SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports the Illinois House voted 91-20 Thursday in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate.
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Illinois banned hunting of the nocturnal animal in 1972. Bobcats were on the threatened species list from 1977 to 1999.
But supporters say the population has made a comeback.
Republican state Rep. Wayne Rosenthal of Morrisonville is the bill's sponsor.
He says the bobcat population is growing in rural, non-farming areas of western and southern Illinois.
The hunting and trapping season would occur sometime between Nov. 1 and Feb. 15. A hunter would be allowed to kill one bobcat per year.