Black bear hunting season in Missouri moves closer to reality

A black bear yearling sniffs the air for danger. Sightings of black bears are becoming increasingly common as bear numbers grow across southern parts of Missouri.

Courtesy | Missouri Department of Conservation

Missourians interested in hunting black bears in the state can apply during May for one of 400 permits being offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The state's first black-bear hunting season will be Oct. 18–27. The maximum total harvest for the season will be 40 bears.

Bear hunting in Missouri is limited to state residents only, and the Missouri Department of Conservation restricts bear hunting to three designated areas of southern Missouri called Bear Management Zones. Each permit will be for a specific zone and may be used on public or private property

Apply by May 31 online at, through MDC's free MO Hunting app, through a permit vendor or by calling 1-800-392-4115. There is a $10 nonrefundable application fee. Missouri residents 11 or older by the start of the bear season are eligible to apply.

Permit selection will be determined by July 1 through a random drawing of all eligible applicants. Applicants can check to see if they have been selected for a permit at by logging into “Manage Your Account” and selecting “View My Special Hunt History.” Those selected to receive a permit must have their hunter-education certification or be exempt (born before Jan. 1, 1967) before they may purchase the permit at a cost of $25.

A minimum of 10% of zone-specific resident black bear permits will be allocated to approved landowners. 

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