Hunters and trappers could harvest bobcats, under a measure that got approval from the Illinois House.
Hunting bobcats has been illegal in Illinois for decades.
But now that Department of Natural Resources numbers show the population growing, especially in southern and western parts of the state, Rep. Wayne Rosenthal wants that ban lifted.
His plan passed the House 91 to 20. Rosenthal, a Republican from Morrisonville, says his critics ask:
"Why do you want to get rid of these pretty, little kitties?"
Efforts to reduce the number of deer in Illinois have been so successful that the state plans to reduce the number of hunting permits this year.
Illinois already met its goal of reducing the deer population statewide a few years ago. But some counties still had herds deemed problematic — causing car accidents and crop damage.
Now, in more than 40 counties, officials at the Department of Natural Resources want to see the number of deer go up by anywhere from one to 29 percent.