December 4, 2022

Florida Representative Proposes Ten Year Ban on Bear Hunting

*Editor’s Note* – As we continue to see such legislation that strips wildlife managers of necessary tools to do the jobs they are commissioned to do, is there any wonder that other states, sick and tired of ignorant animal rights perverts and environmentalists crafting legislation to rule out science over emotional clap-trap, crafting some of their own bills that would prohibit any legislation of this kind pertaining to wildlife management. Where will this nonsense end? 

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

Take Action! Currently House Bill 491 is in House Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee. Florida sportsmen should contact their state representatives and ask them to vote NO on House Bill 491. Members can use the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center to contact their state representative.

In Florida, Rep. Amy Mercado (D-Orlando) has proposed legislation that would place a ten-year ban on black bear hunting in Florida. House Bill 491 also requires bear-proof garbage cans, and restricts burning in habitats that could impact bears. The bill also would commission a study on the effectiveness of non-lethal means for the management of bears.

In 2016, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission paused plans to have a hunting season for bears after anti-hunting groups pressured both commissioners and legislators.

“HB 491 would set a terrible precedent by removing the management authority from the commission altogether and instead establishing an arbitrary timeline,” said Luke Houghton, the Sportsmen’s Alliance associate director of state services. “The Commission was created to make scientific decisions regarding wildlife, and House Bill 491 undermines that process and politicizes wildlife decision making.”

Taxpayers would also be on the hook for at least $1 million to pay for bear-proof trash cans, which local governments would then apply for funding from. HB 491 also mandates an end to any timbering of palmetto and oak trees in state forests. Rep. Mercado claims that bears will avoid garbage if there are more food sources available naturally.

“HB 491 substitute’s politics for science, ignoring the advice of Florida’s wildlife experts,” continued Houghton. “It sets a precedent that politicians can step on sound scientific wildlife management decisions when opponents of hunting become upset. HB 491 also poses a serious public safety risk, as Florida’s growing bear population expands unchecked.”


Is Labeling Bears a Nuisance Dangerous to Humans?

BearTrapThis morning I was reading an article found at about one Nevada community that is working toward providing residents, at a cost, “bear proof” garbage cans in order to reduce human/bear conflicts. While I personally believe that having “bear proof” garbage cans can help in some cases of reducing conflicts with bears, it isn’t the answer to all the bear problems.

According to the article, within a 2,200-resident Caughlin Ranch subdivision, the bear proof garbage cans will be made available at a cost to residents of $6.27 per month, or on average an increase of about 41%, depending on the type of waste service residents now hire. The use of bear proof cans is not mandatory and one has to wonder what kind of participation will occur and even in those who opt for the new containers, will they use them properly? And, without full cooperation, how effective then does the program become? (Note: I am not necessarily advocating mandatory use of bear proof garbage cans.)

This may or may not help. The reason I say that is that bears are influenced by so many things in their surroundings and normal life habits, I’m not sure people realize a bear coming and getting into your garbage is but a small part of a bear’s life. The question should always be what caused or forced the bear to seek food from a human source?

In the article, the person described as the general manager of the Caughlin Ranch Homeowners Association, said:

“I think it will definitely help,” Olson said. “What (bears) are going to realize is we’re no longer a food source. Just like they learned to come, they’re going to learn not to come.”

As I have already stated, having available bear proof garbage cans might help, but it isn’t the answer to all or even most of the “bear problems.” I doubt seriously that providing some or a lot of bear proof cans is going to teach the bears it’s a waste of time to seek out food inside of the Caughlin Ranch community. That’s because there doesn’t seem to be anyone suggesting what the real reasons bears are coming there other than the food draws them out of the woods.

That’s not really how bears operate. They much prefer “natural” food, i.e. mast crops, vegetation, fruits, etc. One thing that might force them to seek alternative sources of food, i.e. human-generated garbage, is when their is a shortage of natural food. That’s not a problem caused by not having bear proof garbage cans. Studies readily indicate that even when giving bears options between human garbage/human food or their natural diet, overwhelming bears prefer natural food.

Another bear behavior influencing factor might be that there are too many bears competing for the same amount of food or in a worse case scenario a combination of too many bears and a natural food shortage can present very serious issues.

A hungry bear is a potentially dangerous situation. What people have done, with a misinformation campaign by environmental and animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is label these bears that rummage through garbage as “nuisance” bears. The bear is not a nuisance. What the bear does, like getting into your garbage, becomes a nuisance to the people who own the garbage cans. The bear is hungry.

The entire resulting act and mislabeling creates more problems than before people tried to “help.”

Here’s a couple of examples: Protectors of bears often say that hunting seasons on bear does nothing to stop the “nuisance” bears. Their thinking is that hunters don’t hunt these wrongly labeled “nuisance” bears. The question that needs to be asked is whether or not a “nuisance” bear is a new subspecies of black bears or grizzly or polar bears? Where did these bears come from if not out of the woods? Are they a subspecies of bear that is born, lives, hibernates, eats, dens, sleeps, and never sees the depths of the forest, all within ear shot of housing developments like Caughlin Ranch?

It is true bears prefer their natural food selections. If too many bears are competing for not enough food, an overall reduction of bears can provide less competition and bears, generally speaking, will return to the forest and/or stay there and never come out. Some may think this idealistic thinking but it’s not. Yes, there are always exceptions to everything and even with well-structured bear management plans, there are still bound to be some conflicts.

When bears are labeled “nuisance” bears, this can falsely give people the wrong idea that bears, regardless of what we have been told by some, and regardless of whether or not they have become “humanized” or “desensitized” to humans, they are a wild and big animal and can be extremely dangerous to humans under the right circumstances; many of those circumstances we humans don’t understand. To teach people that bears are “more afraid of us” or that they are “intelligent” and “sensitive” creatures is wrong on many levels, say nothing about irresponsible.

Perhaps an example of this can be found in the photographs provided in the article that I linked to above. In the first three photos, we can see a bear trap, on a trailer, on the back of a pick-up truck with the door opened. A bear is about to be released back into the forest. The caption says that officials with the Nevada fish and game are going to use “aversion training” in hopes of “teaching” the bear that humans are not nice people. They are about to use rubber bullets and dogs to chase and frighten the bear away. This isn’t really a problem and is often done by many fish and game officials. However, upon examination of the photos, to the right of the trap, left in the picture, a man is squat down, holding one of the pursuit dogs and next to him a small child.

In photos number 2 and 3, we see a man with what appears to be a rifle pointed in the general direction of the first man, dog and child. We can assume he is preparing to fire rubber bullets at the bear as the bear runs away. To the left of the man with the rifle, can be seen, in the back of another pick-up truck, an adult and another small child.

Is this all that responsible? Have even these “professionals” lost sight of the fact that regardless of any situation, a bear can raise some serious trouble. Have these men and the many citizens been unknowingly brainwashed to think bears are something they are not? Are bears now just a “nuisance” and not a wild animal that needs to be responsibly feared and respected? Isn’t labeling a bear a “nuisance” an attempt at putting human traits and characteristics on a wild animal? Isn’t this then a reflection of a lack of knowledge and understanding of wild bears?

I recall a series of photographs that made its way around cyberspace several years ago. A photographer was at a distance and planned to photograph the release of a grizzly bear from a barrel trap that was located in the back of a ranger’s pick-up truck. What the photographer captured was a series of pictures showing the bear jumping out of the barrel, turning, jumping up into the back of the truck and attacking the man who opened the door to let the bear go free. The man suffered some serious cuts but was okay. We just cannot always and consistently predict what wild animals will do.

Only time will tell how effective this Nevada community’s effort will be. It is hoped that nobody gets injured and it would be nice if people, especially the experts and the media outlets, would think a bit more about what they say and the words we use to label wild animals. Words can easily “desensitize” humans about bears.


Me And Teddy Bear Are Best Friends

Odd title for this article wouldn’t you say? I chose this title because of a similar title I placed on an article I wrote back in February of 2007. It was titled, “Me and Teddy Roosevelt Were Best Friends.”

What prompted the title invoking the name of Teddy Roosevelt, was because I was tired of people making statements about Teddy Roosevelt much because they believed they understand what was on Roosevelt’s mind over a century ago. In addition, untold quantities of uninformed mouth pieces, yap about Teddy this and Teddy that, when they know nothing about the man and their abuse of poor Teddy comes from quoting him, mostly out of context, or fabricating thoughts Mr. Roosevelt must have had that would support one’s agenda.

Evidently, the pickings have reached the bottom of the barrel and some people are not even adept enough to lie about dead people to promote their agendas. No, they have to pick on animals. After all, like knowing what Teddy Roosevelt was really thinking, these clowns actually think they know what animals think and how they feel.

For purposes of this discussion most any animal could be front and center but let me pick on the black bear for a moment.

Say what you will about mentally retarded environmentalists but they sure know how to pick a tool that will put money in their bank accounts to pay those big salaries. After all, there are lawsuits to be won.

In the State of Maine, Washington, D.C.-based totalitarian environmentalists, specifically the Humane Society of the United States, have waged another war on the citizens of Maine in an attempt to stop bear hunting and trapping. In addition, it appears that I have discovered one such person that must be best friends with a bear and is therefore more qualified to tell the voters of the Pine Tree State about bears than bear scientists.

I have done my share of dumping on wildlife scientists but as bear biologists go, the ones up in Maine do a better than average job of studying and understanding about bears. They just don’t want to believe that bears are eating up too many deer fawns and moose calves. But that’s another story.

The problem with this soul mate of the black bears, is she was caught telling stories about bears that just don’t seem to agree with other people’s information about bears. Fortunately, Cathy DeMerchant, a board member of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine took the time to challenge Connie McCabe of her claims and provide the evidence disproving those claims.

Bear (sorry) in mind, that it is difficult to dispute McCabe’s bear findings, being one with the bear and all and rumors have it that recently Spock appeared to administer a “mind meld” with the bear. Therefore, it is up to readers to decided whether information about bears is more reliable from bear scientists or from Spock’s mind meld.

All joking aside…….well, I doubt that very seriously. Despite the humor I’ve injected into this inane debate of Teddy Roosevelt and black bears being my best friends, it is no joke that environmentalists from away want to destroy a nationally recognized bear management program in order to pimp their anti human, perverted love affair with having lots of stolen money in their bank accounts.

These gangsters and thugs will go to any extreme for that money. The bear’s best friend’s commentary is an example of what, in comparison, would be considered stretching the truth to influence opinion. Don’t be fooled. It is a pretty good rule of thumb when anyone is offering up all sorts of claims about bears or any other animal, without any kind of substantiating resources, it’s probably just lies…, I mean stretching the truth.

To further that discussion consider that one of the excuses these environmentalists are using to argue against using bait to lure a bear into a shooting area, is that the food stuffs being used for bait is not good for the bears. Some of what is being used is junk food. Environmentalists love to pick on doughnuts as being a really nasty food for bears (they say this while sipping Starbucks and gumming a glazed doughnut).

I have even heard and read claims from people that bears become addicted to this bait food and that the bears are storming down the doors of Nurtisystem, Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous. The only hope for these bears is to ban bear hunting and trapping. It is important that we get bears onto a strict natural diet and NO 24-oz. soft drinks. Thank God for animal rights activists like Michael Bloomberg!

To help with getting bears onto healthy diets (don’t forget. People know this because they are best friends with bears…and mind melds), more and more towns like Tallahassee, Florida are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to make and distribute bear-proof garbage cans. Hundreds of thousands of dollars when a $1.00 bullet would be a long term solution to an unnecessary problem.

With all this focus on man’s best friend, the bear, to lock them out of garbage cans and break them of their honey-dipped doughnuts addiction, I’m afraid of what will happen to hungry bears with the DTs!

Oh, we’ve become such a foolish society. God help us.