Yesterday the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced its official approval of the “controlled hunting” of a maximum of 320 black bears next month. This is the first time in over 20 years that black bears will be legally hunted.
Animal rights groups and environmentalists are opposing the planned hunt despite the fact that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that the black bears have been scavenging for food around residences and even attacking pets and people. They stated that hunting would be permitted for a minimum of two days with specific officials analyzing the results on the third day.
At that point the commission will determine to cancel or continue the week-long hunt. Experts state there are presently approximately 3,100 black bears live in the state of Florida. The bears are also moving into places where they once had not inhabited.
More than 1,900 hunters have gotten permits to hunt the black bears. The permits allow hunters to bag only one bear. The permits cost Florida residents $100.00 and non-residents $300.00. Hunting will only be permitted on Florida land in specific locations including: the eastern Panhandle, the north and central parts of the state, and in the southern counties of Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach.
Some environmentalists and animal rights activists are concerned that the hunters “will get out of control’ when the hunt begins on October 24. The FWC states, however, that the hunt is being permitted for the purpose of stabilizing the state’s bear population.
While the black bear population was all but eliminated in the 20th century, it recovered. The population rose from less than 300 bears in 1974 to approximately 3,100 currently. Unfortunately, since 2013 the increase in black bear population has caused numerous complaints because of attacks on people thus leading to the necessity of the hunt.
Florida Hunters Prep To Hunt 320 Black Bears