By JASON DEAREN | Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Hunters for the first time in more than 20 years will trudge through Florida woods to legally kill black bears.

Florida wildlife officials have sold more than 3,200 permits to hunters from all over, including 1970s rocker Ted Nugent and Liesa Priddy, a rancher and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission member who voted to approve the new hunts. The hunt starts Saturday and will run for a week or until 320 bears are killed.

The hunt was approved by the commission earlier this year after much debate. In the end, the members said the black bear population had grown to 3,500, up from a few hundred in the 1970s, and presented a safety problem.

Thirty-two other states also allow black bear hunts.