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Florida Fish & Wildlife to vote on hunting Florida Black Bears...

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Teresa, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    A message from Alaqua Animal Refuge...

    ACTION NEEDED! On April 15, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will vote on whether or not to open a hunting season this year on Florida black bears.


    These bears were just removed from the threatened species list in 2012. At that time, biologists estimated 2,000 to 3,000 bears. This was the last time a statewide count occurred and the proposal is to kill 275 bears each year, likely beginning in the Panhandle. There is no science behind this number and a decision should be shelved until they complete a current bear census before declaring open season on the animal that graces the state’s “Conserve Wildlife” license plates.

    Concerned citizens over recent human-bear conflicts should be made aware that there is no scientific evidence that a hunt will be effective in reducing these incidents. Trophy hunting a bear in the woods minding it’s own business doesn’t address the problem. The real issue is large-scale trash management in bear country and stiffer fines for those who feed them.

    The Governor’s office and FWC needs to hear from YOU. It only takes a minute to call and let them know that you oppose trophy bear hunting in Florida. Call Governor Rick Scott and email FWC at BearComments@myfwc.com, and commissioners@myFWC.com and say: “I am opposed to opening hunting season on Florida black bears”.

    Please share and thank you for being the voice for those who do not have one.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    Trash management would not have stopped a single one of the recent bear attacks. The facts are the facts and it is high time that we manage the resource that we are stewards of. A selective bear harvest is good for the human population as well as the bear population.
    Furthermore, the Alaqua Animal Refuge is spewing garbage info because the bear hunting proposal being reviewed puts the greater panhandle area to receive the fewest bear tags. The closest area to Walton County that would see a bear hunt will be the northern reaches of Bay/Calhoun county and the Appalachicola National Forest. Eglin area isn't even to be mentioned in the proposal.
    The bulk of the bear hunting is to be done in Ocala National Forest(Central Florida) and Big Cypress(South Florida).
     
  3. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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  4. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Good points. However, the State of Florida spent years protecting and helping bring back the black bear population and its a success. It is true that trash management (such as North Carolina mountains) makes a big difference in bear behavior but Florida hasn't put into practice any of those practices at this time that I know of. Learning to live with bears will take effort. Killing them takes little effort at all.
     
  5. Chanticleer Eatery

    Chanticleer Eatery Beach Comber

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    We have to think about the bears everyday at work. Every time we throw trash away at night we all do the bear talk so we don't surprise the bears. We have named them all and cleaned up after them many times. However, we don't have a bear problem we have a people problem. We have done what we can to deter the bears from our dumpster. We worked with WM to get us a bear "resistant" dumpster and that did us no good at all. The bears used the cage they built across the top as a hammock to lay across and pull garbage out of the dumpster. We have improvised - we have two metal clasps holding the side doors closed and put a heavy pallet across the top with truck tie downsstrapped across the pallet and chain the metal cage down with heavy gauge chain and a heavy duty lock. This works well, except for trash day and I swear our bears are on a schedule and know exactly when to come out to eat at Chanticleer. Its surprising to me people don't ask more often why we have our dumpster chained up like that as it is a pretty strange sight!

    The answer is better trash protocols all around. Bears should not be used to people, but they are because where there are people there is an easy food source. We need to address our bear/people interaction problem with better garbage management/ not a made in the back lot bear resistant dumpster like WM sent us and certainly not by killing such awesome creatures. The bears that are a problem will most likely be the ones who are not culled during the hunt since they reside in close contact with people. Therefore, the "hunt" will do no good to eliminate the "bad bear" issue it has set out to resolve. I am a realist - I eat meat, grew up on a farm, but I am also a conservationist and feel very strongly we should learn to live with the natural world not eliminate it. I am so sad and disgusted this hunt may take place.

    I will do all that I can to stop this hunt and I encourage all of you to do the same. The hunt is not the answer - better control over our waste mgmt system is. Help protect the 'real' locals and contact BearComments@myfwc.com and commissioners@myFWC.com and say: “I am opposed to opening hunting season on Florida black bears”
     
  6. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    Nobody is talking about eliminating anything. Deer and turkeys benefit heavily from a limited hunt that has been on going for decades. We have no choice but to manage the animals and that means selectively harvesting some of these animals.

    You can put your head in the sand and say no to hunting or you will have the FWC continue to euthanize bears. A dead bear is a dead bear. I am pro hunting. It will help with nusiance neighborhood bears. Many if not most of these problem bears get caught/tagged/and relocated. Once they are relocated they are pushed from their area by other resident bears. Thinning the bear population, which is higher than many other states that do allow limited hunting, has a proven record of reducing bear/human interactions.

    Again, nobody wants to kill all the bears. We have a responsibility to manage these animals, no different than deer. It's time to reinstate bear hunting in Florida.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    We eat deer and turkey. We don't eat bear. We haven't protected and encouraged population growth of deer and turkey - but we have for bears since they were considered a threatened species due to hunting and development.

    I do like the fact that Florida Fish & Wildlife actively monitors and manages bears and it appears that the bear hunt is one of their proposals. Very interesting info on their website.

    I just think we as humans have the responsibility to make whatever changes are needed to live with bears and other animals. A trophy sport just doesn't seem right for bears. At least the hunt is highly regulated and for licensed hunters only.

    Regardless of your stance on bear hunting, YOU have an opportunity now to voice your opinion:
    FWC wants to hear your thoughts on these topics and will provide your feedback to the Commissioners at the April 2015 meeting which will be held in Tallahassee.
    Fill out a brief form to submit your thoughts and feedback on these topics


    [​IMG]

    Mama and baby bears in Grayton Beach 2013 | the bears hung out in a tree all day while crowds watched from below. They waited until night time when no one was around to come down (and do their dumpster diving).
     
  8. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    We absolutely eat bears. Black bears are a excellent table fare.

    Bears have never been in danger due to hunting. That has never been the case, especially in Florida. In fact, I can make an excellent case that because of hunting animal populations thrive. Just look at deer hunting. It's a multi-billion dollar, yes that's billion with a B, business and deer herds have never been stronger.

    I have been very much involved with the FWC hearings concerning Bear Hunting. My concern is the knee jerk reaction to hunting by an uninformed populace. People think that hunters want to kill mama and cubs for no reason other than to watch them die. This couldn't be further from reality.

    I encourage everyone to at least watch the meetings online and listen to the biologists and sportsman discuss the issue.
     
  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Yes, Florida Black Bears were considered a protected species over a long period of time (not endangered, though some wanted this designation) - due to hunts, development and loss of habitat - according to the FWC. the management plan has some good info about the population of black bears over the years: http://myfwc.com/media/2612908/bear-management-plan.pdf

    Perhaps the FWC recommendations are good ones. It does bear discussion...:cool:

    You really eat bear?
     
  10. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    This is why I am concerned. People are trying to impact the vote of the bear hunts do not even understand the usefulness of the resource.

    Bear, Deer, Pig, Turkey, Dove, Quail, Squirrel, Duck(s), Turtle, Rattlesnake, Alligator are all excellent eating that Florida has to offer.
     
  11. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I will eat all of the above, except squirrel, rattlesnake, turtle AND bear...

    What does bear taste like?
     
  12. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    You are right about Alaqua.

    No clue, just looking for more PR.

    They like to also cherry pick the animals they rescue.

    (Now they did great with saving that horse a while back, but in general, they don't help when one finds a lost dog...)
     
  13. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Alaqua is an excellent animal shelter.. We're very fortunate to have such an incredible refuge in our area. We've spent time there with the animals, as well as the volunteers and staff. A unique and hard working shelter which I'm so thankful for... More growth and news coming soon about Alaqua.
     
  14. Chanticleer Eatery

    Chanticleer Eatery Beach Comber

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    That is why I weighed in on the topic. Prior to operating restaurants we managed youth camps in Maine and in Illinois. My Master's is in Recreation Mgmt and tourism with a concentration in outdoor studies. In Maine we not only operated the camp but also managed many acres of land under conservation - that you could hunt on! (gasp). Again, I am not against hunting - I just don't believe this will fix the problem. I am a country girl at heart - grew up raising my own beef & pork and believe in knowing and acknowledging where our food comes from!

    The bears that are the issue will more than likely not be culled during this hunt. I can't imagine anyone will be hunting between our property and 30A! We need to become better stewards and manage our garbage better in areas where there are bears. We created this problem by making it too easy for them. Just like kiddos if you leave cookies sitting out on the counter and never give them a reason not to eat them all they will! Same with garbage, it is a heck of a lot easier for bears to dumpster dive and hang out on the beach than act like bears should act.

    I feel like this 'hunt' has been pushed by trophy hunters. Most people, even locals don't realize we have bears, much less a bear problem. I will be the first to admit I don't know everything about all the ins and outs of this topic - it just doesn't sit well with me and I have lots and lots of experience with the local bear population!

    This topic needs to be fully discussed and well thought out before allowing a hunt. If there are truly problem bears that cannot be relocated, well - I guess hard decisions should be made, but to just go on a mass hunt and hope for the best doesn't seem reasonable. Deal with the problems, don't use the problems as an excuse to get out of your house with the .308! Just because you can shoot it and perhaps eat it doesn't mean you necessarily should. That is what partly got our turkey, bear, panthers, red wolf and many other species in trouble here in our amazing state of Florida!
     
  15. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    Read my first post.

    This hunt has NOTHING to do with the bears of 30A.

    It has all to do with the Ocala, Big Cypress, and Appalachicola Bears. The Eglin BMU which is what group the 30A bears would fall under will not be hunted, atleast in the proposals I have read. Point Washington and Eglin have both been excluded and are not going to be included in the proposed bear hunt schedule.

    The topic has been discussed for many years. You are just late to the party. That is why I encourage everyone to listen to the discussion or even attend the meeting. The agenda is being pushed by state biologists. But what do they know? I guess my point would be, hardly is this a mass hunt with no thought behind it....
     
  16. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    There is allot of hunting that happens within a stones throw of 30A. Maybe not between your property and 30A but on the other side of the road.....
     
  17. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I get it. Kind of like gator hunting. Which I can understand is needed under certain circumstances. But I certainly didn't like it when a licensed hunter was given permission to kill a targeted gator in our neck of the woods in Point Washington - because he was "too big". Then a horrible photo of the dead gator ends up on the front page of the Destin Log - strung up - huge - dead. Makes me sick.
     
  18. Low Brow

    Low Brow Beach Lover

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    I would be interested in the details of the alligator you are talking about. If it is the 2013 gator, you can blame the Destin Log for poor reporting of info, certainly not facts, and you would likely be less upset with the hunt.

    I understand the ugly side of hunting and it's not for the faint of heart. The harsh reality as a meat eating populace, the food on the plate was once just an animal. It dang sure didn't sacrifice it's self.

    As ugly as a dead gator might look to some, they would be revolted if they had half a clue about their T-Bone.
     
  19. carson

    carson Beach Fanatic

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    Everyone loves Chanticleer, even our furry friends!
     
  20. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    Bears and deer are too cute to eat. Leave the cute animals alone.
     

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