Volusia County is urging the state not to hold another bear hunt. The county council wants the state to focus on other techniques to keep black bears out of suburban areas.
The Volusia Council says hunters killed too many bears during the state-regulated hunt last year and that the population of bears in central Florida is lower than it should be.
The state’s bear management plan sets a goal of at least 1,030 black bears in the region. The council says the hunt left central Florida more than 920 bears.
Councilwoman Joyce Cusack said the council is asking the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to reinstate a ban on bear hunting.
“I just think that we have invaded the bear’s habitat and now they’re coming, we’re in their places as one resident said. When they come out then we want to kill them? I just think it’s not the right thing to do,” said Cusack.
Cusack would rather increase the use of bear-resistant trash cans. The county’s resolution says if the state insists on another bear hunt it should at least exclude central Florida.
In a statement FWC said it’s disappointed some county officials aren’t recognizing the need to manage growing bear populations in balance with public safety. FWC in June is expected to talk about the possibility of another bear hunt.