Now I personally don't hunt and I guess if I had to take sides you could say I was rooting for the bear, but I also know that we have more of the big critters than years past being sighted in unusual places. With more than ten licenses being issued for every bear in the hunt quota (315), I thought the biggest danger would be from hunters shooting each other since they were decked out in full camouflage. Luckily there were no such instances. I could just picture in my mind an old Elmer Fudd-Buggs Bunny cartoon on that subject.
Upon return home in late afternoon from a fun day of Fall festival hopping, I fired up the computer and went to Facebook to see what had transpired in the hunt. The posts were all over the place, pro and con, but from some opposing the hunt you would think the world was coming to an end. There were some saying that the hunt was already over the kill limit with no plans to end it early (the rules were to end at after either the quota was met or the seven day limit was completed). Then there were reports that a large number of lactating females were killed as well as cubs, both categories which were banned from hunting. And finally there were reports that memorial services would be held for the dead bears and calls for impeachment of Governor Scott were spawned.
Most of the posts were based upon faulty information and the same pictures were used repeatedly in posts from all over the state, particularly one of a large female in the back of a pickup.
By Sunday afternoon reality set in and it was found that a total of 197 bears were killed and the hunt would be stopped just short of the quota. This was done since it was assumed that it would take a number of hours for those still in the woods with a kill to report to a hunting station. Deadline for doing that was noon today.
The estimate is that before the hunt, some 3300-3500 black bear were alive in the woods, huge growth in numbers since the days when many thought they would go extinct. And since significant instances of bear-human interface have become rather prevalent in populated areas, including a number of bad traffic accidents, perhaps a culling of the animals was needed. I'm no expert on this but this is commonplace with most wild animals today.
We really can no longer doubt the impact of man on the natural setting as the population of Florida grows. Sometimes man seems to know no end to the levels of greed he can display and money he can amass by destroying the beauty of natural Florida which is taking place. But to claim that man and bear are equal in the eyes of God is stretching not just logic but common sense and I guess I would have more sympathy for those who believe this if they also opposed late term and partial birth abortion which to my way of thinking is murder.
But folks, that's just on man's opinion and each is entitled to his or her own. Now in the next year another census of the bear population will be undertaken and we'll see how it goes. But for now, it is likely that the bear will continue to reproduce and thrive unless man continues his drive to pave over the entire state. That is really the true danger we face and it won't just destroy our wildlife, for without a good source of fresh water, we will all perish. If you want to go after Governor Scott, use that argument as it rings much more loudly.
Will we wake up and save ourselves from destruction? Only time will tell. If not, last one running out of water in Florida, will you turn out the lights?