Attack Proves Florida Needs More Bear Hunts
Russ Chastain 01.17.18
If you live in suburban or rural Florida, chances are ridiculously high that you have a bear problem. The Florida black bear has been protected by law for quite a few years, and from a population standpoint it’s an absolute success story — there are more bears now than there have ever been in my lifetime (and probably in the lifetime of any living Floridian).
But there’s a little thing called “balance,” which Florida’s wildlife managers are loath to acknowledge. Black bear encounters are rampant across the state, and the far-too-short one-day hunt in October 2015 didn’t even dent the population (although I managed to get one of the relatively few that were harvested, thank goodness).
The problem with bear overpopulation is that bears are destructive to property and they’re also extremely dangerous. When they’re not hunted, they lose their fear of man, and that’s not a good thing.
As if to prove this point, a man in Naples, Florida was recently attacked by a bear simply because he walked out of his apartment to walk his dog.
It was standing in front of me and I tried to turn left real quick and get back in the house and caught an uppercut from a black bear. Everything went in slow motion. It was as scary as you can imagine.
Bears are not the cuddly critters many humans seem to think they are; they have serious claws and amazing strength.
Although this is the first recorded bear attack in South Florida since 1970, it will certainly not the the last unless we start seriously thinning out the bears. It’s high time for some balance between bears, humans, and even whitetail deer.