Missouri Approves First-Ever Bear Hunt in Latest Vote

by Halle Ames

Missouri has a historic day on Friday with a unanimous vote to let the state have its first-ever black bear hunt.

The four members of Missouri’s Conservation Commission voted unanimously to approve the state’s first-ever black bear hunt. This will be the first hunt since the founding of the department in the 1930s.

According to the press release, the hunting will be only for Missouri residents and is limited to the southern part of the state. However, it will not be until next spring that the Department of Conservation presents proposal permits and hunting quotas.

Missouri Bear Hunt Permits

The hunt will take place in October of 2021, but residents may apply for permits starting in May. Each application will cost $10, and winners will be announced on July 1 through a random draw process. However, the permits will cost $25, and 10 percent will be reserved for qualified landowners.

The spokesperson for the Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek, said that groups of bears, like families, are off-limits. Only solitary bears.

“Bears may not be disturbed, pushed, harassed, or taken from a den,” the news release said. “Only lone black bears may be taken. Hunters may not take bears that are known to be in the presence of others bears, including female black bears with cubs.”

The release also stated that this decision came after years of public request.

Not everyone is in support of the hunt, however. Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said the only group that would benefit will be trophy hunters out for “heads, hides or for bragging rights.”

“It is shameful that the MDC and the commission chose to pander to these special interests while ignoring the interests of the animals and the wishes of the state’s residents,” Block wrote.

Officials believe that there are roughly between 540 and 840 bears in the Show-Me State. That number is growing around nine percent each year.

[H/T STL Today]