Bill to allow bobcat hunting advances to full Senate

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A second attempt to establish a bobcat-hunting season in Illinois is headed to the Senate floor for a final vote. The Senate agriculture committee Thursday voted 8-1 to advance the bill. The measure would establish a four-month season on the big cats. Experts with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say the state’s bobcat population is growing, and supporters of the measure say hunting the animals will help keep the number of animals in check. DNR officials say they plan to issue 500 permits in the first season. They say the intent is to limit the number of bobcats killed each year to about 300. Illinois lawmakers approved similar legislation last year but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Pat Quinn.