dragging deer carcasses up in trees in S.E. Indiana? Coyotes as of late has been a bigger and more numerous problem in my area and I hear them howling about the house periodically.

  3. I live in Indiana, but coyote hunt a lease in the southeast part of Illinois. I called in a bobcat on the lease last spring. It was quite a pleasure to watch is stalk through a field of young beans. Of course I let it walk. I was anxiously awaiting the passage of this bill in hopes of taking one of these beautiful creatures.

  4. May we bid good riddance to Pat Quinn. In the blue state of Illinois, the Democrats sure know how to pick ’em. He was the most incompetent politician I’ve ever seen in state government, and that’s saying something.

    • I’m originally from IL. Isn’t this breaking with state tradition? An outgoing governor who hasn’t been indicted for anything? Or is it “hasn’t been indicted…yet?”

      • He was under investigation last year for a “political slush fund” and “hiring practices.” My guess is since he lost the election, nothing will come of it.

      • His becoming governor was a fluke. He doesn’t really have a significant power base, so unless he does something that’s perceived as a threat to the “Combine”, he’ll probably fade into well-deserved obscurity.

    • “…Democrats sure know how to pick ‘em. He was the most incompetent politician I’ve ever seen…”

      Heh. From the douchebags who gave us Rod Blagoyevich & Badahk Guh-Danga? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

  5. Funny, I grew up in a family full of Democrats that were farmers, ranchers and hunters. Always thought the Democrats were the party of the hard working blue collar crowd. Then about 20 some odd years ago the Democrats went all weird. And to this day Quinn and the rest of the Illinois democtats are the epotome of weird.

    • Two or three decades ago the Progressives realized (thanks to Alinsky) that there were not that many votes to be found (bought) in the rural areas and began focusing their community organizing socialist lies on the urban areas where there were so many more low-information voters to be bamboozled.

      Simple mathematics.

  6. Bobcats all over here..And, I damn near ran one over while deer hunting in the blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon last yr.

  7. On our first night coyote hunt we called in a bobcat. He was out of season so he got a pass. But it was something to see.

    I had a shotgun, 20 ga., loaded with #4 buck. All night hunts for predators after that one I took the 12.

    Oddly enough on that first hunt using a mouth call for yotes we also excited a bunch of turkeys. We need practice on the calls.

  8. I dont feel threatened by bobcats, honestly.

    I do sympathize with the animals, who lacking any apex predator, like wolves, or the Department of Fish and Games other tool for game management, ie hunters, is going to find itself in the same position as mountain lions in Boulder- read David Baron’s book The Beast in the Garden: The True Story of a Predators Deadly Return…
    Amazon kindle for $9.99- hint the word is habituation, and it changes the basic behavior of an otherwise shy creature, to a man-killer- http://www.amazon.com/The-Beast-Garden-Predators-Suburban/dp/0393326349

    and to my point- leads to overpopulation by the predators that is only solved by widespread starvation, disease, and misery for the animals as they run out of food. Case in point- one year I heard the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Game Warden and Biologist giving the mandatory hunter safety class to new hunters mention in passing, that they had radio tagged 13 (!) mountain lions on that 200 square mile base. Exclamation because the normal healthy range for one adult mail is 200 sq miles. A year later, when wildfires had pushed more cats down out of the foothills, park rangers and Animal Control were finding starved, sick, and dead lions in urban parks and fringe open space areas, if they werent run over by cars trying to cross the freeway… Noble beasts undone by foolish humans.

    The PETA and faux environmentalists dont have the animals best interests in mind, only their own political swing, and ego. Big Green long ago ceased being about the planet, or the animals, and the proof is the massive corruption in AGW, from carbon credits ripping off taxpayers and going to rich elites, while sacrificing Science, and publics trust in integrity, for filthy lucre, and Progressive top down control of the citizens, thru EPA, etc.

  9. This post has renewed my interest in bobcat hunting. In California it is $3.24 per tag, up to 5 a year. One of the cheapest things to hunt here (coyotes are cheaper… no tags needed)

  10. That photo is insane … that deer is not a fawn and it looks only slightly larger than the bobcat. I figure bobcats might hit 35 pounds but that one seems to be MUCH larger than 35 pounds.

  11. You aren’t having fun until your suburban grade school calls to tell you to meet your kid at the bus because a Mountain Lion is roaming near your bus stop or your middle school kid comes in saying “Hey there’s a bear in the driveway”. Both have happened to me.

      • That happens around here (NorCal), bears more so recently because of the drought, coyotes year round, lions outside of town. Open carry is illegal in urban areas, but the black bears are not terribly aggressive, and it is easy to get rid of them just by cutting off their (garbage) food supply; they’ll head for greener pastures. Lions close in are usually without a territory and are starving. Coyotes, however, need shooting to encourage the pack to go elsewhere.

        • Yep, Friday I saw a hungry looking yote on the line between Castro Valley and San Leandro. In broad daylight. Very urban environment.

  12. I could use some bobcats around here. Here in the ‘burbs, we have an abundance of raccoons with lots of trash cans and nothing big to keep them in check.

    • Racoons can be pretty mean. I think a normal sized bobcat would have a fight on his hands if he tried to go after one. My 95 lb. black lab has made coon killing his hobby though.

      Around here the garbage companies mostly require customers to use 50 or 100 gallon dumpsters – the trucks have mechanical arms to dump them. They’re too tall and heavy for the coons to tip over.

  13. Another story about habituation- even though bobcats are in the suburbs in the little bits of green spaces and open space preserves scattered in between suburbs in San Diego County, it used to be rare to see them even for professional bio/ranger types – very shy and nocturnal.

    Not long ago there was a story about a mama taking up a corner in a golf course tool shed, unconcerned about the public peeking in on her and her kittens. My guess is had been fed by a neighbor nearby for some time, and thus habituated to a daytime schedule and the close proximity by humans.

    Then there is the mountain lion that chewed on a homeless guy not far from Palm Springs, which got away, but was also considered by DFG to be likely the same one that stalked and almost got a golf course lawn guy one late afternoon, following him thru a gate to his truck before turning away…

    Oh yeah, dont forget the male mountain biker killed in the foothills in Orange County, or the elderly female hiker killed and partly consumeed in San Diego County, who was defending her cache, and attacked a couple of women passing by on mountain bikes.

  14. Whoa … just hold on. Illinois elected a Republican governor?!?!?!?

    I didn’t think that was possible. When did Illinois elect the last Republican governor?

    • George Ryan in 1996 I think…he just got out of federal prison last year…before that Jim Edgar who was maybe the only honest Illinois governor EVER. And Jim Thompson was governor for 16(?) but I can’t believe he never got indicted. Most Illinois GOP ain’t much different than the dems…

      • An elderly relative of mine retired from the IL Secretary of State’s office many years ago. Edgar was the Secretary at the time, and they frequently worked closely together. Edgar is the only governor in the last 50 years that she will give a positive word. The rest fall into the category of crooks and liars.

    • Bruce Rauner beat Pat Quinn because
      1) Bruce is a very rich man and spent a fortune.
      2) Quinn was so worthless the Democrats didn’t bother to vote.

      The Dems still have veto-proof majorities on both houses of the legislature though. We’ll see what happens.

      • Don’t forget Rauner is good buddies with Rahm Emanuel. Rahm endorsed Quinn, which is to be expected as a fellow Democrat, but didn’t go out of his way to help him during the election.

  15. Worst governor ever…and I’m waiting to see if Bruce Rauner is any better. He may just be a typical RINO. The critters are all over the place in Cook co. I’ve never seen a bobcat but lots of other animals. The raccoons have pretty much disappeared in my town after we had to get trash cans with heavy lids. And there was a real live cougar(mountain lion) in Chicago a few years ago. Like a fox I don’t think bobcats are easy to spot in the wild…

  16. There’s a bobcat on campus where I work. The picture floating around in e-mail (which is on another computer so I can’t attach it… not that this Luddite would be able to do that anyway) makes it look to be a good sized critter.

  17. While I enjoy guns and shooting as much as the next fellow, I find distressing the attitude that any and all predators must be killed. I guess that I just enjoy the thrill of seeing one of these less common animals in its natural environment, rather than as a rug. Nature is a big interwoven mesh which has normal feedback mechanisms, and seldom benefits from human intervention. If the bobcats really are becoming uncommonly numerous, then I would first look to see how many mountain lions and wolves remain in the territory.

    • The point of the article is they need to be ‘Managed’, not wantonly slaughtered.
      Killing some will make both prey & predator popultions healthier.

    • No, not “any and all.” One tag per year, in a 3 1/2 month season. It’s called wildlife management, the Illinois DNR knows what it’s doing (pretty much), and even the Illinois House, dominated by statist urban Democrats, voted for it 91-20.

    • Me too. Nothing against other’s choices- varmint hunters shooting coyotes is very useful, for reducing predation on farm animals,

      and CA DFG has to call in its own trappers and shooters, in suburban areas, when enough of the greens lose their poodles and housecats to over come the PETA nuts. And adult male can jump a six foot fence with its food in its mouth, and that can include a small toddler in a backyard…

      And given how far and fast coyotes have spread from their original range, throughout the US- remember the Canadian folk singer killed by a pack up in a park north of Montreal, I think it was?,
      we will see more of this, including in urban areas.

      I remember joking with an older buddy, who took that same hunter safety class with our kids- that the CA DFG had forgotten a stage, in their explanation of how hunters evolve- newby, trophy, mentor.

      We are more in the burger stage…harvesting. So if its not edible, I am less interested. Bobcat stew? Coyote ribs…noooo…dont think so.

      PS: thinking more about the large predator interaction, ie coyotes vs bobcat – I found this-
      http://carnivoraforum.com/topic/9396136/1/

      tl;dr

      large predators of roughly equal size dont fight to eat one another-
      they compete by better using resources- bobcats get pushed out of open spaces, beyond 100 mt of trees, because coyotes are better at using them, eating rabbits and mice, but omnivorous- fruits in season, roadkill, etc. The direct predation of coyotes on bobcats is less common, usually when there is a big numbers advantage, against smaller individuals, like mommies and kittens.

      Cougars will prey upon one another- dominant males kill juveniles to control territory, and will even eat their own young, in lean years, out west.

  18. I faced down a big cat once. I didn’t want to shoot it because they’d been poisoned out of the range by farmers and were just coming back.

    This is just a politician who thinks he knows better than scientists. There’s a lot of that in this country, and not just from politicians.

  19. The idea that a bobcat would take down a human is absurd. I have encountered a bobcat twice on a path in Corvallis, Oregon. Both times the animal was extremely respectful. In the first case she was busy with a snake in her mouth and simply turned and disappeared.

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