Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff will recommend another black bear hunt for later this year, according to a memo released Thursday.
The memo, included in agenda material for the next FWC meeting in Eastpoint next Wednesday and Thursday, says “the staff recommendation is to continue to use hunting to slow the growth of bear populations.”
That’s based in part on a new survey showing a robust bear population of 4,350 adult bears.
New Bear Hunt Format
“The new hunt format, which would begin in 2016, would be modified to increase precision and accountability,” says the memo by Dr. Thomas Eason, director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation, and Diane Eggeman, head of the Division of Hunting and Game Management.
Critics said hunters also wound up killing mothers and cubs during the hunt.
“Proposed changes are based on public input, updated bear data, as well as information from the 2015 hunt,” it goes on. “This limited hunt option would allow FWC to hold a more precise bear hunt using the data and information collected including the latest bear population science.
WJXT, Jacksonville, reports Conservationists, animal advocates, and other grassroots activists will gather in over 28 cities across Florida, including Jacksonville, on June 18 to protest the state’s bear hunts.
The advocates insist that last fall’s hunt, which ended with more than 300 bears killed, proceeded despite widespread objection from citizens, scientists and local leaders.
The Stop the Florida Bear Hunt community has a membership of over 40,000. They will protest in the following cities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 18:
- Boca Raton
- Fernandina Beach
- Fort Myers
- Lake Mary
- Orange City
- Ormond Beach
- St. Augustine
- St. Petersburg
The Jacksonville protest will be at Riverside Park.