Skip to main content

Missouri Approves Framework for Black Bear Season

As bear numbers continue to flourish, sustainable hunting is the best management practice.

Missouri Approves Framework for Black Bear Season

The Missouri Conservation Commission has approved the framework that will allow for black bears to be hunted come October 2021. This is a momentous victory for sportsmen and conservation efforts alike. According to a press release: Bears in the state used to be abundant, but during the 1800s, due to unregulated harvest, the animals were almost eradicated. After years of dedicated study and management efforts the population is seeing a yearly 9% growth and is expected to double within the next 10 years.

Now that the framework for the season has been approved the next step comes in the form of quotas. The Missouri Department of Conservation is now tasked with setting permit quotas along with harvest quotas for the season. If quotas are approved, the application process will open this coming May.

The framework lays out the basic rules of the season along with the information needed to prove that hunting will be the best way to sustainably manage these animals. Three Bear Management Zones (BMZs) have been created to help manage the populations, permit and harvest quotas will differ for each.

The season is short — a 10-day season that will start on the third Monday of October every year. What’s more, the season is only open to Missouri residents. The season will close after the days have elapsed or at the time the harvest quota is reached within the specific BMZ. Like most states, sows with cubs cannot be targeted in the season and bears in dens must be left alone.


While the season is short, it is a great step in the right direction and another chance to prove that hunting is one of the best management tools we have in our arsenal.


“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 Furbearer Biologist Laura Conlee. “As our black bear population continues to grow, a highly regulated hunting season will be an essential part of population management in 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.”

Bears have long caused a lot of uproar within the non-hunting community and this announcement has yet again struck a chord. Anti-hunting and animal-rights organizations are making their opinions clear.

“It’s inconceivable that a governing body with the word ‘conservation’ in it ignored the best available science by voting today to open up trophy hunting on Missouri’s small bear population,” Amanda Good, Missouri state director for the Humane Society of the United States, told KMBC News. “What’s even more disgraceful is the blatant disregard for the many Missouri residents who spoke out against the proposed season, and the shameful catering to the extreme minority who want to exploit our wildlife for a bearskin rug.”

While these organizations are making their opinions clear, I am sure that this season will prove, yet again, that hunters do more to conserve species and game populations than anyone else. This season has science behind it and the conservation of the species in mind. So, if you hunt in Missouri, make sure to look for the application and put in for your tag. Not only are bears an exciting and difficult hunt, but they offer amazing meat for the freezer as well.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Burris Oracle X Range-Finding Crossbow Scope

New for 2021: Burris Oracle X Range-Finding Crossbow Scope

The Burris Oracle X is the first and most advanced range-finding crossbow scope on the market, building on the company's long successes with range-finding optics like the Eliminator riflescope.

New for 2021: MEAT! Grinders, Vacuum Sealers, Accessories

New for 2021: MEAT! Grinders, Vacuum Sealers, Accessories

MEAT! Your Maker, makers of quality meat-processing tools for do-it-yourself hunters. The company's commercial-grade products are built "with quality in mind, not price point" for fellow hunters.

New for 2021: BOG Clandestine and Blood Moon Trail Cameras

New for 2021: BOG Clandestine and Blood Moon Trail Cameras

The BOG Blood Moon and Clandestine are two new trail cameras with some great features.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Petersen's Hunting stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now