Missouri’s 2023 black-bear hunting season ran Oct. 16–25 with 12 bears taken out of a maximum harvest of 40.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Missouri hunters harvested 12 black bears during the state’s third bear-hunting season, Oct. 16–25.
More than 5,370 hunters applied during May for 400 permits for the season with the maximum total harvest being 40 bears. Of the 400 hunters selected through a random drawing of all applicants, 342 hunters purchased permits for the season.
Bear hunting in Missouri is limited to Missouri residents and restricted to three designated areas of southern Missouri called Bear Management Zones (BMZ). Each permit issued is for a specific BMZ and hunting is limited to public or private property within the BMZ.
Nine bears were harvested in BMZ 1 out of a maximum of 20 with 173 hunters purchasing permits to hunt the zone. Three bears were harvested in BMZ 2 out of a maximum of 15 with 125 hunters purchasing permits to hunt the zone. No bears were harvested in BMZ 3 out of a maximum of 5 with 44 hunters purchasing permits to hunt the zone.
All bears were harvested using firearms methods. Of the 12 bears harvested, three were boars (males) and nine were sows (female).
“We had another successful black bear hunting season this year and saw bears harvested in four new counties where bears had not been previously harvested,” said MDC Bear Biologist Nate Bowersock. “Conditions this season couldn't have been much better for hunters, and we look forward to hearing from hunters about their experiences through our annual post-season survey.”
Learn more about Missouri black bears and bear hunting in Missouri at mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/bear.