Black bear hunters pose with Missouri conservation agent for first season

Missouri

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation is monitoring the state’s first black bear hunting season. They posted a picture of Conservation Agent Nathan Ingle with hunters Brody Nieweg and Jeremy McMillian in Zone 3 in Pulaski County.

The hunting season started today and ends on October 27. Hunters had to apply and 400 bear tags were drawn randomly. Three bear management zones were formed with harvest quotas of 20, 15, and five bears.

The bears were abundant prior to European settlement. They were nearly eliminated by habitat loss and by unregulated killing in the late 1800s. A small number of Missouri black bears survived.

Conservation agents estimate that there are now 600 to 1000 black bears who are primarily found south of I-44. Their range is growing and the population is expected to double over the next decade. They are also connected to bear populations in other states.

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