STATE BY STATE

Florida

Currently, No Bear Hunts Planned

Despite strong opposition, in 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a reckless trophy hunt of Florida's Black Bears to appease special interest groups whose numbers represent a small minority of Floridians. It had been over 20 years since black bears were hunted in the state after hunting and poaching pushed them towards extinction. In the 1970s, only an estimated 300 bears remained in Florida. 

 

The 2015 trophy hunt backfired on the FWC. The world watched as black bears were killed at an alarming rate. The death toll rose so fast that the hunt, which was scheduled to last for seven days, was ended in just 48 hours. The gross mismanagement of Florida's wildlife shook the state of Florida and forever changed the impression, and trust people had of the FWC.

 

Over 90% of Floridians were documented as opposing the hunt, and people from all over the world, including many hunters and conservationists, came together to save bears and stop this proposed annual trophy hunt.

 

In 2016, the Florida Black Bear hunt was voted down due to the overwhelming public pressure against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt.  

 

In 2017 former FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski said, "A hunt is consuming it is consuming to this agency all the way around and the benefit that we get with this species at this moment in time I don't know if it's worth the consumption that our team is going to go through." 

During the 2017 meeting, the FWC Commissioners said they would not consider another hunt until 2019. 

 

Bear hunting in Florida has been stopped since 2016. Floridians will never accept a bear hunt in their state.