Bear Hunting Foes in Florida Contact Hunters

Some people will just never understand hunting. They would rather somebody else do the killing, that animals remain confined during their lifetime and wild populations be allowed to flourish without management. 

When opponents of bear hunting failed to stop the first ever bear hunting season in Florida for 21 years, they filed a lawsuit. When that didn’t stop the hunting season, which begins Saturday Oct 24, they took the state to court. Now that hasn’t worked either, so they’ve employed a new strategy of contacting hunters directly. 

A list of the 2,920 people who bought bear hunting licenses in Florida this year was obtained by an animal rights group through the state’s freedom of information law. Activists were urged to contact the hunters in an effort to dissuade them from participating. 

One person sent every hunter on the list an email saying the hunt was unnecessary because the bears could be shot with darts containing birth control chemicals, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“Some of them have gotten emails from a group that’s urging them not to hunt,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission executive director Nick Wiley told the Tampa Bay Times. “Some of them are criticizing them for even getting a permit.”

The proposed bear hunting season this year in Florida, brought on by increased incidents of bear encounters with humans, was extremely controversial. Some debated whether wildlife officials truly had a handle on how many bears were in the state, an estimated 3,300.

Under the hunting season regulations, a maximum of 320 total ears can be taken and hunters are not allowed to use dogs. 

Photo credit: Dreamstime