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florida bear hunt--open season

Old 09-03-2015, 09:01 AM
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Default florida bear hunt--open season

not sure what to make of this:

Bear hunting opponents tried one last time Wednesday to convince the state to halt an October hunt, but wildlife managers voted 3-2 to open the first bear hunt in Florida in more than two decades.

Commissioner Ron Bergeron, an extensive hunter and outdoorsman, dissented and said the problem is mismanaged garbage, not bears.

"I've been concerned as this train moves so rapidly," Bergeron said. "When you have an issue of this magnitude and you don't have all of your stock assessments in place and all of the science, I'm definitely against the hunt and I'm against any quota at this point."

The issue has become prominent locally in recent days as bears have rumbled through garbage in the Bella Terra community in Estero.

Bears often use the community as a wildlife corridor but occasionally, one stays. The bear that is in Bella Terra traveled through a conservation areas and was spotted on Torre Del Lago Street on Monday morning before travelling back through the conservation area to Ardore Lane, where it entered an open garage, removed trash, and consumed the trash in the side yard. FWC officers responded, and a trap was set on the side of the home on Ardore Lane later that morning.

The bear was sighted again by several residents on Tuesday, which was recycling day, and then on Wednesday, the bear was in the back of the community and helping itself to the garbage residents placed curbside for Waste Management.

Diane Eggeman, the spokeswoman for FWC on bear matters said the state will allow at least two days of hunting because "we believe there's a very low risk of achieving the objective within the first two days of the hunt. And we want to make sure that people felt like they had a hunting opportunity."

Biologist Mike Orlando said the hunt is based purely on science and that there are no other motives behind the fall harvest.

"The populations, when they're healthy are resilient," Abbott said, adding that it's about trying to achieve sustainability ... based on decades of science across all of North America.

FWC does not know how many bears are in Florida but estimates hover around 3,000, and the state will allow 320 of the bears to be killed by permitted hunters in October.

The state has euthanized nearly 70 bears this year, and bear report calls to FWC has increased from a few hundred to thousands each year.

FWC has some insurances against over-harvesting -- like contacting all bear permit owners at 9 p.m. whether or not hunting is allowed the next day and using social media and other outreach efforts.

The season may last seven days but can be cut short, starting day three, if the harvest goal numbers are met.

Many who spoke at the meeting were emotional, telling commissioners that they are smug and act as though they're above public will.

"Right now all the private property owners are running feeders and the bears are attracted to these feeders and hunters know that," said Evan Roussos. "All they have to do is wait for a bear to feed, drift away 100 yards and shoot it. How are you going to manage that? We Floridians don’t like what you’re doing. Understand that. Gov. Scott has upset a lot of conservative people who care about this environment."

Others offered to contribute money to an ongoing legal case that challenges the bear hunt. The suit was filed in July.

Some said the process has been rigged, that there's no way FWC commissioners would have so little respect for Florida's wildlife.

Chuck O’Neal, with Speak up Wekiva Inc., said he fears the state will not be able to control the number of bears killed because all dead bears may not be reported and more than the desired 320 could be killed in one day.

"During the first 48 hours the number of bears that can be killed will be unlimited. No one will be called off on the first two days," O'Neal said. "This is not a limited hunt. This hunt is not based on peer reviewed studies. It’s based on junk science."

Bear-proof trash containers can reduce human-bear conflicts by 95 percent, research shows, but there are about 1.6 million Florida households in close proximity to core bear populations. That means 1.6. million or so bear-proof trash cans would be needed to curb the conflicts, and the state still need to educate homeowners and the general public on how to live safely with bears and other large wildlife.

Jon Ullman from Sierra Club said he thinks the real issue is that FWC commissioners, many of whom are large land owners, want to weaken regulations aimed at protected wildlife and habitat from sprawl.

"This is about development," Ullman said. "Its' very clear what's going on here. People say this doesn't make sense, if you look at the financial situation, it makes sense for some people."

Black bears were on the state protected animal list less than three years ago, but the state will now allow 320 to be taken by hunters this fall.The state wants the overall death rates for black bears to be about 20 percent. That number includes natural deaths, road kills and other methods of mortality.

Most states (32 out of 41) that have black bears allow annual hunts.

There are seven primary ranges in Florida, and each region will be managed differently. FWC says the goal is to reduce the population by 20 percent, although the exact number of bears living in any of the ranges is not known.

More bears could be hunted in Southwest Florida next year as the state has appealed to Big Cypress National Preserve in hopes the agency will allow bear hunting there next year.

Permits cost $100 for Florida residents (with no limit to the number of sales regardless of how many bears can be taken), which would generate $1 million if 10,000 Floridians buy a permit. About 2,000 permits were sold as of Wednesday.

The limit for this hunt is one bear per hunter. Hunters may not use dogs or bait to chase or lure bears, although many hunters have asked for those restrictions to be removed. Dogs can chase bears up trees or into tight crevasses, where they are easy to shoot. Bait hunting typically involves hunters placing a pile of food in an area to lure the animal and then shooting it while it's eating.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says 215,000 Floridians hunted in 2011, the year in which the most recent numbers are available. That number represents about 1 percent of the Florida population, according to census records.

Lee and Collier counties are part of the south region, which is basically all lands south of Lake Okeechobee on both coasts. Most of the bears in the south region are in Big Cypress National Preserve, which covers the eastern part of Collier County and parts of Lee, Hendry and Monroe counties.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:13 AM
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They are becoming a nuisance around me and it is just not trash cans. They will rip open anything they can find with something eatable in it.

Neighbors bee hives are hit 2-3 times a year. All my deer feeders get dumped monthly when they come through.

Maybe hunting will the fear of man back in them so they will stay away from homes. They are walking around like stray dogs now.

Doug
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:22 AM
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So are they in our space or are we in their space..?
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:29 AM
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100% fault of the people "feeding" them. In remote Alaska its not a problem (we know how to handle trash/livestock etc). A fed bear is a dead bear.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:09 AM
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If you feed them they will come back for hand outs----

Works with humans also, humans call it food stamps.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:20 AM
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The guidlines of the bear hunt are very restricting. Protesters should be tol to "get down, shut up."
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rdmallory View Post
They are becoming a nuisance around me and it is just not trash cans. They will rip open anything they can find with something eatable in it.

Neighbors bee hives are hit 2-3 times a year. All my deer feeders get dumped monthly when they come through.

Maybe hunting will the fear of man back in them so they will stay away from homes. They are walking around like stray dogs now.

Doug
Answers my question, Why would anyone want to shoot a bear? I've heard they taste like crap, so I was just wondering.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:47 PM
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its funny, fwc seems so restrictive on fish..red snapper prime example..

here we have an endangered species 3000 bears only in the whole state of florida and hunting is a go

just doesn't seem right
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FishnDive View Post
Answers my question, Why would anyone want to shoot a bear? I've heard they taste like crap, so I was just wondering.
Nothing personal towards you....

They don't taste like crap. Like many other animals, if you eat the tallow THEN it tastes like crap, if you leave it out in the sun, THEN it tastes like crap, kill it and wait a week to process it THEN it tastes like crap....get the picture?


Many hunters have no clue on what to do with their animal after they kill it.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FishnDive View Post
Answers my question, Why would anyone want to shoot a bear? I've heard they taste like crap, so I was just wondering.
I don't eat cottonmouth or racoon either. I have 11 acres and it does not produce enough food for 20 deer, 40+ turkeys, 2 alligators and the bears. I can feed the Deer an turkeys but not the gators or the bears.

So they either starve to death or go looking for food in the local neighborhood. They eat cats, small dogs, dog and cat food , garbage and about anything else they can find.

We can either:

1. Turn them into democrats and give them free hand outs in protected areas.
2. Let them get killed by cars or animal control.
3. Or open season on them and get the ones that are not afraid of humans and are easily taken. There is enough deep woods in FL there is no way anyone is going to make a dent in the population in a one week hunt.

I did not buy a tag nor do I plan on killing one.

I believe their 3000 bears is missing a zero too. They have not a clue what is out there.

Doug

Last edited by rdmallory; 09-03-2015 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jpcanning View Post
If you feed them they will come back for hand outs----

Works with humans also, humans call it food stamps.
Now thats funny
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:44 PM
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I believe their 3000 bears is missing a zero too. They have not a clue what is out there.

Not sure they are that far off. WI has an estimated 22K. But I do agree their count is most likely on the low side. WI estimated about 11-14K a few years ago (if I remember correctly) and kept quotas low. Seems that most other states with bears have done the same.

Of course, the reverse is true of deer populations....
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by toby10 View Post
Nothing personal towards you....

They don't taste like crap. Like many other animals, if you eat the tallow THEN it tastes like crap, if you leave it out in the sun, THEN it tastes like crap, kill it and wait a week to process it THEN it tastes like crap....get the picture?

"kill it and wait a week to process it THEN it tastes like crap....get the picture?"
Many hunters have no clue on what to do with their animal after they kill it.

No clue?
I guess you've never had aged Vinison? We hang some for 2 months before processing in a stand up freezer. Amazing flavor.
Even when I dont do that, I keep the quarters in a cooler on ice for 10-12 days to bleed the meat.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gumpire View Post
So are they in our space or are we in their space..?
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:57 PM
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I get what you are saying. Do you notice the difference between our comments? You are keeping your meat in a temperature controlled environment. Try doing that by hanging it outside. It doesn't work. Even up here in the upper Midwest. Add in the warmer temp down south and I can see where someone gets the idea that an animal tastes bad.

Too many people have the idea all it takes is to shoot, gut and hang an animal and they will have great tasting meat. If your local butcher shop treated halves of beef or pork they way some hunters treat her game animal, they wouldn't like beef or pork.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:56 PM
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I would bet not many areas cure meat outside, in the USA. More common in Canada.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:28 PM
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Just out of curiosity, do bears in FL hibernate? Just wondering as you have a warmer winter climate than here in MD, or WV where I live and hunt.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FishnDive View Post
Answers my question, Why would anyone want to shoot a bear? I've heard they taste like crap, so I was just wondering.
Why do hunters shoot giraffes, lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos', big horned sheep. The list could go on and on. I've never understood "trophy hunting"....I try not to be judgemental as long as it's legal....Just not my thing and don't understand the reasoning behind it.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:58 PM
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They need to shoot all the wild pigs ....pork has to be better than bear

Relocate the Bears ....
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:05 PM
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I have a friend who belongs to a (20,000 acre) hunting camp. One morning a FWC officer shows up and is talking with some of the guys. Officer says the state estimates that there were only 5 bears between there and the coast (multiple counties).

One of the guys had recently been checking his trail cams and showed it to the officer... told the officer "here is a picture of ALL 5 of them bears"... ha!
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