SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A bill that'd make it legal to hunt bobcats in Illinois is advancing in the state Legislature.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation was approved by a House committee on Tuesday.
Bobcat hunting in Illinois became illegal in 1972 when conservationists were worried about a decline in the big cats' population.
State Rep. Wayne Rosenthal, a Republican from Morrisonville, is one of the measure's sponsors. He says there are at least 3,000 bobcats living in southern Illinois, although the animals are scattered across the state.
The bill would allow hunters with a permit to kill one bobcat a year during a season that runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 15.
The legislation now heads to the full House.