Bear Hunt: It’s true. Floridians cannot be trusted to hunt bears.

If you go back and look at the multitude of blogs I have written about the bear hunt you’ll see I was right. Unfortunately being right doesn’t bring back the lactating bears. Does not give young cubs their moms back.

This is what we know right now.

A letter was sent by Chuck O’Neal from Wake up Wekevia

chucks letter

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/bear-hunt-likely-headed-to-an-early-end/2251210

Florida’s first bear hunt in 21 years may become a victim of its own success. Florida’s hunters have killed so many bears that state wildlife officials say they are likely to end what was envisioned as a week-long season after only two days.

The commission had set quotas for each of four areas where hunting was allowed, and Wiley shut down two of them at the end of the first day of the hunt because they exceeded their limit of dead bears. The hunters in one of those regions, the eastern Panhandle, had brought in twice as many dead bears as the limit permitted. Updated figures presented in the 3 p.m. conference call showed the hunters killed even more bears than the official record reflected on Saturday.

In the eastern Panhandle, the new numbers show hunters killed 112 bears, or nearly three times the limit of 40 that the commission had set. The Central Florida region’s limit had been 100, and hunters topped that too, bringing in 139 dead bears by mid-day Sunday. Both of those sections were closed to hunting as of 9 p.m. Saturday, but commission rules say hunters had up to 12 hours to bring in any bears killed before the area was closed. That’s why the numbers were much higher as of Sunday.

The commission’s top bear expert, Thomas Eason, said the high number of bears killed showed that hundreds of eager hunters spent weeks scouting locations to guarantee a shot at a bear. He also credited the high number of bears killed to the fact that the last Florida bear hunt was in 1994.

“The bears haven’t been hunted in 21 years, so they’re relatively naive,” Eason said.

Opponents of the hunt, including the Sierra Club and Speak Up Wekiva, called for the statewide hunt to be shut down Saturday, warning that killing too many bears would be a disaster for a population that until 2012 was on the state’s imperiled species list. But Wiley only closed the areas that had exceeded their quota.

The Sierra Club’s Frank Jackalone, in a Saturday e-mail to Wiley, contended that the over-the-limit bear killing showed that the state’s “predictions that hunters would find it difficult to track and kill Florida black bears were dead wrong, leaving science trumped by sloppy guesswork.”

The Sierra Club’s Frank Jackalone, in a Saturday e-mail to Wiley, contended that the over-the-limit bear killing showed that the state’s “predictions that hunters would find it difficult to track and kill Florida black bears were dead wrong, leaving science trumped by sloppy guesswork.”

Jackalone, in a Sunday interview, criticized the wildlife commission for not limiting the number of hunting permits that were sold, which he said guaranteed there would be too many hunters killing bears. He also contended that the wildlife agency’s actions had “set back the recovery of the bears for years, if not decades.”

Decades. Sloppy. Hunter’s would it difficult to track. Science trumped sloppy guesswork.

Welcome to Florida.

It’s been a weekend and I have to say from both sides. Some nasty woman who was busy having a twitter war with the FWC got mad at me and accused me of all kinds of nasty things. People were terrible. To me. This person is telling me  I’m for the hunt and for Rick Scott. I’m not writing this to complain. I’ve seen this kind of stuff for years. Read my hate circuit blog. People get so uncontrolled hate their brain changes. The circuit goes off. It doesn’t matter what side of the issue your own. People start threatening each other,  name calling. Like the PETA witch that called me a dog killer at a hearing in Palm Beach County. (Look how well that turned out more dogs and cats are being euthanized)

They honestly think that calling rick scott’s office and being angry voter is going to make a difference. He is probably dancing on the table.

They think that calling their legislator will make a difference.’

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/florida-bear-hunt-207-killed-on-first-day-7351694

Robert Ruderman, of the group Animal Hero Kids, said, “The Florida black bear hunt is a well-calculated, thinly disguised power play by right-wing Governor Rick Scott and his faithful servants on the FWC Commission at the behest of powerful special interests; namely, the gun and hunting industries and lobbies, influential land developers, and wealthy trophy hunters..” 

This is correct. Florida bought and Paid for. Mission Accomplished!

Here is some video. its terrible. I’m warning you now.

On this one they got most of the story wrong.

Here is one of our hero’s Chuck O Neal

Listen to his words. We are suppose to protect the bears. The hunt was picked on cherry picked data.

Here is an excellent article from Psychology Today

Florida Bear Hunt Ignores Conservation Psychology & Science

Florida’s decision to reinstate bear hunting after a 21-year hiatus (link is external) ignores well-established science on human-bear conflicts and constitutes an appalling magnification of the ethical defects afflicting the killing of grizzly mother Blaze by officials at Yellowstone National Park and, more recently, the killing of Boulder Bear 317 by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 320 black bears – 10% of the estimated statewide population – have been targeted by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for killing by recreational hunters (you can see the hunt plan here), a lethal response that is massively disproportionate to the concerns that have been articulated by human stakeholders about property damage and a handful of relatively minor attacks on humans. The hunt’s quota is in addition to the increasingly routine practice of killing bears who have been deemed a nuisance and to high road kill rates (282 in 2012 alone (link is external)). A combined mortality rate of 20% of the entire bear population has become Florida’s ghastly new definition of sustainability, while the human population of the state increases by more than the entire bear population every single week, a fact that human policy-makers regard as a source of pride (link is external), not a cause for grave concern.

Instead, Dr. Eason, for one, seems to be perfectly comfortable with Floridians repeating their familiar role as super-predators, killing adult bears in their prime reproductive years, imposing far-reaching collateral damage on family units and the bear population as a whole. Although Florida’s bear hunt forbids the “harvesting” — read, killing — of mother bears with cubs, this will inevitably happen, since mothers commonly “tree” their cubs up to 200 yards away, out of sight from hunters. Black bear cubs stay with their mother for up to two years, learning essential survival skills and enjoying her protection from male bears and other animals who may harm them. As orphans, their prospects for survival are grim. And, since we know that animals experience a wide range of emotions, including joy, love, empathy, and grief, it is beyond dispute that these cubs will suffer immense emotional, as well as physical, distress. Equally repugnant is the fact that the FWC knows that some female bears will be pregnant at this time of year (just prior to denning), and there is no way for hunters to discern the gender of their target until they’re killed. Far from apologizing for these horrific effects, Dr. Eason has matter-of-factly stated that this is all part of the plan.

please read this from our friend at the Daily Kumquat.

The Lingering Stench of Death: Witnessing the Developers’ War on Florida’s Black Bears, October 24-25, 2015

These images document the death of 18 beautiful, innocent, sentient creatures who were denied the right to follow their unique paths through life in an environment that was ideally suited to their wants and needs. Every drop of blood symbolizes not merely a loss of life but a loss of decency, a perversion of science, an affront to democracy, and an indelible stain on the character of the State of Florida

http://www.dailykumquat.com/florida-developers-war-on-black-bears-october-24-25-2015/

and lastly from my friend Debbie Culp over on the west coast of Florida. We must must find a way to come together and talk. Because while we’re fighting over this who knows what is being plotted and planned.

In regard to the bear hunt:
When controversy strikes, I strive to hear and understand the position and feelings of the perceived opposition. Tho very defensive at first, and rightfully so given the numerous arguments and personal attacks on individuals, generational families, and hunting culture at large, I found some very genuine hunters willing to speak openly and honestly about the hunt, existing law, and FWC. While they strongly defended their rights to traditional hunting, the need for FWC reform in policy making was expressed. They openly admitted that the FWC based their policy on the bear hunt on old data of bear population. They felt that had updated data been presented prior to the hunt that it would reflect even higher numbers of population based on what they had observed in certain locations. This of course is only speculative because FWC did not bother to do this when making such an important decision. They also suggested a need for reform in laws on fining the practices of unethical hunters with fines as low as 50 dollars for killing a Mother bear with cub under 70lbs.
They also adamantly expressed the need for human population control in the state of Florida and openly expressed that much bear and other wildlife’s habitat has been consumed by development and particularly sited developments next to wetlands critical to the survival of wildlife. In defense of the attacks on trophy hunting, they explained that the traditional hunter does eat the meat. Although I do not prefer bear meat, I have been to plenty of wildlife dinners where bear was served. While this may be revolting so some, we have many families in Florida, many going back many generations in Florida living sustainant lives, where hunting, fishing, , raising their animals and growing their food is an integral part of their lives as they pass down traditions to their children.
I saw much arguing, name calling, viscous attacks on people, families and businesses by environmentalist. As an environmentalist I was deeply dismayed by some of this behavior. This is not the way to communicate. The focus should be on reform of policy and we all can contribute to this if we communicate appropriately and not alienate, polarize and burn bridges. The powers that be would like nothing better than for there to be abyss of division. Attack the policies and policy makers, not the people. Just my opinion.”

Thank you Debbie. Your opinion is very much appreciated.

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Bear Hunt starts Today.

Bear hunt starts today.

Thanks to all the monitors, documenters, Chuck O Neal and everyone that has spoken out to what we know in our hearts is a mess. A big bloody mess.

I was very proud to read through the list of permits and find only one person in Martin County bought a permit.

This was CBS national news who got most of the story wrong calling every against animal activists. Thank goodness they put in that bit about Ron Bergeron. CBS we are citizens of Florida and we have an opinion and we have a right not to be pigeon holed. I don’t see any where to leave comments. The Hunt is all over Florida.

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/floridas-first-bear-hunt-in-two-decades/

My issue as I have stated before is not hunting bears. There are bear hunts and other places seem to know how to do this. Florida does not and the agenda is driven by the Governor who is driven by his masters.  We have seen this behavoir last winter at SFWMD and even lately when they tried to do the right thing and keep taxes the same.

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Sunday Weekly Roundup: Things you won’t see on the TV

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/192396-steve-crisafulli-says-its-amazing-anything-gets-passed-in-gop-led-legislature

Steve Crisafulli says it’s amazing “anything” gets passed in GOP-led Legislature

“The intense divide between the Florida House and Senate this year was so intense that House Speaker Steve Crisafulli led his members out of the chambers three days prematurely this past April, leading for the first of a series of special sessions in 2015.

His other top issue is tackling water policy, where he invoked the drought in California as a reason why the Legislature must act this year. When the House broke early from session in April, they failed to pass a water bill, though the Senate companion was approved on a 39-1 vote.”

Amazing how hindsight is BS and this guy has no problem spending money on special sessions while people have no food.

I think for everyone special session we have  a portion of the money spent should be donated to our local food banks.  An idea so horrid if it really did happen the GOP would make sure they agreed rather than make sure there was food.

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2015/10/15/103-names-exempted-bear-permit-rosters/73942734/

Humane Society Florida director Kate McFall called the name exemptions “fishy,” but said it makes sense considering the widespread opposition.

“One hundred and three is a lot. It sounds strange,” McFall said. “(The hunt) is being painted as a small group of trophy hunters, so it makes sense for them to not want their names out there. It has hit a nerve with a lot of people.”

At least take credit for it! Interesting.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201506/anti-intellectualism-is-killing-america

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

“And even though it may seem counter-intuitive, anti-intellectualism has little to do with intelligence. We know little about the raw intellectual abilities of Dylann Roof, but we do know that he is an ignorant racist who willfully allowed irrational hatred of an entire demographic to dictate his actions. Whatever his IQ, to some extent he is a product of a culture driven by fear and emotion, not rational thinking, and his actions reflect the paranoid mentality of one who fails to grasp basic notions of what it means to be human.

What Americans rarely acknowledge is that many of their social problems are rooted in the rejection of critical thinking or, conversely, the glorification of the emotional and irrational. What else could explain the hyper-patriotism ) that has many accepting an outlandish notion that America is far superior to the rest of the world? Love of one’s country is fine, but many Americans seem to honestly believe that their country both invented and perfected the idea of freedom, that the quality of life here far surpasses everywhere else in the world.”

So if your frustrated just understand YOU have better critical thinking skills.

and speaking of critical thinking skills

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/about-thinking/201510/what-can-we-learn-ben-carsons-brain

What Can We Learn from Ben Carson’s Brain?

One can hardly imagine a better case of inconsistent thinking and misapplied brain power in the public arena today. Carson, a successful brain surgeon and Yale graduate, is obviously intelligent and well educated. Yet he continually says things that any clear-thinking high school kid would cringe at.

He mocks the Big Bang Theory as absurd. (Like all theories, the Big Bang Theory is a work in progress, of course, but it is based on solid scientific evidence.)

From our friends at Eye on Miami.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/10/can-everglades-restoration-catch-break.html

A state of Florida website laconically refers to the project known as “Mod Waters” this way: “The Modified Water Deliveries Project project is a federal ecological restoration project in south Florida designed to improve water delivery to Everglades National Park. The completion of Mod Waters is required before the implementation of portions of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Mod Waters is being implemented by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

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Good News Monday: Some Relief for Florida’s Bear Hunt

Good News Monday: Some Relief for Florida’s Bear Hunt

Judge to consider stopping Florida bear hunt

A judge agreed Friday morning to hear arguments Oct. 1 that could stop Florida’s bear hunt.

Speak Up Wekiva Inc. and Chuck O’Neal of Longwood, opponents of the state’s first bear hunt in more than two decades, want Circuit Judge George S. Reynolds III to impose a temporary injunction to prevent the hunt from taking place Oct. 24.

The lawsuit alleges the state Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has crafted rules that could unwittingly lead to the killing of more than 320 bears, the kill quota established by the wildlife agency.

More than 2,100 hunters have gotten a permit.

“The FWC is not above the law or common sense,” O’Neal said.

Mayo: Bear hunt too much too soon

Next month’s black bear hunt is a quintessential Florida event, blending our state’s love of guns with its disdain for reason and science.

Shoot first, get the data later.

“You should have all your science in place before you hold your first hunt in 21 years, especially when you’re dealing with an icon animal,” a hunt opponent told me Friday.

That quote didn’t come from some Sierra Club tree-hugger or PETA paint-thrower, but a Broward businessman, hunter and outdoorsman who answers his phone by saying, “Alligator Ron.” That would be Ron Bergeron, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commissioner who voted against the hunt.

Alligator Ron was on the losing end of a 3-2 vote earlier this month. That’s bad news for bears.

Not long ago, Florida’s black bears were considered a threatened species, numbering only a few hundred. They have rebounded to an estimated population of 3,100.

Starting Oct. 24, roughly 10 percent could get wiped out in a week.

It’s refreshing to read about a hunter who actually believes this bear hunt is wrong. I guess I will have to take back my “the only good hunter is a dead hunter” viewpoint. The problem is not too many bears; it’s too many humans moving to Florida. Too many lazy humans who…

The commission decided to allow an unlimited number of hunters off up to 320 bears, a curious decision because Bergeron said they haven’t even gotten updated bear information in all the hunting zones.

“The state is divided into seven bear regions, with four allowing hunting [next month],” Bergeron said. “Two of those four regions’ stock assessments have not been finalized. We’re making assumptions based on the 2002 assessments…We don’t have all the data.”

Bergeron still hunts one deer, one turkey and one hog a year, but he won’t be taking aim at any bears next month.

“Until all of the science and stock assessments are in and show that we have a sustainable bear population and we have a population greater than the balance of the food chain, this seems premature,” Bergeron told me.

State Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, has no qualms. He’s among the 2,100 (and counting) who’ve paid for bear-hunt permits.

“This is to sustain a population, not to eviscerate it,” Artiles said Friday.

Artiles said thinning some older aggressive male bears will allow younger bears to stay in their natural habitat.

Part of hunt supporters’ rationale: Bears have become a nuisance in some populated areas in central Florida, foraging through trash for food.

“One thing I hope this hunt will do is train bears to be afraid of humans again instead of there being no repercussions,” Artiles told my colleague Dan Sweeney last week.

Say what? How are we going to train bears since the ones who learn the lesson will be dead? And how does killing a bear in Collier County translate to reforming nuisance bears near Orlando? Will the bears who dodge bullets in the western Everglades go on Bear Facebook to alert their friends: “Those crazy humans are shooting at us! Stay away from trash cans and houses!”

“It’s not teaching like a circus animal, but I believe the hunting will pressure them,” Artiles, an avid hunter, told me. “It’s proven and documented that deer know to avoid humans during hunting season.”

“I don’t really believe this will change behavior,” Bergeron said. “Bears really want to avoid people. What brings them to town is garbage. It’s an easy meal.”

A better solution than a widespread hunt, Bergeron said, would be bringing bear-proof trash cans to the 14 counties where nuisance bears have been reported. And Bergeron led an effort to halt the harvesting of palmetto berries from state land, giving bears a better chance of finding meals in the wild. “We were taking away their natural food,” he said.

Next month, hunters will try to take away much more.

Come Oct. 24, I’ll be rooting for the bears.

mmayo@sunsentinel.com, 954-356-4508.

Here is MY letter to the editor at our Stuart News.

Letter: Those opposed to the bear hunt are not ‘animal-rights extremists’

Cyndi Lenz, Jensen Beach

Letter: Those opposed to the bear hunt are not ‘animal-rights extremists’

What is going on now in reaction to the Florida bear hunt is not a circus. It’s the reaction of most Floridians. Most of us are fine with hunting. We have many things in Florida you can hunt. In Florida, if it moves you can shoot it. Unless it is protected.

At last week’s hearing in Ft. Lauderdale I heard the hunters say they are for conservation and they know what they are doing. Well, they don’t. The hunters are being used to promote a bigger agenda, and that is deregulating everything so developers can develop and builders can build. Florida has the most protected species in the world — “developers.”

There will not be any land to hunt on because it going to be full of shopping centers and no-lot-line houses. There will be no hunting because there will be no place to hunt. When I spoke to a representative from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last year the plan was education. The issue was humans feeding the bears. There was no doubt about this. People needed to be educated.

There was a bill approved by the Senate that made it a third-degree felony to feed the bears. So instead of educating people we’re going to charge them with something that is as serious as possession of cocaine. Makes sense only because we live in Florida. We don’t fix things in Florida like normal people. Logic has no home here. The downlisting came after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned by Pacific Legal Foundation, a private property advocacy group in Sacramento, California. So let’s all settle down and do what needs to be done for our black bears. Stop the hunt. Educate.

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So all good!

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