After much controversy, the 2015 Florida bear season is now in the books. Here are the final results of the first bear hunting season in Florida in decades.
The results are in and the 2015 Florida bear season is looking like an outstanding success for the state. Here are the preliminary results of Florida’s inaugural bear hunting season according to the raw data provided by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.
A total of 304 black bears were taken during the 2015 Florida bear season. This number is higher than the initial numbers provided by the state because it includes two bears that were killed illegally, along with four additional bears that were turned in after the bear check stations closed.
237 of these 304 bears were taken on private land across the state. Hunters killed 55 bears in Marion County, which was the most in any county in the entire state. Lake County had the second highest number of bears killed with 36 bears bagged. The largest bear shot during the 2015 Florida bear season tipped the scales at 547 pounds.
Though the state set a quota of 320 bears for the week long 2015 Florida bear season, the state decided to close the season after just two days because hunters were so successful and they did not want to exceed the quota.
The rapid and staggering success of bear hunters during the 2015 Florida bear season may indicate that the bear population in the state is even higher than the current estimate of 3,500.
The state sold a total of 3,778 bear hunting tags for the 2015 Florida bear season. This generated approximately $377,000 in revenue, which is designated to help fund efforts to reduce conflicts between humans and bears.
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