I do not hike in Florida but I have spent a lot of time hiking in "Bear country" and I've only seen one true wild bear. The rest were park bears in national parks.

I wouldn't worry about "handling an ENCOUNTER", so much as I would learn to hang my food away from camp. The odds of a black bear in a populated area where he sees humans often, attacking someone is just not a common occurrence. For the most part bear are not aggressive, in fact they are rather shy and if you should see one count yourself lucky. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.