Missouri Department of Conservation Approves 2021 Black Bear Hunt

Adam Scepaniak   12.30.20

The Missouri Department of Conservation has approved a black bear hunt for 2021 and is finalizing the rules as to how the hunt, tentatively set for next fall, will play out. Right now the only things left to decide are the amount of permits the state will issue and also a harvest quota. Once those parameters are set Missouri residents will be able to apply for Permits roughly in May 2021 for an October 2021 hunt. A portion of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Press Release can be read below:

“JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Conservation Commission recently gave final approval to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for the state’s first black bear hunting season framework. The Commission finalized the hunting season framework and related regulations at its Dec. 11 open meeting in Jefferson City. The approved framework limits any future bear hunting to areas of southern Missouri and restricts bear hunting to Missouri residents only.

black bearProposed Black Bear Zones for Missouri 2021 Hunt

The MDC has been tracking bear populations for the last 50 years and have noticed a steady incline in their numbers. Currently, the MDC estimates that Missouri holds between 540 – 840 black bear mainly in its southern regions. At the moment, they predict the bear population to double within the next 10 years at an average rate of 9% per year. A lot of the expected growth of the Missouri black bear population is due to booming populations in the neighboring states of Oklahoma and Arkansas. MDC Furbearer Biologist, Laura Conlee, further explained the intricacies of the upcoming black bear hunt:

A bear-hunting season in our state will provide opportunities for Missourians to participate in the sustainable harvest of this valuable wildlife species. 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.

The Missouri black bear season is set to begin on the 3rd Monday of October and run for 10 days (or until the set Harvest Quota is met; whichever comes first). Personally, being a Minnesota resident where we have had regular black bear seasons for decades I can attest to the fact that black bear meat is delicious, and a uniquely challenging hunt. For everybody in our reading audience, is anyone from Missouri who may have a chance at hunting black bear for the 1st time? As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


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