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.
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.