There won’t be a bear hunt in Florida this year. Last year the state held its first black bear hunt in two decades, but the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted Wednesday to push pause on the controversial program.
Commissioner Ronald Bergeron (BUR-jer-on) says he’d like the agency’s scientists to take more time to collect and analyze data used to decide whether a hunt is the best choice for the state’s bears.
“It takes for me the highest level of science biological sustainability analysis and studies demographics so we know that the males and females and the cubs and the age—so we know the reproduction,” Bergeron says.
Several other commissioners agreed put the hunt off this year, but cautioned they generally believe hunting is part of a responsible bear management plan and say they won’t be in favor of continually pushing a second hunt back in an effort to dig deeper into the data. Officials are expected to revisit the possibility of a hunt in 2017.