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Illinois Furbearer Guide: What Is A Furbearer?

January 10, 2012 by staff 

Illinois Furbearer Guide: What Is A Furbearer?, Among the hundreds of new Illinois laws that went into effect at the start of the new year, the piece of legislation deemed the “roadkill bill” may be the most unique.

“It actually, techinically, was illegal for hunters and trappers who were actually licensed and permitted to actually pick up animals that they found,” said Illinois State Representative Rich Morthland.

Under the new law, only Illinois residents with a valid furbearer’s license can salvage animals from the sides of the state’s highways and biways.

“This doesn’t mean you get to go hunting with your Buick. This is definitely only for animals that are legitimately, accidently killed,” says Morthland.

That’s not the only stipulation. Licensed roadkill collectors can only pick up dead animals during Illinois’s furbearer trapping season which generally runs from November through the end of January.

“The only time that that animal’s fur is going to be good and be able to be sold for money is between November and January,” says Bill Christman, owner of a Western Illinois wildlife service who specializes in removing and relocating wild animals.

Christman is 100 precent behind the roadkill bill, and adds it’s silly that there needs to be a law in the first place.

Illinois lawmakers actually passed the bill twice before it became law, because Governor Pat Quinn vetoed the bill. There was so much support among legislators that they managed to override the governor’s veto.

While it may not effect a lot of illinois residents, it seems just about everone agrees roadkill ought to be fair game.

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