Missouri’s first black bear hunting season begins Monday

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 12:22 PM CDT
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MISSOURI (KY3) - Four-hundred people will be allowed to participate in Missouri’s first black bear hunting season, which officially begins Monday.

The black bear hunting season runs from Monday, Oct. 18 to Wednesday, Oct. 27, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The approved regulations limit bear hunting to only Missouri residents and restrict it to designated areas of southern Missouri. Conservation agents will limit hunters to one bear, and hunters may not use dogs to assist.

The Missouri Conservation Commission gave final approval of MDC’s season framework, permit and harvest quotas, and other related regulations for hunting black bears in Missouri at its March 26 open meeting.

Officials say the bear population in Missouri has been growing. Conservation agents now estimate there are 600 to 1,000 black bears in the state.

“Being able to add this iconic species to the long list of hunting opportunities for Missourians is a testament to the decades of bear research and management by MDC staff,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “A limited annual hunting season will help manage the growing number of black bears in the state.”

“A bear-hunting season in our state will provide opportunities for Missourians to participate in the sustainable harvest of this valuable wildlife species,” said MDC Bear Biologist Laura Conlee. “As our black bear population continues to grow, a highly regulated hunting season will be an essential part of population management into the future. The timing and length of the season, allowed hunting methods, and a limited permit allocation coupled with a limited harvest quota will ensure a sustainable harvest of our growing bear population.”

MDC proposed a limited and highly regulated black-bear hunting season following several years of public comment, including informational open houses in 2019 and a public-input process throughout 2020.

The selected hunters are allowed to participate any time from half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset during the 10-day hunting season.

For more information on the state’s first black bear hunt, CLICK HERE.

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