FWC: No black bear hunt this year in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -– The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted Wednesday to postpone black bear hunting in 2016.

After the vote, Nick Wiley, FWC executive director said:

“Although hunting has been demonstrated to be a valuable tool to control bear populations across the country, it is just one part of FWC’s comprehensive bear management program. I am proud of our staff who used the latest, cutting-edge, peer-reviewed science to develop a recommendation for our Commissioners to consider. Our agency will continue to work with Floridians, the scientific community and local governments as our focus remains balancing the needs of Florida’s growing bear population with what’s best for families in our state. I would like to thank all seven of our Commissioners for their leadership on this important issue.”

FWC officials said that not holding a 2016 bear hunt will give FWC more time to work with the public to better develop the important role hunting plays in our state’s bear management program.

The bear hunt topic is again causing controversy. Last year, more than 300 bears were killed in the state in just two days. The hunt was supposed to last a week, but it was cut because so many bears were killed so quickly.

News Channel 8 was there Tuesday when a bear made its way into a residential neighborhood along E. Linebaugh Ave. in Tampa. It caused commotion by simply sitting in a tree for hours. FWC offices eventually tranquilized it. It’s set to be relocated.

SEE MORE: Black bear in FWC custody after early morning chase in Tampa

That type of scenario is why state officials want another hunt. They believe it’ll help keep the population down.

FWC officials could opt to hold three four-day hunts this year.

Animal rights activists aren’t happy about it and plan to protest a meeting in Eastport on Wednesday.

Get our hottest stories
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for News Channel 8’s Noon Newsletter to get
updates on the day’s top stories

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s