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I don’t think this is gonna work as planned

Thursday, Oct 27, 2016

* Tribune

When Lauren Umek heard Illinois was going to allow bobcat hunting for the first time since 1972, she applied for a hunting permit. So did four of her relatives.

But they have no intention of hunting.

“I might pull it out at parties,” Umek said of the permit on Monday, three days after checking a state list online and discovering that she’s one of 500 people who obtained a coveted permit among more than 6,400 who applied. “It’ll be a great conversation starter.”

Umek, 34, an ecologist from Chicago, is among an untold number of the feline’s fans who applied for permits with the notion of reducing the number of cats killed. The move has reheated the debate that turned the bobcat into a political animal last year. […]

Umek said she is the only person in her group of 30 or so like-minded friends and relatives who obtained a permit.

* AP

Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Tim Schweitzer told the Associated Press “if harvest falls short of management goals, IDNR can issue more permits next year.” […]

According to Schweitzer nearly 98 percent of applications were received from existing IDNR hunting and fishing license and permit customers.

So, all the protesters are really doing is possibly forcing the state to issue more hunting permits next year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    “I might pull it out at parties,” Umek said of the permit on Monday, three days after checking a state list online and discovering that she’s one of 500 people who obtained a coveted permit among more than 6,400 who applied. “It’ll be a great conversation starter.”

    Sounds like a cool party. No wonder ecologist breeding numbers are down.

  2. - Oneman - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    And providing the state with revenue…

  3. - Johnyy Justice - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    How much do those licenses cost?

  4. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    Johnny Justice- Not much…

  5. - Allen Skillicorn - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    2% of 500 is only 10 permits.

  6. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    Local media (SJ-R and Channel 20) have played this story up like every permit is going to an anti-hunting applicant. Per usual the stink being made by a few is drowning out the silence of the many.

  7. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    To be blunt, those that do intend to “harvest” a bobcat, still need to find ‘em and kill ‘em, AND get their CITES tag (you better do that people!). So… if after all this hoopla that we need to conduct a “harvest” to control the growing population of bobcats fails to bring in an adequate number, is it because there are too many bobcats out there, or not enough??? Or, are these felines just a bit more wiley than the hunters? Low “harvest” numbers should not be a reason to justify issuing even more permits next year just because you think people are gaming the system.

  8. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    Never hunted a day in my life but much respect and thanks to the responsible hunters out there who help keep the proper balance between human and wildlife populations that makes our communities and roads safer. Sad that this ecologist does not appreciate or respect this balance.

  9. - Homer J. Quinn - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    there have been rumors about this with the deer permits for years. the only way for the protestors to affect the hunt would be to flood the application process with more protestors than hunters, and they don’t have the numbers or the funds to do that. and buying a permit to keep it out of a hunter’s hands is no different in the end than if that hunter went out and just didn’t see any bobcats.

  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==Low “harvest” numbers should not be a reason to justify issuing even more permits next year just because you think people are gaming the system.==

    If the intent is to limit permits to control the harvest, meaning not allow too many to be harvested (which it is) and 500 permits resulting in lower numbers will signal more permits can be issued and still estimate the harvest will be acceptable numbers. So, congrats protestors, you’re shooting your own cause in the foot!

  11. - Red tower - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Why the bleep are people hunting bobcats. Unless you eat them you are just a trophy hunter. And I despise trophy hunters. They are lower than low. Beastial people that shouldn’t be allowed in society.

  12. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    Anonymous @ 1:47 pm- First off, I’m not one of the protestors, just concerned if adequate determinations were actually done to arrive at these numbers. That said, if 500 aren’t taken, or numbers near that, and more area is opened up or more permits offered next year and further, and we still don’t get to 500, shouldn’t that be telling us something about the population assumptions?

  13. - flea - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:56 pm:

    I am 60 yrs old and have hunted since I was 8…I have seen 1 bobcat in that period of time. Why in the world they are now legal to hunt is beyond me. IDNR messed up here!

  14. - Get a Job!! - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    Im not entirely sure about bobcats specifically, but DNR typically tries to manage the herd via permit sales……when the population gets lower than the “goal” they reduce permit sales.

    Bobcats are statewide, but they’re pretty sparse most places. Hopefully DNR allocated tags to counties with higher populations.

    Bobcats mostly feed on rodents & rabbits, but they are also very rough on turkey, pheasant & quail populations. While turkeys are pretty well populated, quail pheasant is very sparse. DNR’s job is to manage the populations of all species by controlling populations of the others. So Bobcats may not be overpopulated, they can cause major problems with other species. This is how is just how it works with predators. it’s a fine line.

  15. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    I suspect that many bobcat taken will be through trapping. Some would be caught anyway by accident. With a permit you can sell the pelt.

    We had a similar situation with river otters a few years ago.

  16. - Get a Job!! - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:09 pm:

    @Red Tower…..please get a grip. There are other legitimate reasons for hunting/trapping than just meat and/or trophies. Conservation/population control is a big deal.

    Most people don’t eat raccoons or take them to a taxidermist…..instead they sell raccoon pelts that are used for a variety of purposes.

    Also, many of these “trophy hunters” that you consider “lower than low” are doing incredible things for wildlife of this state. Creating safe, healthy habitats designed to grow the biggest, healthiest animals possible. These people are a huge net positive for this state & its wild life, please don’t be so quick to hate. Educate yourself.

  17. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    You mean yet another action by the goo goos will have the opposite intended affect? Next thing you know they’ll be shocked, yes shocked when crime goes up after letting all the “non-violent” criminals out of jail with no bail.

  18. - How Ironic - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    I remember reading a while back about how Yellowstone, and other Natural Parks remain ‘natural’.

    One of the Rangers stated that the level of intervention needed by humans to keep the ‘illusion of a natural state’ is astronomical. One of those duties is ensuring that the balance of predators does not exceed the prey or vice/verse.

    I see no issue with a careful, and scientific method of culling if it’s broader goal is to keep nature ‘natural’.

  19. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:28 pm:

    …..and they should issue more permits. These bobcats have overrun southern Illinois.

  20. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    Get a Job!!- A lot of quail habitat has been lost, that more than anything, has contributed to low numbers. Bobcats were only mentioned once in this report from IDNR, and even then, they were considered marginal hunters of quail.

    I personally feel that there was too much pressure to open a bobcat season without having adequate data to support it. I’m not against hunting, but I am against hunting if it is based on misconceptions.

  21. - kimocat - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    So Get a Job, are you saying that we should allow bobcats to be hunted so there aren’t so many that kill other things hunters like to hunt? And trapping them? That is just plain cruelty.

  22. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:47 pm:

    blue dog dem- “These bobcats have overrun southern Illinois.”

    That’s not even good enough for guvment work. And, we’ve had this back and forth before earlier this year, so there’s no reason to repeat it all again. Numbers will come out eventually. Evidence will be shown one way or another, so I guess we’ll all have to wait and see if this call for a season on bobcats was actually needed, and what effects, good-bad-indifferent, it has on local ecosystems. Just remember, the bobcat is not the only cog in the wheel.

  23. - the mullet speaks - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:50 pm:

    I am a hunter and a biologist. The comments by get a job, and blue dog dem drive me crazy. I deal in data, and their comments are backed up by precisely nothing. What few data that exist dealing with quail predation suggests (and it’s only a suggestion) that bobcats may do quail populations good by eating one of their major nest predators, raccoons. Quail are in the tank mostly because of the destruction of hedgerows to increase corn and bean acreage. Yes, bobcat populations are at a level now where they can tolerate low levels of hunting/trapping, but please don’t pretend it is being done for anything other than political reasons.

  24. - Get a Job!! - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:50 pm:

    Kim, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that hunting is a major piece of conservation. Coyotes are good example…..too many coyotes & their rough on the deer herd which is a valuable natural resource. Too few coyotes & deer become over populated which leads to disease, starvation, crop decimation, and high number of deer/vehicle accidents.

    Methodical harvesting predators is a major tool in maintaining a balance between predator/prey to ensure the overall health of Illinois wildlife. There is a place for predators & place for prey in the wild, but it’s up to humans to keep both at acceptable/optimal levels.

  25. - Get a Job!! - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:55 pm:

    Mullet, thanks for educating me on the quail issue. I was not aware that bobcats were a net positive for quail.

    I do agree that Bobcats aren’t at a place where widespread hunting/trapping is critical. I know in certain areas it may be…..that’s why I’m hopefully that DNR allocated these permits into counties that do significant populations.

  26. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    Bobcat hunting boundaries-

  27. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    Ecology can be complicated. Years ago a friend of mine explained how the detested coyote helped support pheasant populations. The coyote kill foxes and raccoons. Those predators are better at finding nests and eggs. So more c oyotes meant more pheasants.

  28. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    Mullet. You are data is obtained first hand. I can’t speak for how you obtain yours, so I would appreciate the same.respect. on a typical 10 Hr bowhunt, I will ecounter anywhere from 7 to 12 different cats. Move to a different farm. Repeat. This is many,many days.
    I also do quite a bit of coyote trapping. Last year alone, I clean released 23 cats. All different. 500 permits. A joke. 5000 in 5 southern illinois counties. Drop in the bucket.

  29. - foster brooks - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    there are as many bobcats in northern ill as there are cubs world series rings

  30. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 4:40 pm:

    Ok.i give. That means they are extinct.

  31. - David - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 6:54 pm:

    Mullet is right. State dnrs are why we have the federal ESA

  32. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 9:41 pm:

    Update. I had a chance to bowhunt by my house tonight. Spent less than an hour in the woods. Live within spitting distance of Murphy. Only saw one cat. Got thinking. I wonder how DNR ascertains there numbers. Is it through their phone surveys for deer and turkey harvest? Or is it through hours and hours of field time?

  33. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 8:21 am:

    Some work done for IDNR-

    Recently WIU-

  34. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 8:52 am:

    Wait till the Bobcats move further upstate in larger numbers and migrate into the suburbs. They will assualt the cat and small dog population when fido is in the back yard and hello kitty is on a stool. … Think the coyotes are a nuisance? Adult bobcats are swift efficient killing machines. They are already found in Will Kane Kendal Lake counties in decent numbers along waterways with some forestation. Cook surely has its share as well. Perhaps the clever enviroborgs will be less happy then. If you want more see this news clip sorry for the disney commercial first.

  35. - LapsedMacoupinDem - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    I am familiar with different animal rescue groups in the state and have worked with a few, almost all of whom vehemently opposed bobcat trapping, but there is no active push, nor do I expect there to be an active push for trying to game the permit lottery to save the bobcats. As it’s been pointed out, the DNR will simply issue more permits and we are aware of this. Interesting article the Tribune published, but it’s not representative of the IL rescue groups in general.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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