FWC to discuss limited bear hunting policies

By Anna Karasik
FOX 35 News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -- In light of recent bear encounters, a Tallahassee meeting will help Florida officials decide how to deal with the growing population of black bears.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) gave state staff the go-ahead to develop a plan to reduce conflicts between black bears and humans. That includes upgrading garbage containers, improving laws against feeding bears, and removing bears that threaten public safety.

Most notably, the Commission is discussing plans for a limited hunt to manage the black bear population. If implemented, it would be the first legalized bear hunt in Florida since 1994.

The hunt would be in late October, when Florida black bears are most active. Hunters would not be allowed to use bait, hunt cubs, or hunt bears under 100 pounds. They would also have to pay for a permit.  

The bear hunting proposition will be presented at Wednesday's FWC meeting.
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