Protests expected ahead of bear hunting vote in Florida

Activists to rally in Ocala

File photo.
File photo.

OCALA, Fla. – Protests are expected to take place Monday, in Ocala, and all around the state, ahead of this week's bear hunting vote by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

On Wednesday, the agency is expected to take a final vote, on whether to allow bear hunts in Florida.

Rallies are expected to be held in Ocala, Lakeland, West Palm Beach and Panama City.

If approved, it will be the first time anyone could legally hunt black bears in the state, in more than 20 years.

FWC officials say the state's black bear population has increased in recent years, and hunting would help keep those numbers in check.

Opponents are urging Governor Rick Scott to intervene and halt the upcoming vote.

If the hunt is allowed, permits would cost about $100 for Florida residents and $300 for non-residents.

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