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Native Floridian

Why bear hunting is good for Florida

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Why bear hunting is good for Florida. 
The December, 2019, issue of Woods'nWater Magazine ran a picture of a very happy young man, Logan Padgett Jr. with his trophy bear:
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Good for Georgia, Good for Florida
December, 2019:
Follow me on page 39 of Woods'nWater Magazine as we 'Take an in-depth look at why bear hunting is good for Florida'.
Per FWC: "Conservation efforts have allowed bear subpopulations to rebound in many parts of Florida. The most common population management for bears, regulated hunting, is used by all states with resident bear populations of over 1000 bears. Florida's black bear population has recovered from an estimated 300 bears in 1970's to over 4,000 bears in 2015."
In 2016 the FWC invited a panel of black bear research and management experts from outside Florida to review Florida's bear management and research efforts. Among the panel's conclusions was the re-opening a bear hunt season in Florida was a responsible management approach based on the best available science.
The primary objective of regulated hunting is to balance population numbers with suitable habitat and to maintain healthy animals.
In 2017 the FWC postponed any decision on bear hunting until an update of the original plan could be completed in 2019. This decision was to include a thorough review of bear population options.
And that brings us to October 2019. The 2019 report does not specifically call for a bear hunt. However, of the five options the report includes for controlling the largest populations, regulated hunting is the only one that gets a positive look, the others being called too expensive or unproven.
We can make a difference. Per Eric Sutton, FWC executive director on hold, another managed bear hunt in Florida is a policy decision.
The commission is seeking public comments on the new bear plan. Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the  policy and comments at their meeting Dec. 11-12.
We must make sure this is remembered...
Of the five options the report includes for controlling the largest populations, organized hunting is the only one that gets a positive look.
Thanks to Florida's own Woods'nWater Magazine for representing the sportsmen/women of Florida.
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My fellow bear hunters:

Most of us will never hunt bears in Florida, but there's an opportunity to help our fellow hunters down there. The state has recently posted its black bear management plan and it is soliciting comments from the public. They are proposing regulated hunting as one management tool. Obviously, it goes without saying that there are many anti-hunting groups that are all over this. But there are also local and national conservation/hunter groups that are giving their support. We're always complaining about the anti-hunters....well stop complaining and start participating in conservation action!

The Southeast Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has written a position statement which applauds the management plan. I would encourage y'all to go to this link to send an email in support of this plan and/or fill out a survey from the wildlife commission regarding the plan.

https://www.backcountryhunters.org/advocate_for_regulated_hunting_in_florida_s_black_bear_management_plan#/126/

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