SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Legislation to create a bobcat hunting season has advanced in the Illinois General Assembly.

The House approved the measure 62-43 on Friday, sending it to the Senate.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the bill is nearly identical to one the Legislature approved last year.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed it, saying bobcats need protection even though they've been removed from the threatened species list.

Democratic Rep. Patrick Verschoore of Milan says the Department of Natural Resources could issue 100 to 200 bobcat hunting permits each year. The DNR says there could be 300 to 500 permits the first year.

Jack Darin is director of the Sierra Club's Illinois chapter. He says the group is concerned supporters are using anecdotal sightings rather than scientific surveys to determine the bobcat population.