Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The Big Bend BMU

Big Bend

The Big Bend Bear Management Unit includes Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hernando, Lafayette, Levy, and Pasco counties and contains the Chassahowitzka subpopulation.  Bears are absent or nearly so throughout most of the Big Bend BMU with the exception of a remnant group of bears in and around the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area at the southern extent of the BMU.  In 2002, the FWC estimated 12 to 28 bears lived in Chassahowitzka subpopulation.  The plan’s objectives Adobe PDF for the Big Bend BMU are to increase the current bear subpopulation numbers and to reduce habitat fragmentation. In 2014, the FWC will begin the multi-year process of updating subpopulation estimates. More details can be found in the bear management plan.

FWC has scheduled public workshops and government briefings in the Big Bend BMU. All workshops will be from 6:30 - 8:00 P.M. The workshop locations and dates are as follows:

  • Homosassa – December 2nd – Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
  • Dade City – December 3rd – Pasco County IFAS Extension Office, 36722 State Road 52
  • Chiefland – December 4th – Tommy Usher Community Center, 506 SW 4th Ave.

If you are unable to attend a meeting but still would like to join a Bear Stakeholder Group, please contact staff at

Vehicle strikes account for the majority of bear deaths in Florida statewide.   The number of bears killed by vehicles, or euthanized due to vehicle injuries, documented each year in the Big Bend BMU can be seen below.

Big Bend Roadkill

Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears.  The following chart shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the Big Bend BMU.

Big Bend Bear Calls

The following pie charts represent the reasons people call FWC about bears in the Big Bend BMU. The charts are in four year increments to show how the reasons have changed over time.

Big Bend 10-13

Big Bend 06-09

Big Bend 02-06

Big Bend 98-01

Big Bend 98-13

We look forward to working with you to conserve and manage Florida’s black bears.

FWC Facts:
The FWC is lead manager or landowner on about 1.1 million acres of Florida's Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system. More than 5.8 million acres of land are open for public hunting.

Learn More at AskFWC