Fish & Wildlife | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

[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
property.

Black bears are a threatened species in Florida and are fully
protected.

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

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

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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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