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Just bought my Bear tag HELP

CrossfireCrossfire Posts: 1 Greenhorn
It's official, I'm coming down from Ohio for a Bear. I've never hunted Florida & I don't know a soul. I hope to hunt the northern third of the state and I'll probably camp. Since harvesting a Bear is certainly not a guarantee, I'm open to taking a deer or some hogs as well.

Where do I begin?


  • CrashDuckCrashDuck Posts: 508 Officer
    Oh man why would you come here from Ohio.

    Check out the FWC website for public land you can bear hunt.

    Keep your expectations low

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,365 Captain
    Ocala national forest
    living life as i like
  • bluewatermafiabluewatermafia Posts: 540 Officer
    Yep, ocala is a pretty good spot. Lots of land, lots of bears. No quotas required and the way I understand it, the bear season falls between archery and muzzy season so you can use either or a rifle to harvest your bear so that's a plus.
    But deer and hogs may not be an option at all since the bear season is between the deer seasons. Hopefully someone else can help with that info.
  • spfldbowhunterspfldbowhunter Posts: 932 Officer
    I'd find someone with private land and trade them for a deer hunt up in your neck of the woods.
    Eph. 3:20
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 446 Officer
    I got a guest spot on a premier wma for bears I'll trade ya!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 446 Officer
    Pm me if interested
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,017 Captain
    Crossfire,in fact you might find the North Florida hunt country landscape rather interesting.You could end up thankful for bear season getting you down there even if you do not take a bear. Some dandy National Forests.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • fsuduckfsuduck Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    I'd find someone with private land and trade them for a deer hunt up in your neck of the woods.

    2nd this.
  • Lc-hunter86Lc-hunter86 Posts: 2,927 Captain
    Snowman has a quota permit that is absolutely loaded with bears...I would consider his offer for sure.
  • VTXFRENZYVTXFRENZY Posts: 155 Deckhand
    That's a long way to travel just to get a bear.
  • GrillfishGrillfish Posts: 114 Deckhand
    OP: Go with LCs\'s advice and SM's offer. We've got a large 300-400 lb'er that has started to come through our neighborhood and my back yard, but don't think Duke Energy will like it if you shoot it on my land and it runs onto their land :) Other than that, trying to go on public land will take some coordination.

    I'm still confused myself on the rules. If the WMA doesn't have any hunts during the week, is it closed to hunting bear? So for Seminole F, I can't hunt from 10/26 through 10/29 when no other quota hunts are taking place? Or Rock Springs from 10/27 - 10/29 when no quotas are going on?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 14,024 AG
    Just go to Royal trails in Eustis and sit on someone's porch until you see one going for a trash can.
    Yesterday's memories are not today's reality
  • Captjohn5150Captjohn5150 Posts: 1,698 Captain
    That's why I'm not hunting bears, I got at least 5 friends that live in prime bear HOA's...my son and I could sit in lazy boys by the pool and just pick two bears off eating by the back yard bird feeder.....not going to hunt them....the state caved in to public pressure and is making a huge cash grab maybe ?...only 1100 licenses sold as of right now I believe...not the kind of bread the state was looking for....

    I'm somewhat disappointed in this hunt...hope it goes well, safe for those involved...
    For the love of all outdoors recreational activities....what my spelling is off, that will learn ya. Pimping ain't easy unless u went to FSU, its a BS course.
    What do u get when you can connect the dots, color inside the lines, and get your release papers.....sentence served, times up at Felon sentenced university.
    Floridas first woman's college.
    The only difference between FSU and all the other colleges are other colleges accept you into the university's. At FSU you are taken into custody.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    If they would have cut the price in half I believe they would have collected much more in fees. $100 is much more than the average person will spend on a species that will be just a chance occurrence for the average person. Chuck and others mentioned it but they choose to stay on the high end. Lots to learn in the coming years on all sides.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,652 Captain
    ...only 1100 licenses sold as of right now I believe...not the kind of bread the state was looking for....
    You made me curious so I did a quick look at the data so far. As of around 8am today.
    1326 permits issued
    46 Lifetime exempt
    126 Senior that still pay
    12 Youth that pay
    12 Non-resident
    1130 additional residents

    Nothing much to gain from it so far as most will wait to purchase it until they need to. I expect sales to pick up the week prior to the season.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,017 Captain
    I bought my permit to add to the collection of the last one issued for Osceola National Forest.

    I generally support the FWCC but in this instance I did not purchase the permit to "support" FWCC "Conservation " efforts.

    It's been relatively easy for the FWCC up until now to hail bear conservation success story- primary effort has been harvest restriction.
    Protecting bear habitat within BMU might prove to be a real challenge for the FWCC and it's constituency, allies.

    Next time I am inclined to toss a hundred bucks in the Conservation Plate I'll write a check to the Florida Wildlife Federation,or Thousand Friends of Florida,or Conservation Trust For Florida.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,187 Captain
    Harvest restrictions are one element of game management...from a total ban on hunting to the (too generous) "two a day" for deer rule in Florida. Man has always been an element in the natural habitats....usually as predator, occasionally ad prey, and modern game management has to restrict and regulate man's intrusion due to the dense population and the ability to "take" and reduced natural habitat. Thus, the need to set rules that will allow the animals to reach a "robust" population in the habitats remaining. When that "robust" population is present man can be introduced to manage the level at an established carrying capacity. That management is "take" regulations. The "take" regulations must include the loss to vehicles, poaching, FWC removal,natural deaths, etc.

    That is why the "hunting take" for the number of bears in each BMU is well below the number of bears that will die during each year. The normal "number" is 20% "take" will allow the slow growth or maintenance of a "robust" population. There is pretty good data on all the "take" other than hunting so the number of bears established for hunters is a very conservative number.

    The goal is to allow the bears to increase in numbers in BMUs with populations below the carrying capacity while reducing the number, or holding the number steady, in areas (BMUs) with lots of bears. Habitat is key...and all of us want more natural habitat but we have what we have and the FWC must work within those parameters. The reduction of bears in crowded habitats will mean fewer bears being driven out of that habitat by the dominate males...and more open areas for younger bears to find their own territories within natural habitat. That is where some reduction in movement to the human populated areas will result...and fewer bears in neighborhoods getting hooked on the dope ...garbage....and creating conflicts. Those bears are doomed as the FWC has a "one strike and you are a dead bear" policy as relocation has simply not worked...Dope (garbage) is a habit bears just cannot break.

    The funds from the licenses will help finance the bear management program. The initial program is very expensive and "hands on", including the check in and management of the hunting. No one has a clue of how many permits will be sold...I expect the first year to be high as there is a novelty factor. The success rate is going to be interesting...and will impact the number of permits sold next year and the future. Most of the people I know expect a flurry of success on specific areas where bears have been observed and have habits that will put them in the sights of deer hunters...but, without dogs or bait, most people who have hunted bears know "still hunting" is a very inefficient method and expect the harvest to be low, perhaps even below the quota limit of about 320 bears this year. That will be especially true after those "known" bears are taken out of the population.
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    We're all different. I support the hunt & the hunters. As far as personally shooting a bear I could care less. Deer and other critters provide the right mix for me. Managing the species is important so the ability to hunt them is great & should not be cheapened by any slovenly acts. Kill your bear & be proud and thankful.
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • USMC0321USMC0321 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
  • WildLinesWildLines Posts: 551 Officer
    got these guys on camera on private land.

    I don't have a desire to hunt bear, but good luck! I hear Ocala has a bunch.

    looks like the same bear, on opposite end of our 500 acres.


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