NAPLES (FLV) – A video went viral on Twitter on what appears to be two black bears wrestling in a suburban neighborhood.
After seeing the video, legendary guitarist and avid hunter Ted Nugent exclusively spoke to Florida’s Voice and renewed his call for Florida to re-open their Black Bear season.
“Nuisance bear complaints are at an all-time high and increasing to dangerous levels constantly,” Nugent said. “The black bear is a revered big game animal that is hunted all across North America. Florida bears are so overpopulated that they show up in downtown Naples and along the urban highways because they are being pushed out of prime habitat into marginal habitat.”
Black bears were hunted in the state from the 1930s through 1993. In the 70s, their population was only several hundred, which led to the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to close the season.
The FWC re-opened bear hunting briefly in 2015, but quickly closed it since then. According to the FWC, there are over 4,000 black bears in Florida today.
“The magnificent black bear should be an asset as an annually harvested big game animal like they are all across North America instead of a liability causing problems and costing taxpayer dollars while posing a threat to humans, pets and livestock,” Nugent said.
In 2019, the FWC created the Florida Black Bear Management Plan, which guides how Florida should manage bears over the next 10 years. The plan says regulated hunting is an important option that could be considered in the future. No decisions have been made yet.
“A science based proper sustain yield annual regulated bear season in Florida would manage bears responsibly into the asset column while generating millions of dollars in revenue and millions of hours of family recreation Including a huge tourist boom for this wonderful annual renewable resource,” Nugent said.
Nugent told Florida’s Voice he would spend a lot of time and money in the state should the season re-open in the future.
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