Florida Hunting News

Naples Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting a Florida Panther

United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces today that Todd Alan Benfield (45, Naples) pled guilty to shooting and killing a Florida Panther, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Benfield faces a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison, a fine of up to $100,000, and forfeiture of weapons and other equipment used to kill the animal.

Patas Monkey Spotted in Gainesville, Florida

A Patas monkey has been spotted in the Gainesville area in a block of woods near Waldo and 8th Avenue. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking for the public’s assistance if the animal is spotted.

“Thursday afternoon, FWC officers set a trap for the animal near where it was feeding off a homeowner’s fruit trees,” said Maj. Roy Brown, FWC regional commander. “We are asking that the public not approach this animal or attempt to feed it or catch it.

Florida Black Bear Draft Management Plan Revised

The Florida black bear population has increased from as few as 300 bears in the 1970s to more than 3,000 bears today, and now the draft plan that will guide continued conservation of this species has been revised by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

They’re Back; Sturgeon Returning to Suwannee River, Florida

They’re back. Gulf sturgeon have begun their annual migration back into the Suwannee River.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers have reported seeing the fish jump already this year.

People have been injured in accidental collisions with the jumping sturgeon. In 2011, six boaters were hurt and 11 encounters with sturgeon were reported.

Florida Men Plead Guilty to Robbing Lobster Traps, Receive Stiff Penalties

Two men arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers received stiff penalties after pleading guilty to robbing lobster traps in the Florida Keys.

On March 26, Frank Guerra (DOB 10/30/70) of Key Largo and Alberto Rodriguez (DOB 06/26/63) of Homestead pleaded guilty to three counts of trap molesting by a commercial harvester, a felony. Guerra also pleaded guilty to two counts of improper display of a dive placard, a misdemeanor.

New Speed Zone on Hendry Highway Will Help Protect Florida Panther

A new speed zone in Hendry County will make crossing the road safer for panthers and other wildlife. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) worked with the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners and partners such as Defenders of Wildlife to create the new zones on Keri Road, also known as CR 832.

Keri Road is a rural road that passes through the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest. Since 1996, the FWC has documented nine panthers that were killed by vehicle collisions along this road. Florida’s panther population today is an estimated 100 to 160 adults.

Camp Blanding Bear Cubs Examined by Florida WC Biologists

Their official names are “160” and “161.” But the words used most frequently to describe them were “too cute.”

They are two 6-pound, male black bear cubs born about eight weeks ago. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists examined the cubs Sunday at the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Clay County.

Florida FWC Hoping to Identify Boat that Struck Grand Lagoon Dock

Someone on a relatively large boat hit and damaged a dock behind a private residence on Grand Lagoon in Bay County last week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is trying to identify the vessel and whoever was operating the boat at the time.

The dock is behind a residence at 5202 Finisterre Drive on Panama City Beach. Mike Bennett owns the residence.

Bennett contacted the FWC March 16 after seeing substantial damage to his dock. He believes the dock was damaged sometime the previous week.

Florida's Free Kids’ Fishing Clinic Promises Day of Learning and Fun

Teaching children a lifelong hobby, instilling appreciation for our marine environment and providing a fun, family outing are the objectives for Saturday’s Kids’ Fishing Clinic in Fernandina Beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will offer a free Kids’ Fishing Clinic for children between the ages of 4 and 16 on Saturday, March 24. The clinic will take place at Fort Clinch State Park, from 9 a.m. to noon. Advance registrationis not required.

Florida Black Bear Festival is Free, Family Fun

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is once again a proud partner in the Florida Black Bear Festival, an event dedicated to helping people understand and live in harmony with the fascinating Florida black bear.

The free, family-oriented festival, now in its 13th year, is scheduled for Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cadwell Park in Umatilla, south of the Ocala National Forest. The free event is a great way for families to spend a few hours together doing something fun and educational at the same time.