LISTEN LIVE

bear hunt

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida is getting closer to imposing stiffer fines for bear poaching and expanding rules against shark “finning.”

a florida black bear
Wikimedia Commons

Techniques to manage Florida’s black bear population over the next decade, including the possibility of regulated hunting, will be among the  items the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers during a meeting next month.

Bill Would Protect Mother Bears In Hunts

Aug 17, 2017

Black bears mothering cubs under 100 pounds would be off-limits if the state conducts bear hunts in the future, under a measure filed Wednesday by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando.

Bill Would Block Bear Hunts

Mar 1, 2017

Black bears couldn't be hunted in Florida for a decade, while at least $1 million would be set aside so more people could purchase bear-resistant trash containers, under a measure filed Tuesday in the Senate.

The proposal (SB 1304) by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, also seeks to regulate burn schedules in state forests and parks to allow for the regrowth of oak trees, saw palmettos and other berry-producing plants that feed black bears.

"It is our obligation to ensure the preservation of the iconic species as well as the safety of our neighborhoods," Stewart said in a prepared statement.

During the moratorium, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would have to conduct a 5-year population trend study of black bears, which includes an impact of hunting. The bill is part of the continued reaction to a black-bear hunt in October 2015 in which 304 bears were killed. The hunt was the first in the state in two decades.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida wildlife officials are seeking plans from county and local governments to reduce conflicts between bears and humans.

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Florida wildlife officials have voted against holding a black bear hunt this year at their quarterly meeting.

Gun-Rights Groups Aim For Another Bear Hunt

Jun 2, 2016
a florida black bear
Wikimedia Commons

As a renewed debate builds about the issue, the National Rifle Association and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida are urging the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to hold a bear hunt later this year.

FWC

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.

Gov. Scott Urges Lawmakers to Fund Bear-Proofing Measures

Nov 26, 2015
Wikipedia Commons

The state would set aside $230,000 for bear-resistant trash cans and outreach programs to reduce conflicts between humans and bears, as part of Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $79.3 billion budget.

The money would be used to partner with residents, local governments and businesses as a way to prevent bear attacks, according to a press release that accompanied Scott's budget on Monday. The funding request will be considered during the 2016 legislative session that begins in January.

UPDATE: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the final count for the hunt was 298 bears.  

Florida ended its first black bear hunt in more than two decades this weekend. State wildlife officials said the goal was to control a bear population that has been rebounding after more than 40 years of conservation efforts.

  Florida's controversial statewide bear hunt ended after the second day after a higher than expected number of bears had been killed with 295 bears taken overall, nearing the official limit, Florida Wildlife officials announced in a statement issued online Sunday evening.

AP photo

Hunters for the first time in more than 20 years will trudge through Florida woods on Saturday to legally kill black bears, a contentious wildlife management action that has activists taking to the streets in protest.

Florida wildlife officials have sold more than 3,200 permits to hunters from all over, including 1970s rocker Ted Nugent and Liesa Priddy, a rancher and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission member who voted to approve the new hunts.

Protesters are running out of time to stop Florida’s first legal black bear hunt in more than twenty years. More than 2,500 hunting permits have been sold for the week-long bear season that starts Saturday.

Jacksonville activist Adam Sugalski says teams of people will be going into the woods during the hunt to monitor the hunt. They also want to check the stomach contents of dead bears to see how many were shot in the wild and how many were baited.

Judge Affirms Florida Bear Hunt

Oct 2, 2015

A judge has ruled Florida's first bear hunt in two decades may proceed later this month. The judge ruled against environmentalists who argue the hunt will damage the population of the animal that was removed from the state's threatened list in 2012.

Judge George Reynolds' decision came after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission appeared to shift its stance on a rule environmentalists had complained about.

Representatives of the state agency testified its executive director can end the hunt after the first day if its goal of 320 slain bears is met. Reynolds was satisfied.

FWC

Wildlife officials have approved the killing of 320 black bears next month during the state’s first bear hunting season in more than 20 years.

Environmentalists To File Suit Over Bear Hunt

Jul 31, 2015

Environmentalists plan to file suit today against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission seeking to stop the state's first bear hunt in two decades. They say the hunt scheduled for October is unconstitutional.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Speak Up Wekiva plan to file suit in Leon County.

Back in June, state officials decided to allow bear hunting in Florida for the first time in 20 years. The season will open on Oct. 24, and could last for up to a week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the hunt is part of its comprehensive bear management plan, and will be open in four of the seven “Bear Management Units.”