Black bear

The black bear population is growing in Missouri, and the state’s Conservation Department is allowing for a hunting season to occur from Oct. 18 to Oct. 27, or until the harvest quota is reached.

Bear hunting permits were randomly selected, and hunters can only operate within a specified Black Bear Management Zone. There are three Black Management Zones in the state, with a total harvest quota of 40 bears.

During the season, each hunter is required to call (800) 668-4045 to determine the quota status before hunting and must adhere to any regulations in place. Any bear that is harvested must also have a tooth submitted to the department for conservation purposes.

A bear hunting season in Missouri is response to their growing sightings in the state and a growing number of encounters with humans. The fact that a hunting season can occur demonstrates remarkable improvement in the state’s biodiversity and the success of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s efforts to restore and sustain the bear population.