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American Enterprise Bank

Past bear hunts aided the species

Dear Editor:

I recently looked at the cartoon by Ed Hall about the upcoming bear hunts scheduled by the game commission and was a little confused by the meaning.

Bear hunting used to be a cherished sport until taken away by the state after much prodding from people and groups who don’t even live or vote in the state of Florida.

For the record, there are over 200 bears killed by automobiles in the state of Florida each year and over 100 more that are struck and never found or recorded. There have been several recent auto wrecks attributed to bear vs. auto which ended in a fatality to people.

Unlike what many have been led to believe there is a healthy population of bears in Florida that can handle a managed harvesting system. I for one used to enjoy the fall with our nine-day special bear hunts in the Osceola Forest.

Most hunts ended with the taking of a bear and a thorough exam by a state biologist, which in turn helped to better understand the bears and any biological problems they may have had. The constant baying of the hounds under a treed bear was a wonderful sound echoing through the woods in Big Gum Swamp. I for one hope that it returns for my grandkids’ enjoyment.

Also I would like to know why the dog hunters were not considered when planning the method of hunting and taking of bears by the game commission.

Jimmy Walker


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