[UPDATE] Florida Man Charged in Killing of Black Bear

By: AP, FWC Release
By: AP, FWC Release

Updated 10/28 at 6:15pm by Jerry Askin

A Franklin County man is arrested and charged for shooting and killing a 175 pound black bear with a bow and arrow.

FWC officials say last Friday, 59-year old, Carrabelle resident Gene Strickland shot and killed a bear with a bow and arrow on private property near St. James Golf Course in Lanark Village.

Investigators say on October 22nd, Strickland laid out corn and fish nearly 50 feet away from his tree stand on private property to attract the 175 pound female bear. And when the bear ran by, he shot it with his bow and arrow.

Strickland was charged with one count of killing a black bear which is a felony.

Franklin County resident Robin Hill says, "People really just don't understand the fact that the bear has a right to be here too. If they didn't have that food out, the bear wouldn't come - and I just don't know what they're trying to prove by trying to kill a bear."

Officials say In the state of Florida, there is no open season to hunt bears. Bears are not out to attack. In fact, there has never been a bear attack on a human in the state of Florida.

WCTV stopped by Gene Strickland's house to try and get answers on why he killed the black bear, he declined to comment.

Florida Wildlife officials say if you see a bear in your area, give it space, back away slowly and allow it to move. Do not turn and run away because the bear might chase. And learn how to avoid attracting bears to your yard by not leaving trash and pet food in your yard because that will attract the bears.

Strickland was released from the jail the next day - October 23rd. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is still not releasing the official incident report because the investigation is still ongoing.


Lanark Village, FL (AP) -

A Florida Panhandle man has been arrested after a wildlife investigator allegedly saw him shoot and kill a black bear with a bow and arrow.

Gene Strickland of Carrabelle was charged Oct. 22 with one count
of killing a black bear.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the
175-pound female bear was shot on private property near the St.
James Golf Course at Lanark Village.

Stickland is allegedly one of several people who hunt on the

Black bears are a threatened species in Florida and are fully

A woman who answered the phone at Strickland's home declined to

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


FWC Release --

A Franklin County man was arrested Oct. 22 and charged with killing a black bear after a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigator saw him shoot the animal with a bow and arrow.

Black bears are classified as a threatened species in Florida and are fully protected. There is no open season for the taking of bears.

Gene Strickland (DOB 08/23/51), a dock builder and fishing guide from Carrabelle, was charged with one count of killing a black bear – a felony – and taken to the Franklin County Jail, according to FWC Investigator Eric Johnston. Strickland’s bow and arrow were seized as evidence.

Johnston said the 175-pound female bear ran by, only 50 feet from Strickland’s tree stand.

The bear was shot on private property near the St. James Golf Course at Lanark Village. Strickland is one of several hunters who hunt the property.

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  • by Marine sniper on Nov 8, 2010 at 07:10 AM
    The facts are straight. The investigator was Inv. LT. S. Runcle and Inv. Thomas. Wakulla S.O. Set up the 5 hour perimeter. The targets dog actually sniffed out the camera parts. I, unfortuanaly, am very familar with the facts of that day.
  • by beachy Location: in the forest on Nov 3, 2010 at 07:59 PM
    This "guy" has always felt he is above the law...in everything he does! He, and others like him, should be made an example of. He was obviously baiting the bear and therefore he should have ALL licenses-drivers, Captain's, contractors, etc. taken away, just as if he had received a DUI! Perhaps if he gets the full extent of the law thrown at him, others will think twice before baiting a bear just to say "Look what I did!"
  • by not impressed Location: anywhere but Wakulla on Nov 3, 2010 at 06:35 AM
    To marine sniper-get your facts straight. FWC had absolutely nothing to to with that incident. It was US Forest Service Investigators who lost the camera, not FWC.
  • by Marine Sniper Location: Franklin on Nov 2, 2010 at 04:21 AM
    In relation to the FWC, I would like to know what is happening to the investigator who just lost the $10,000 special camera. It was supposed to be used for this type of investigation, but they were trying to do a marijuana grow case when the suspect walked up. The two FWC guys jumped into the bushes to hide when the man approached. He, the suspect, found the camera and put it in his back pack. The FWC jumped out, and the man ran off. The two were unable to catch him and the camera is gone. This was in Wakulla, a couple of weeks ago.
  • by SeaTrout Location: Franklin Co. on Nov 2, 2010 at 03:55 AM
    You all can debate who's the snitch? and what if? or maybe it was a "set-up" but the bottom line is, you're not supposed to kill these bears- that's pretty clear, and most people know that. Guess you can debate the merits of your particular transgression- from the back seat. So if he got caught and if it was by an FWC officer then he will pay the price for this moment of mis-judgement. Oh, and there is a lot of things in my life I consider a nusicance, don't give me the right to shoot em although.
  • by Steve Location: Wakulla on Oct 30, 2010 at 02:49 PM
    Unfortunately Debbie, you gotta be smarter than the bears. See since you tried tying down the cans the first time and that didn't work, your gonna need to try something else. Build wooden structure or hey, how bout some electric fencing. Its not rocket science! Country folk are supposed to be resourceful. Bears are strong, smart, and have an excellent sense of smell. You'll just need to work a little harder. Maybe you should move in with the "city folk" if you can't handle it.
  • by Steve Location: Wakulla on Oct 30, 2010 at 02:45 PM
    One more thing about the literature. FWC sends out literature because its the nice way of saying, "put your garbage up, keep your place halfway decent and you won't have problems moron." You wouldn't tolerate a stray dog coming around. A bear is no different. A wonder how many of you complaining are folks in favor of smaller govt. Complain about big brother not coming in to fix your problem. Why do something to help myself when I blame it on someone else.
  • by brian Location: carabelle on Oct 30, 2010 at 10:46 AM
    hmmm i wonder who the snitch was???? good thing he couldnt keep his mouth shut on here
  • by J on Oct 29, 2010 at 10:12 AM
    KO-lj-NRA--I so agree with all of you. lj I BET those are some REAL BEARS. The LAW was broke....Bubba you said a mouth full. ENOUGH SAID.
  • by Bubba Location: Carrabelle on Oct 29, 2010 at 06:06 AM
    NO, it's not easy to mistake a boar for a Bear. Ha Ha. Just an excuse. These clowns and their "huntin club" have been doing things like this for a couple of years now, totally unchecked. Not the first bear killed, public roads blocked, (huntin club),, kids hunting with assualt rifles. Taking game and does out of season. Shooting birds over baited fields. Makes the rest of us from down here look like a bunch of "rednecks". Well just to let the rest of you know we are tired of the abuses by this "club" also. And FWC needs to keep an eye on the rest of those clowns too.
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