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Bear hunt proposal
After two mauling incidents in six months, a group of legislators wants more controls on Florida's black bear population.
One of their proposals is to allow limited hunting.
Laura Hussey "I'm not looking at you from inside some kid's playhouse. People who live around bears sometimes feel very challenged. This "garbage can house" is how Raymond Carter is solving his bear problem"
Carter says he's never felt threatened by black bears, he just doesn't like the mess they make when they eat his garbage.
He says other states have done a good job of removing temptation.
Raymond Carter "Tennessee, Virginia and places like that, they have big steel bear-proof small dumpsters that everybody puts their garbage in"
Bear-proof containers are one suggestion a group of Florida legislators made in a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
But the proposal getting attention is their idea of limited bear hunting, in areas with large bear populations that F-W-C would deem "hot spots".
Raymond "I'd be in agreement with hunting bears if it's in places where there's too many. I wouldn't be in agreement with them killing bears in places where there's just a small amount"
Black bears were removed from Florida's "threatened" list in 2012.
F-W-C's black bear management plan does not include hunting.
But the agency's director says the legislators' suggestions will be "considered carefully".
Jeff DeVore has chased bears away from his house.
He says living close to the Eglin reservation was his choice, and that hunting bears won't solve the problem of humans encroaching on their habitats.
Jeff Devore "There's never been a fatality reported of a black bear killing someone intentionally. So I am opposed to it myself. As someone who lives 200 yards away from the reservation, I would say no"
Laura Hussey "Carter says the most time he's ever seen a bear spend trying to get into this thing was about 45 seconds. He figured out there are easier pickins down the road."