Ahead of today’s vote on a proposed black bear season in Florida, the Humane Society of the U.S. delivered a petition to Gov. Rick Scott—who vowed to leave the decision with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
While HSUS claims a hunt is unnecessary, bear populations have grown tenfold since 1974, and bear/human conflicts have skyrocketed. From 1990-1999, FFWCC received an average of 227 nuisance bear calls annually; from 2005-2014, that number had grown to 4,087.
The proposed seven-day season would grant hunters access to land in two Bear Management areas. One hundred bears would be harvested from each area, totaling about five percent of the population—or about the same number as were killed by motorists on Florida roads last year. Despite opposition, the real wildlife experts at FFWCC support the hunt, calling it “the best and only feasible management tool” for controlling populations, and the proposal is expected to pass.