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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missourians who are interested in taking part in the state’s first black bear hunting season may now apply.

The Post-Dispatch reported the Missouri Department of Conservation has 400 permits for the hunt. They hope hunters can harvest 40 bears during the season that runs from October 18 to October 27.

Hunters must be from Missouri, and each permit will be for one of three designated areas in southern Missouri called “Bear Management Zones.”

The application closes on May 31. Click here to apply.

Harvesting rules:

  • One bear per limit
  • Only lone bears can be taken
  • Hunters cannot take bears that are known to be in the presence of others bears, including female black bears with cubs
  • Do not disturb, push, harass, or take bears from a den

Hunters must wear hunter orange, make reasonable efforts to retrieve shot bears, and may not leave or abandon commonly edible portions.

MDC says all harvested bears must be telechecked by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest and must remain intact as a field-dressed carcass or quartered until the bear has been telechecked. MDC will also require the submission of a tooth from each harvested bear within 10 days of harvest. MDC says this will help with black bear research and management.

“Hunters who are issued permits must call MDC each day before they intend to hunt to determine if the BMZ-specific quota has been reached. If harvest quotas are not reached, the season will close at the end of the 10 designated hunting days,” the release states.