From News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner, 9/15/2015:

Gov. Rick Scott will not use executive authority to block the state’s first bear-hunting season in more than two decades, despite pleas from animal-rights groups.

While anti-hunt groups have been collecting petitions and planning protests across the state on the eve of next month’s hunt, the governor’s office said Scott has left the issue up to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which has already voted to proceed.

Adam Sugalski, campaign director for Stop The Florida Bear Hunt, said his group is coordinating plans to serve as “watchdogs” to ensure hunters follow rules about timely reporting each kill.

“With over 2,000 permits sold for 320 kills, we feel that many more bears are going to be killed and many cubs orphaned,” said Sugalski, whose group has also been gathering petitions and coordinating anti-hunt protests that will be held Oct. 23 in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Sarasota, Tampa, St. Augustine, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Gainesville, Miami, Jupiter and Melbourne.