Recently, a proposal by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for Missouri bear hunting was open for public comment. Results indicate the public opposes Missouri bear season. MDC believes it is almost time to institute a controlled hunting season for black bears.

Population & Proposal

“Our bear population is at a level where it can sustain that harvest. We’re looking at proposing a very limited and highly regulated season.”
– Laura Conlee, MDC Chief Furbearer Biologist

The proposal abides by well-defined goals, management zones, season dates, limits and methods as well as an application and permit system. All of these components are in keeping with how all other hunting seasons are regulated.

Public Opposes Missouri Bear Season

“We did get comments from outside of Missouri. I think we’re looking at about 27 states, including Missouri, and several different countries. We collect all of that input.”
– Laura Conlee, MDC Chief Furbearer Biologist

Many comments claimed there are too few black bears to consider for hunting. Others claimed bear hunting is inhumane. Here are some of the opposing comments:

“I beg you from the bottom of my heart to please prevent any bear hunts in your beautiful state. Bears are wonderful creatures with moms and cubs who love one another. The male bears are precious animals as well who want to do nothing more than to live their lives in peace and harmony with all of God’s creation.”
– Katherine Hall, Elizabethton, Tennessee

“It is during prime deer hunting season.”
– Anonymous

“I disagree with quotas. Open it up and keep it open. I hunt for food and would like to fill my freezers.”
– Anonymous

“Please DO NOT KILL THE BEARS. It sickens me that trophy hunters are the only ones that will get to see — and destroy — these creatures for a few bucks for a license.”
-Michael Lazar, Gladstone, Missouri.

“My heart breaks for these wonderful highly intelligent animals! I kindly ask you to NOT allow such a massacre! Hunting is barbaric, extremely brutal and perverse and those who are able to do it are no humans in my eyes.”
– Vera Kebsch-Müller, Germany

Support for the MO Bear Season

Although there were more comments in opposition, more than 1,000 responded in support.

“Glad to see we have a large enough population to allow management by hunting. I’m not a landowner, live in the urban KC area, but have friends in southern MO and hope to see a black bear in the wild myself someday! Keep up the good work!”
– Anonymous

“Population management is necessary. Thanks for being proactive. Just for the record, I’m a city dweller.”

Furthermore, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, a nonprofit which represents 100 groups consisting of more than 80,000 affiliate members, is in favor of the hunt.

“We agree that it’s crucial to use science-based methods to manage a self-sustaining population of black bears by focusing on research and monitoring, population management, and habitat management.”
– Tyler Schwartze, Executive Director – Conservation Federation of Missouri

Should MDC take non-resident input regarding a potential new bear hunting season?

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