The Missouri Department of Conservation will be running an online program to prepare participating hunters for this year’s black bear hunt.
The black bear season opens on October 18 and 400 Missourians have been drawn to participate.
The public is also invited to attend special education programs online, starting September 30 with “Black Bear Hunting Basics”. They will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and led by MDC instructors. Register for events on https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZyZ. The program is free, but registration is required.
“This virtual program is not only for hunters who have been drawn for the upcoming black bear season, but anyone who wants to learn more about black bear hunting in Missouri,” said Laura Conlee, MDC furry animal and black bear biologist.
The end-of-month program will include lessons on wildlife identification, habits and habitats, regulations, safety, hunting strategies, game equipment and maintenance.
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There are 400 licenses offered for the state’s first black bear hunting season October 18-27. The maximum harvest for the season will be 40 bears.
Bear hunting is limited to three designated areas in southern Missouri called Black Bear Management Areas, or BMZs. Hunters must apply for specific areas.
The permit and harvest quotas for the next bear season from October 18 to 27 will be:
- BMZ 1: Permit quota of 200 issued with a harvest quota of 20 bears.
- BMZ 2: Permit quota of 150 issued with a harvest quota of 15 bears.
- BMZ 3: Permit quota of 50 issued with a harvest quota of 5 bears.
Permits for specified black bear management areas can be used on public or private property within the area. According to the MDC, at least 10% of area-specific black bear hunting permits will go to landowners in the area with qualifying properties, with the remainder going to the public.
Hunters who receive permits should call the MDC before hunting each day to determine if the harvest quota for the area has been met.
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“Quota information will be updated no later than midnight each day of the black bear hunting season,” MDC said. “If a BMZ specific harvest quota is reached, the season for this BMZ will be closed. If harvest quotas are not met, the season will end at the end of the 10 designated hunting days.
For more information on black bear hunting in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov/bearhunting.
Sara Karnes is an outdoor reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow his adventures on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Karnes. Got a story to tell? Email him at email@example.com.