Hunting is always going to be a controversial topic amongst people from all parts of society. On one hand, you have animal rights activists and others arguing that hunting is rude, crude, and unnecessary. That it harms animals without need and should be more regulated — that nature can be enjoyed without a gun in your hand. On the other hand, you have people and hunters arguing that hunting is an important tradition and allows people to keep in touch with mother nature in a way more raw and realistic than people who just want to observe. Regardless of which side you take, I’m sure you have opinions.
This Sunday, the first bear hunt in Florida in 21 years ended with a grand total of 295 bears culled. Originally slated for a total of 7 days with a final quota of 320 bears, the hunt ended in only two days because of the speed at which hunters were approaching the quota and fears that it would be overshot by a large number. When 112 bears were killed in the first day in the eastern part of the panhandle (an area of 13 counties that was supposed to have a quota of only 40), officials immediately began realizing that too many bears might be killed. To that end, they began shutting down hunting sites in the hope that the bear population (which was finally taken off of the endangered species list in the state in 2012) wouldn’t be too harmed.
This hunt, like many others across the country, faced its own fair shares of anger and controversy. Most of this was aimed at the fact that many people felt as though a cull so soon after the animals were taken off of the endangered species list in the state would put their numbers right back in jeopardy. On the other side, government officials and hunters said it needed to happen due to the spike in bear-human interactions that were occurring all over the state. Regardless of your stance, the cull brought in $376,900 through the sale of hunting licenses and all of that money is going to go towards better education and prevention for bear-human interaction.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.