Carrabelle man shoots bear, is immediately arrested

By: Lt. Stan Kirkland, F-W-C
By: Lt. Stan Kirkland, F-W-C

Carrabelle - 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,59, 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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