The bear hunt is on, and so are the protests

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Outraged about the fact that thousands of people are totally stoked about going to the woods to orphan them some bear cubs, and there's fucking nothing we can do about it?

You're not alone, man.

On Friday, Oct. 23, one day before 2,787 people (and counting) take to the woods with their guns and crossbows to prove how manly they are to the rest of us and get a tacky rug in the process, numerous protests are being held across the state, including in St. Petersburg.

At 11:30 Friday morning, protesters will gather outside the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute just south of downtown St. Pete to express their disgust at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission bizarre and not-so-scientifically based decision to allow a bear hunt for the first time in two decades.

The bulk of the commission believes bear overpopulation is making people who live near bear habitats vulnerable to attacks and that the hunt is needed to prevent such incidents.

To them, it's not humans causing the problem by developing in bear habitats, not securing their garbage and harvesting a key food source for them, saw palmetto berries, for use as a popular prostate supplement.

To many Floridians, however, that's bullshit (as we examined in August).

At Friday's event, participants are encouraged to wear bear costumes and masks and some will offer bear hugs.

Ahead of the hunt, Kate MacFall, director of the Florida branch of the Humane Society of the United States, issued a written statement decrying the event:

“This is a sad day for Florida’s black bears. This weekend, trophy hunters will take to the woods to kill our bears for rugs and taxidermied trophies. This hunt is completely unnecessary and it’s not supported by science or by public sentiment. Research overwhelmingly shows that hunting bears in the woods doesn’t reduce problems with bears in neighborhoods. The state would be better off helping citizens manage trash and outdoor food sources. Unfortunately for bears, most of Florida’s wildlife commissioners failed to listen to the overwhelming majority of Floridians who publicly opposed the hunt.”

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