Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Florida Ends 2-Day Bear Hunt After 295 Confirmed Kills

After just two days, Florida ended its controversial black bear hunt because a higher than expected number of bears had been killed. Wildlife authorities said late Sunday that 295 bears taken overall, nearing the official limit. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission posted a statement on its website saying it had closed the 2015 hunt because it was approaching an agency “objective” of 320 bears overall. “The 2015 bear hunt is officially over,” the statement said. Wildlife officials had already shut down hunting in designated central and east Panhandle regions of Florida after the first day Saturday. The statement late Sunday said additional North and South units were closed to hunting after the second day, meaning hunting had ended in all four “bear management units” were it was allowed. Authorities say they weren’t alarmed by the numbers, saying the figures suggest the bear population is higher than they thought. The hunt was approved earlier this year after considerable and contentious debate. Backers estimated Florida’s black bear population had grown to 3,500 — from a few hundred in the 1970s. But opponents challenged those numbers. More than 30 states allow bear hunting in some form, officials said...more

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