Missouri asks for feedback on black bear hunting proposal

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ST. LOUIS – We all remember Bruno the bear and his journey that we could track online as he traveled around Missouri and Illinois. But come this time next year, bears like Bruno may be hunted. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking public comments from October 16 through November 14 on its website

In 2019 the Missouri Department of conservation took a survey on their bear management plan. There were some comments against the plan but the overwhelming majority of the people responding said the plan was reasonable. But, only 37% said they’d be interested in harvesting a black bear.

The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates the black bear population is somewhere between 540 and 840 bears spread throughout two-thirds of the state and growing by at least 9 percent each year.

The proposal says that bear hunting season would begin in late October and run for about ten days. Three “Bear Management Zones” are being proposed for southern Missouri where most of them live. The harvest limit would be limited to one bear per permit.

Hunters would apply for the $10 permits in May. They would only be allowed to apply once per year to hunt in one of the three designated zones.

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