Thursday, October 1, 2015

Circuit judge denies injunction to stop Florida's bear hunt

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 6:38 PM

  • Photo by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission via Flickr

Circuit Judge George Reynolds will not stop Florida’s first black bear hunt in more than 20 years.

Environmental groups, including members of Speak Up Wekiva, traveled to Tallahassee today to testify in an emergency hearing asking the court to stop the hunt. But the judge ruled that the hunt can take place as scheduled. Speak Up Wekiva sued the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission earlier this year over its controversial decision to allow a one-week bear season to take place this year – it's the first time in decades that Florida has allowed people to hunt black bears, which were once so critically endangered that they were considered a threatened species in the state. Speak Up Wekiva's suit states that in opening up bear season, the FWC is abdicating its constitutionally mandated mission to preserve the state's natural resources. 

Reynolds denied a petition from Speak Up Wekiva for a temporary injunction against the hunt today, saying the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission had made a successful scientific basis for the hunt, but said the FWC “could have had some better timing” by waiting until after a more recent population study was released.

Speak Up Wekiva says the FWC's proposal for the hunt will allow  licensed hunters to kill an unlimited number of Florida black bears during the first two days of the week-long hunt, which starts Oct. 24 and ends Oct. 30. Because more than 2,000 licenses have been sold so far, the petition says, this would allow hunters to legally surpass the FWC's quota of 320 bears. The state has said it will closely monitor the hunt. 

No word yet from Speak Up Wekiva on what its next move will be. 

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 7, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation