JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Missouri hunters harvested eight black bears during the 2022 bear-hunting season, Oct. 17–26, 2022.
More than 5,880 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, 350 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.
The Joplin region lies in BMZ 1. All eight bears were harvested in BMZ 1 out of a maximum of 20 with 177 hunters purchasing permits to hunt the zone. No bears were harvested in BMZ 2 out of a maximum of 15 with 128 hunters purchasing permits to hunt the zone. No bears were harvested in BMZ 3 out of a maximum of 5 with 45 hunters purchasing permits to hunt the zone.
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This year, three of the eight bears harvested were taken with bows. During last year’s inaugural season, all 12 black bears harvested were taken with firearms. MDC notes that an even ratio of male and female bears were harvested this year, similar to last.
“We anticipated a lower harvest this season over last,” said MDC Bear Biologist Nate Bowersock. “Bears love gorging on acorns in the fall and the acorn crop around the state was much more plentiful this season over last. This resulted in bears moving less often and being more dispersed, which made it more difficult for hunters to find them.”
THE MO. DEPT OF CONSERVATION BMZ ZONES
Black bear hunting is allowed south of the Missouri River in three Black Bear Management Zones (BMZs). You may hunt only in the BMZ specified on your permit.
The portion of Missouri west of a line running north from the Arkansas border on U.S. Highway 63 to U.S. Highway 60; west on U.S. Highway 60 to MO-360; west on MO-360 to Interstate 44; west on Interstate 44 to the Oklahoma border
The portion of Missouri east of a line running north from the Arkansas border on U.S. Highway 63 to Interstate 44; east on Interstate 44 to State Highway 47; north on State Highway 47 to the Missouri River; east along the Missouri River to the Illinois border
The portion of Missouri south of a line running east from the Kansas border along the Missouri River to State Highway 47; south on State Highway 47 to Interstate 44; west on Interstate 44 to U.S. Highway 63; south on U.S. Highway 63 to U.S. Highway 60; west on U.S. Highway 60 to MO-360; west on MO-360 to Interstate 44; west on Interstate 44 to the Oklahoma border.
Learn more about Missouri black bears and bear hunting in Missouri by clicking here.
Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more on the work of Missouri Conservation in the state.
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