Get information on black bears in Missouri, MDC black-bear research projects and management efforts, MDC’s black bear management plan, potential future hunting opportunities, and how to handle conflicts with nuisance bears. Share your comments with MDC staff.
Black Bear Management Plan (2020-2030)
MDC recently updated the Black Bear Management Plan. The updated plan illustrates the multifaceted approach to black bear management within Missouri. This includes using research to inform management decisions, increasing statewide awareness of Missouri’s bear population, and a high priority on minimizing and addressing human-bear conflict as the population grows. The three goals of the updated plan include:
Use science-based methods to manage a self-sustaining population of black bear, focusing on research and monitoring, population management, and habitat management.
Increase statewide awareness of Missouri’s black bear population and management program through coordinated outreach and public education.
Minimize and address human-bear conflicts.
We want to hear from you about bears in Missouri!
Missouri’s black bear population is growing and expanding. Bears sightings are becoming more common and widespread, as is nuisance activity. Report bear sightings.
Although black bears are native to Missouri, they were nearly wiped out during settlement. Now they're making a comeback. Use this section to follow our black bear research project, report bear sightings, camp safely in bear country, and control nuisance bears.
Black bears are an exciting part of Missouri’s natural history, and they’re making a comeback in the southern part of the state. Follow these guidelines to Be Bear Aware – stay safe in bear country, and keep our bears wild.