Bears, Bobcats and Wolves in Iowa and Illinois, Oh My!
Strange sightings of large animals have been reported throughout IA and IL. What is going on?!
Since February 2014, and even more recently, wolves have made a reappearance in our neck of the woods. But they are not alone. Bears, bobcats and even elk and moose have been spotted or hunted.
My teen daughter hears 'wolf' and immediately, I get a play-by-play from the movie 'Twilight.' All I end up hearing is something like, "...blah, blah, blah, Taylor Lautner, blah, blah, he's so hot, blah, blah, he and Edward get into it, etc..." That is what 'wolf' does to me in my house. Although, I don't think many of us would really like running into a wolf on a hike.
Iowa DNR caution hunters to double check and make certain their 'target' is a definitely a coyote and not a wolf. In 2014, two wolves were shot in eastern Iowa and two more, in late 2015.
Meanwhile, what about the bobcats?! As pretty as they are, it's nothing to mess with. Illinois DNR is proposing legislation on regulating bobcat hunting and trapping. The changes they are proposing include:
• Harvest of bobcats will be prohibited in northeastern and east-central Illinois.
• People must purchase a $5 Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit before attempting to take the species. A limited number of permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
• The bag limit will be one bobcat per person per season.
• Hunting season dates will run from November 10 through January 31 with brief closures during the firearm deer season.
• Trapping season dates will run from November 5 through January 20 in the northern zone and November 10 through January 25 in the southern zone.
• People who harvest a bobcat must purchase a $5 Bobcat Registration Permit. They will be mailed a federal tag, which must be affixed permanently to the pelt before it is exported or transferred to a fur buyer, fur tanner, taxidermist or garment manufacturer.
The department is accepting public comments until March 7, 2016.