Proposed Bear Hunting Seasons, Limits, Methods and Zones

Black Bear Hunting Season Dates and Limits

  • Begins third Monday in October; runs for 10 days, or until bear management zone (BMZ) specific quota is reached
  • Black Bear Harvest Quota
    • BMZ-specific quotas established annually by the Conservation Commission
    • Hunters must call each morning they intend to hunt to determine if quota has been filled.
    • The black bear hunting season will begin the third Monday in October and will run for 10 consecutive days or until the Black Bear Management Zone-specific harvest quota is reached. If the zone-specific harvest quota is reached prior to the close of the black bear hunting season, that zone will be closed to hunting the following day.  
      • If the harvest is equivalent to or exceeds eighty (80) percent of the Black Bear Management Zone-specific harvest quota, the director may close hunting within that Black Bear Management zone on the following day.
  • Bag limit is one bear

Black Bear Hunting Season Methods

Archery and firearms

  • Allowable methods same as deer and elk; excluding atlatl

No baiting; may be reevaluated if management needs change in the future

Bait is considered any type of food lure (including, but not limited to: grain, feed, bird food, pet food, food produced or manufactured for consumption by humans or domestic animals, or concentrated food powder which may be consumed or attempted to be consumed by black bears) which is placed or scattered so as to constitute an enticement to black bears. Scents and minerals, including salt, are not regarded as bait; however, mineral blocks with food additives are prohibited. An area is considered baited for ten (10) days following complete removal of bait. A person would be in violation if they take or attempt to take black bears by the aid of bait, where the person knows or reasonably should know the area is or has been baited. It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule

No dogs; may be reevaluated if management needs change in the future

Black Bear Management Zones (BMZ)

Three bear management zones

Black Bear Management Zone 1: That 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

Black Bear Management Zone 2: That 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.

Black Bear Management Zone 3: That 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.

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