Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation votes to approve black bear hunting after 21-year ban.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) voted to bring back black bear hunting after a public hearing was held on the matter June 6, 2015.
Black bear hunting has been banned in the state since the early 1990s after populations reached dangerously low levels. Since then, population studies show the bears have steadily returned to normal levels.
FWC held the hearing to get insight into how the public felt about allowing the return of hunting the bears. There were a lot of mixed feelings towards the idea of hunting them, but eventually all seven of the members leading the issue voted it back in.
The driving force behind the decision were the amount of calls in recent years over nuisance bears, attacks in residential areas, and bears being hit on roadways.
“Once you get overpopulation, the male bears are going to move, and when they move somewhere, and when they do move often, it’s in a suburb,” said Newton Cook a Future Hunting in Florida board member.
There will be a limitless amount of bear hunting licenses available, but the bears themselves will be on a limited harvest. Once the amount of bears set for a season is reached the season will close.
In-state licenses will cost $100, while out of state licenses will be $300. No specific dates have been set for when licenses will be available for purchase or when the first black bear season will open.