Florida Fish and Wildlife are discussing the possibility of another bear hunt this year. If they choose to proceed with the hunt, permits would be required and location and date restrictions would apply.
Black bears were once a threatened species in the state, but their numbers rose and they were removed from the protection in 2012. Last year was the first year that a limited hunt was allowed, and hunters killed 298 bears. There are an estimated 4300 bears in the state currently.
According to wildlife officials, because of the successful population of bears, it may be time for the next phase of management, which in this case, may be allowing limited, regulated hunting opportunities.
Local activists, however, have been vocal in their opposition and have called on the governor to stop the hunt. They see the action as a fear response to the number of bears and not as a legitimate wildlife management action.
Officials are scheduled to meet this week to discuss plans. The hunts would occur in October of this year if approved.