Missouri hunters just got another fall opportunity. Last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reported that the Missouri Conservation Commission approved the state’s first-ever black bear hunt this October, Fox News reports.
The 10-day hunt will only be for residents and will occur Oct. 18 to 27 in specific areas within the southern half of the state. With nearly 800 black bears in the Show-Me State, MDC hopes to use the hunt as a way to manage the population, which grows by about 9% every year.
"A bear-hunting season in our state will provide opportunities for Missourians to participate in the sustainable harvest of this valuable wildlife species," said Laura Conlee, MDC bear biologist. "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."
If you live in Missouri and want to apply for one of the available permits, you can do so during May. Those lucky enough to win a tag through the random drawing will be notified by July 1, according to Fox News. Once selected, MDC will assign permit numbers and harvest quotas for each of the three Bear Management Zones (BMZ). Hunters are only allowed to harvest one bear per permit.
If the designated quota is met before the end of the 10-day hunt, the season for that BMZ will close. Baiting and dogs are prohibited; however, the use of firearms and archery equipment are allowed.