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Self-defense isn’t just for human threats…it can also be for threats from black bears, too, or at least that is what a bill under consideration in Florida would help clarify.

The Florida House is set to revisit a contentious bill aimed at strengthening self-defense claims for individuals shooting bears on their property, following a Senate amendment. The bill, initially passed by the House, received a 24-12 vote in the Republican-majority Senate. The amendment specifies that self-defense protections do not apply to those attracting bears deliberately, such as for dog training. Critics argue the bill could lead to increased deaths of the once-threatened bear population.

Sponsored by Sen. Corey Simon, the bill addresses concerns about bears entering residential areas, clarifying that residents are not obliged to shoot bears but are protected if they believe a bear poses an imminent threat. It requires individuals who kill bears under perceived threat to report the incident within 24 hours, ensuring they did not intentionally provoke the situation. The legislation also prohibits the possession or sale of bear carcasses post-incident.

Democrats have criticized the bill, urging for alternative measures to prevent bear-human interactions, highlighting concerns over a “gun-happy culture” and the potential endangerment of protected species. The bill gained momentum following comments from Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith about the area’s growing bear population. Proponents argue that current strategies by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, including the BearWise program, are insufficient.

Florida’s bear population has rebounded from 300-500 in the 1970s to an estimated 4,050 in 2017, following their removal from the state’s threatened species list in 2012. The state conducted a bear hunt in 2015, resulting in 304 bears killed, which was close to the target “harvest objective.” The House will reconsider the bill due to the Senate’s amendment.

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86 COMMENTS

  1. “Critics argue the bill could lead to increased deaths of the once-threatened bear population.”

    Typical Marxist concept – everything they want and the human cost doesn’t matter.

    How about “could lead to increased deaths” of the humans being attacked by bears if they are not allowed to defend themselves against bears. Why is this even a thing that a state has to specifically give permission in a law for a person to be able to defend themself? Every animal in the world is naturally permitted to defend their self against ‘predators’, except the human animal that for some insane reason needs to have permission of the state to be able to do so.

    • just had a nasty bear attack right in my own backyard…mothers with cubs can be quite dangerous…..

  2. Democrats – always looking for “alternative measures” that won’t work. What are those “alternative measures” anyway? Are they going to offer the bears money to crap in the woods? It’s working for the gangs, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Oh, wait, no it isn’t.

  3. Only in the twisted political landscape of today is this an issue.

    Hey, kids, only kill a bear if it reasonably poses a threat. We are trying to preserve the species while allowing you and your loved ones to live. If you have questions, please raise your hand so that we can identify those who need to be castrated so as not to pollute the gene pool any further.

    • With gender Identity and transitions, they are removing their physical ability to procreate. Why they have to resort to grooming.

  4. Franklin county is on the coast less than an hour to the south of me. They have Tate’s Hell State Forest and the Appalachicola National Forest on their north. They are wrapped up in bears down there. A couple of years ago in Carabelle a young girl was walking her dog when she was attacked by a bear. Her dog drove the bear away. Her injuries were not serious. This time. I know Corey. It doesn’t surprise me that he introduced this bill. Corey is POTG.

    • bears, panthers, pythons, fire ants, bull sharks, ‘cudas, love bugs (oh sure, harmless, unless you’re going the ton on a bikey through miccosukee).
      one morning i was hunting a key deer in my pajamas…

  5. “requires individuals who kill bears under perceived threat to report the incident within 24 hours“

    That should be plenty of time to get the beer bait picked up and stowed away before the authorities arrive.

    • And to Miner the life of the bear is more important than the life of the person. It’s why his kind support voluntary human extinction, but for most of us it won’t be voluntary. It’s why he has dacian to perform the actual wet work of liquidation.

  6. Miner, first no one I know wants bears on their property. Even if they weren’t dangerous, they’re a nuisance. No point in baiting, killing and reporting one. You can’t keep the bear. No rug in front of the fireplace. If someone wanted to bait and kill a bear, they don’t need this bill to do it. It’s called poaching. Miner, those that know not of which they speak should remain silent.

    • “no one I know wants bears on their property. Even if they weren’t dangerous, they’re a nuisance. No point in baiting, killing and reporting one“

      No one? Is Ocala in Florida?

      “Group used doughnuts to lure bears to be attacked by dogs. Two plotters just pleaded guilty
      Austin L. Miller
      Ocala Star-Banner
      A married couple accused of participating in a horrific bear abuse scheme, where the animals were hunted by packs of dogs for pleasure, have pleaded guilty.

      Separately, the man and woman entered their pleas in front of Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti on Thursday.

      First up was Charles L. Scarbrough, 32. Standing beside his lawyer, the Callahan man entered his plea on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, animal baiting and fighting, unlawful use of a two-way communicating device and unlawful taking of a black bear.“

      Wow, donuts as bait. Looks like you had better watch out around them parts…

      But that’s an isolated incident, right?

      “black bear killed on private property
      Dan [email protected]
      Empleo
      Multiple charges have been filed against a 32-year-old Middleburg man after a black bear was shot and killed a month ago on private property, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said.
      Joseph Matthew Empleo of Tarragon Avenue was arrested Monday on charges of taking a black bear, firing across private property without authority and using ammunition with a full metal jacket, according to jail records. Also charged with no hunting license and no deer permit, Empleo remained held without bail Tuesday.“

      “Another person charged with torturing bears pleads guilty in Ocala and is put on probation
      Austin L. Miller
      A fifth person who state officials said was involved in the inhumane treatment of bears was in a courtroom Thursday to change his plea and be sentenced.

      Represented by local lawyer Andy Ingram and also Russell McLean III, a North Carolina attorney who handles hunting/wildlife violation cases nationwide, William “Willie Bob” Edward Landrum pleaded guilty in front of Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti to charges of using animal to fight or bait another animal, unlawful use of two-way communications device to facilitate, and unlawful taking of black bear.”

      “If someone wanted to bait and kill a bear, they don’t need this bill to do it“

      No, this bill just makes it easier for them to get away with poaching.

      “Miner, those that know not of which they speak should remain silent“

      • Sounds like every incident you cited was a case of poaching that was successfully prosecuted. Thanks for proving my point. However, I do understand your point. Except, this bill is intended to prevent the wrongful prosecution of someone defending themselves against an animal attack. Would you feel better if that twelve year old girl in Carabelle had been killed by the bear? How about if she had successfully defended herself by killing the bear? Would it make you feel better if she was a convicted felon? What an idiot.

        • “a case of poaching that was successfully prosecuted. Thanks for proving my point“

          Nope, all they need to do is clean up the leftover donuts, and report a beer killed in self-defense. They don’t need the bear, or the bear skin because they’re training their dogs.

          “Would you feel better if that twelve year old girl in Carabelle had been killed by the bear?”

          But she wasn’t killed, she managed to survive and escape, without using a firearm…
          And you believe an average 12-year-old should be carrying a weapon powerful enough to kill a bear?

          Do you honestly believe a 12-year-old girl could effectively use a firearm to defend herself against a bear, or that any prosecutor would press charges? I don’t think even George Soros himself would prosecute that case.

          “What an idiot“

          Juvenile name-calling, how sad coming from you.

        • @gadsden flag

          I hesitate to reply to miner, because my posts tend to get lost in the noise. So if you will excuse me, I will reply to you instead.

          Many are missing the left’s main point here – in the incidents miner cited, the OWNER of the property involved was not the bear-killer.

          This bill from Simon/Shoaf is designed to protect the OWNER of the property the bear is a threat on – protect said property OWNER from attacks launched by evil commie fallacy-mongers that pretend to be bear-lovers in order to attack the 4th Amendment, ie, property OWNERSHIP.

          Hence the use of incidents not involving property owners to create the image of homeowners (ie, smear them) as a threat to commit genocide on the bears.

          Ironically, if you want lots of bears on potential bear habitats, make it legal for property OWNERS to profit from their presence. There’s millions of bear-scarce acres on both sides of the Suwanee that healthy bears could be temporarily bear-happy on (as Nature intends), if OWNERS were allowed to manage bears such that they are not a nuisance and a threat, even to themselves…

          I guess that’s too sane to talk about, tho.

        • Miner, you are illustrating your ignorance. You can’t train bear dogs over donuts. The dogs will eat them first. Can a twelve year old girl handle a firearm capable of dealing with a black bears? My daughter was a very capable with a “6 Python when she was twelve. As well as a 1911, Glock, and everything else in my safes. I gave her a vintage Colt Detective Special for Christmas when she was moving into her first place. Took her to the range. A pepper popper didn’t stand a chance. Are you a misogynist, or just stupid?

        • Your fascism is showing again, miner. 12 yo girls do not have the same abilities as 12yo boys? Girls are weak?

          Poaching is against the law. A few do it and you want to level the whole village.

          You must have a highly polished pair of jackboots with a black uniform hanging above in your closet.

      • context Miner49er, context, learn what it means. He said…

        ““no one I know…”

        No one he knows, and here you are coming back with “No one?” (deliberately ignoring the “…I know…” part in your conformation bias interpret reality abnormally) and then giving a tale of other people. Does he know those other people?

        Context, learn what context means and take the meds for your schizophrenia.

        Schizophrenia is a serious mental health illness disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally, are confirmation biased, become obsessed with stuff like like in your case religion or political people being the cause of problems (e.g. yours is Christianity and Trump), and is associated with violent tendencies (although most will never actually become violent, but they think about it). All of this you have expressed over time, and here you are again expressing it in your confirmation bias and interpreting reality abnormally especially when ignoring context.

  7. Unfortunately whenever man and animals compete for living space the animals always lose.

    The fears that the viscous Hilljack will gun down bears for the most trivial and asinine of reasons are well founded as proven in the past with similar laws passed in other States.

    The paranoid moronic and visocious Far Right are the first to panic and exaggerate the danger from bears. I have found that the Far Right are cowards when it comes to wild animals, and most panic at the sight of a bear. I am speaking now of the smaller bears not the giant monsters of Alaska which include the Grizzly and Brown Bear that do not fear man.

    Smaller bears are a different breed altogether. Over the many decades that man has slaughtered bears in the U.S. only the shy bears survived while the aggressive ones were soon shot off into extinction which actually bred a new type of bear far different than the original species that the White Man encountered when settling the U.S. Even in those days from the dead hand of the past the danger from the black bears was often exaggerated. If one doubts this there is an excellent book called “Forty-Four years of the Life of a Hunter” which was a diary of a Bear Hunter who hunted along the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland and although only armed with a single shot muzzle loader he never once was attacked by a bear and he practically lived in the woods with them.

    Meshach Browning (1781 – 19 November 1859) was an early backwoodsman, hunter and explorer of the watersheds of the North Branch Potomac and Youghiogheny Rivers. His memoir is Forty-Four Years of the Life of a Hunter (1859)

    The aggressiveness of Bears varies considerably between species. In India they have two species of bears and the smaller one (the sloth bear) has been known to be an extremely viscous killer of man. Move over Bengal Tiger you are in his way.

    In my own families experience my Grandmother and her Brother were attacked by a Transylvanian Brown Bear while riding in a buckboard on their way to market in the wilds of Transylvania. If it was not for some quick thinking by my Grandmother both her and her brother would probably have been killed. Her brother whipped the horses into high gear but the bear was faster and as the bear caught up with them my quick thinking Grandmother threw out a rope that was in the back of the wagon and drug it behind the wagon which distracted the bear long enough for them to reach the outskirts of town. The bear, obviously familiar with the fact that the mountain village was not a safe place to visit changed his mind and high tailed it back into the woods.

    An Uncle of mine who at 75 years of age once beat the shit out of two twenty year olds that attacked him, he feared nothing. He was on his way home (walking through the mountains) when he heard screams from a 6 year old girl being attacked by a huge Transylvanian Bear. My Uncle who had on him his service pistol, a Romanian Contract Steyr Hahn 1912 9mm charged the bear waving his arms. Luckily the bear stood up as my uncle got closer and my Uncle was able to shoot the bear up through the bottom of the throat, the bullet then traveling up through the brain which killed the monster instantly. He was forever known in the mountains after that as “The man who fears no bears”.

    My Father brought back one of the Steyr pistols from WWII. Strangely this is one of the few military pistols I never got around to buying. Its an oddball that is loaded from the top, it has no detachable magazine and its trigger pull spring performs other functions making the trigger pull very heavy which was probably the reason I never got wildly enthusiastic about acquiring one even though my family has a history tied up with this pistol. Perhaps I fked up by not getting one when the prices were not a king’s ransom to purchase one. I did a few years ago pass one up for almost nothing but it had a stripped out grip screw hole. At my age I am tired of fixing the pistols the Hilljacks screw up.

    I must also reluctantly admit that when some animals like mountain lions are no longer hunted as took place in California which outlawed the killing of the mountain lion some of the beasts began to lose their fear of man and became so numerous that they ran out of their natural food and gradually became more aggressive towards man, especially children. Whether or not the Florida Bears will eventually become more aggressive is still to be determined as bears are not totally carnivorous but will and do eat just about anything.

    I suppose the solution when and if the Florida Bears become too numerous some day is to have a limited controlled hunting season on the bears which keeps their numbers down and teaches them not to mess with men. Of course the numbers of bears may never become too numerous as the Burmese deadly Pythons eat just about anything that walks, crawls or flys in the Florida Swamps.

    • If we’re doing book recommendations:

      https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/423975

      Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, “Stephen Herrero is Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is recognized throughout the world as a leading authority on bear ecology, behavior and attacks.”

      • to Serpent Vison

        Thanks for your book recommendation.

        As you are already aware of I am sure, people who are products of higher education enjoy reading as many books as their time allows. I pity the people who never read a book as they remain in darkness their entire lives.

    • Damn! He’s a wildlife biologist too! And an expert on Florida wildlife. Dacian, you’ve never put your hands on a live Eastern diamond back, or gator in your life. Like your friend, Minor, you know not of which you speak.

      • “Like your friend, Minor, you know not of which you speak“

        How long your folks been in Florida?

        We have a picture of 12 foot icicles hanging from the water tank on great grandpa’s dairy farm where Miami international is now, during the great freeze. You’uns do remember the great freeze, right?

        • Minor, my family migrated to, and homesteaded in North Florida and South Georgia from North Carolina shortly after the Revolution. If you’ve read the book, or seen the movie Cold Mountain there is references to Black’s Cove. That’s us. During the Civil War my Great Uncle Samuel ran away from home at sixteen to join the Confederate Army. He helped throw the Union Army back into the sea at the Battle of Natural Bridge to save Tallahassee from being the only Southern capital east of the Mississippi River not captured by the North. My Uncle Bob Sampson was a G-12 with the FAA. He oversaw the FAAs side of the construction of Miami International. I remember my parents taking us to visit while they were there. After that Bob took over the FAA at Ft. Rucker, AL. You know, where they train U.S. Army helicopter pilots. There has never been a 12 foot icicle in Florida. My 94 year old mother can remember a few that were inches long, but that was in the panhandle. You sir, are full of shit, or a liar.

        • “ran away from home at sixteen to join the Confederate Army“

          I’m sure he was a brave young man who thought he was doing the right thing, but he had been fooled by the propaganda of the wealthy landowners who needed cannon fodder to protect their money making machine, biblical chattel slavery.
          Thousands of young men were snookered into giving their lives so that the moral sin of slavery could be perpetuated and the upper 1% of southern society continue to rake in obscene profits literally on the backs of others.
          Hey, I got plenty of kin that fought in the confederacy as well, my mom was from Virginia. But I’m not proud of their service in the Confederate Army.

          “There has never been a 12 foot icicle in Florida“

          Yeah, the great freeze was an actual event and the temperature went below freezing for months.

          “Orlando reached an all-time record low of 18 °F (−8 °C) on December 28, 1894,[1] which still stands.

          In the second cold wave (1895), West Palm Beach recorded an all time record low (since broken) of 27 °F (−3 °C) on February 9, 1895.”

          Yeah, Miami international…. My dad worked out of there for many years with Pan Am (on the clippers).
          My dad’s dad died when he was 12, and they lost most of the land for taxes in the Depression. I have an great-uncle who has the last parcel of the family property on the Tamiami Canal.

      • dacian is a “New Soviet Man” (and the first to exist since Stalin) and therefore is an expert on everything. To him the problem is too many people and in his logic the final solution is to reduce the human population. All for the environment of course.

        • I agree, to many humans, to many humans that own F150’s. I think the earth would do just fine without humans, horses might have a hard time but the rest of us critters would get along just fine without the humans.

    • “…whenever man and animals compete for living space the animals always lose.”
      wanna go to the zoo?

      • Junior, I don’t guess your folks were there during the great freeze, let me be the first to welcome y’all to Pascua Florida!

        • i’m allergic to flowers and pilgrimages. in your case i prefer the translation of genus of goby. we’ve got ’em in the great lakes, invasive (cough).
          my folks were in wuppertal and preusich freitland back then, forging tools and building furniture- not picking citrus.

        • Minor, Pascua is on the east coast. The coast is always more warm than the interior. That’s because the surf temp is always warmer than the ambient temperature. If there was a twelve foot icicle in Florida it was probably artificially created. When I was a child my dad would sometimes run a sprinkler on a tree in the backyard on cold nights to give my sister and I to have something to see the next morning. Never lasted past lunch. Again, you are full of shit, or a liar. Yeah, it does get cold in North Florida. I saw lows in the low 20s and wind chill in the mid teens last January. That’s after the low front, and its moisture passed. No moisture? No ice. Ask a meteorologist.

        • even if “surf temp” means surface temperature, it seems unlikely that that’s always the case. but maybe.

        • “Minor, Pascua is on the east coast“

          Sorry for the confusion, my reference was to the old name of what is now the state of Florida.

          “He landed on Floridian shores some time during April 2 to April 8 and named the area “la Florida” in honor of “Pascua Florida”, Spain’s Easter time celebration.[3] The expedition believed their discovery to be a large island and Ponce de Leon named the ‘island’ Pascua Florida.“

          “No ice. Ask a meteorologist”

          “No ice?” The Great Freeze begs to differ.

          “Two freezes occurred in northern Florida during this catastrophic season, the first in December 1894 and the second in February 1895.[4] The first did not actually kill many mature trees, but did set the stage for new growth during the warm month that followed. So, when the second, harder freeze came a few months later, the effects were even more devastating. All varieties of fruit (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes) froze on the trees, and bark split from top to bottom.[5] These effects were felt as far south as the Manatee River, south of Tampa.“

          Say it again!

          “All varieties of fruit (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes) froze on the trees, and bark split from top to bottom“

    • “In my own families experience my Grandmother and her Brother were attacked by a Transylvanian Brown Bear while riding in a buckboard on their way to market in the wilds of Transylvania.”

      🤣

      • romanian bears are those ones that are juggling salmon and wearing propeller beanies and ducky shorts.

    • I hate it when bears get sticky and resistive to flow.

      vicious /vĭsh′əs/
      adjective
      Having relatively high resistance to flow.
      Viscid; sticky.
      Adhesive or sticky, and having a ropy or glutinous consistency; viscid; glutinous; clammy; tenacious.
      “a viscous juice”

      vicious /vĭsh′əs/
      adjective
      Mean-spirited or deliberately hurtful; malicious.
      “vicious gossip.”
      Extremely violent or injurious; cruel.
      “a vicious blow to the stomach; vicious tactics in suppressing a rebellion.”
      Marked by an aggressive disposition. Used chiefly of animals.

  8. Attention this will save your life: If you are ever attacked even by a small constrictor snake you can get the snake off of you without someone’s help (strangling it) simply by putting your fingernail under one of the belly scales and quickly ripping it up. This sends a shockwave through the snake and it will relax its grip long enough for you to get the snake off of you. As a kid I loved to catch snakes and once picked one up that wrapped itself around my wrist and started to squeeze so hard my arm started to go numb. I easily got it off using this technique. This also happened to my Grandfather but again my quick thinking Grandmother took off one of her shoe laces and strangled the snake.

      • “Romanian Contract Steyr Hahn 1912 9mm”

        “strangled it with a shoelace”

        Hahaha… then there’s the obsession with viscosity…

        Don’t know about you, but I am entertained

    • “This also happened to my Grandfather but again my quick thinking Grandmother took off one of her shoe laces and strangled the snake.”

      Was that before or after your Grandmother and her Brother were attacked by a Transylvanian Brown Bear while riding in a buckboard on their way to market in the wilds of Transylvania?

      😂

    • Not-, she took off her shoelace and tried to strangle your grandpa.
      Mission failed.
      And now here we are.

  9. I think they should make them the same as people like the elephant in California. Or koala bear ir whatever it is. And maybe its New York but you’ve probably heard the story

    • If it wasn’t NY it will be when the governor and legislature realize CA or whoever one upped them in commie stuff.

  10. I didn’t know that bears were in Florida? Nice to know.
    Democrats are just like Adolf Hitler. He was a vegetarian and loved animals but hated people. Just like Democrats do.

  11. Support your right to bear arms against armed bears!
    (Bears are armed. They’re armed with bear arms, long arms, claws, and teeth.)

  12. During our MOS class at Camp Lejeune there was a bear rat FN the trash pile that had empty C rat cans. The gunney Sgt that was giving the class had enough of the bear interrupting his class, grabbed two empty used 105 cannisters, and charged him, clanging them together. That was the end of the bear interrupting his class.
    much to the ooh raa’s from the class.
    Now the joke that was pulled on the city boy one night retrieving the aiming stakes with a poncho is another story.

  13. Scary Bear attacks is a youtube channel I check in on every so often.

    What I have found there is that bears do not read rule books. They do not know that we expect them to behave in a certain way. When they do not it is off putting.

  14. I saw an old lady in Belle Vista beat a small black bear with a broom that was raiding her trash dumpster. The bear finally left, I thought the old lady was going to get attacked.

  15. FL Republicans passed this, but not Open Carry nor repealed the Under 21 Purchase Ban or stopped FDLE’s abuses of the background check system.

  16. This is how these idiots think bears should be treated, with stupid. But anyway, ya might get really lucky like this stupid guy did but more often than not if a bear can get that close to you they just might want a taste.

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