Florida black bear

Bear In Clearing

The state’s largest land mammal has come back from just several hundred bears in the 1970s to approximately 4,350 today and is one of Florida’s biggest conservation success stories.

In 2012, the Florida Black Bear Management Plan Adobe PDF was put into place as a comprehensive document on how Florida’s bears should be managed over the next 10 years. The plan created Bear Management Units (BMU) based on the seven geographically distinct bear subpopulations in Florida.


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In June 2015, the FWC approved a limited bear hunt to take place beginning Oct. 24, 2015, in four of the seven BMUs. The purpose of reinstating a bear hunting season was to slow the growth of large and growing bear populations. Regulated hunting is a proven, effective and biologically sustainable method for maintaining proper balance of bear populations relative to available habitat.

More Bear Hunting Resources

FWC Facts:
The Youth Hunting Program appreciates the volunteer landowners who graciously open their properties to youth hunting, and the volunteers who plan and facilitate the hunts.

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