Missouri Now Has Set Dates For Black Bear Hunting Season

A bleak bear walking in grass.

A bleak bear walking in grass.

Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has listened to the residents of Missouri and has established rules and regulations for the first black bear season. Back in May of this year [1], the MDC was seeking information from local residents about black bears, their locations, and their numbers. They are ready to announce the rules for the 2021 black bear season.

Who Can Hunt?

The bear hunting is limited at this time to only Missouri residents. The MDC will issue a limited number of hunting permits for each of the BMZ( bear management zone). The permit will be legal on public or private property. Hunters must call the MDC each day before they intend to hunt to find out if the quota of bear has been reached.

What Can You Hunt?

The limit is one bear per permit. Bears may not be taken from the den. They may only be harvested when they are alone. In other words, a male bear near a female with cubs may not be harvested.

Where Are The Open Counties For Hunting Bears?

Southern Missouri counties are open for the bear season, primarily those south of 1-44. Most of Oregon county is in zone 2, while West Plains and the southern tip of Oregon County is in zone 1. A detailed map of the zones is listed here. Highway 63 is the zone borders.

When Is The Season?

This first season will begin on the third Monday of October and run for ten continuous days. However, the season may stop if the bear quotas are reached. As of today, the quota has not been specified. The time to hunt is aligned with deer hunting: 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset.

Other Limitations?

Dogs are not allowed at this time, nor is baiting [2]. Hunters must wear hunter orange. All bears need to be telechecked by 10:00 p.m. on the day shot. MDC also requires a tooth from each harvested bear.


The online permit-application period is only during the month of May. Permits are issued in July through a random drawing. Hunters must be a minimum of 11 years old. The MDC is not issuing landowner permits.


  1. ^https://www.altonmo.com/lifestyle/outdoor-living/do-you-have-an-opinion-on-bear-hunting-20200521 (go back↩)
  2. ^https://www.newspressnow.com/sports/outdoors/missouri-to-open-bear-hunting-season-in-2021/article_4d4c2422-453e-11eb-8999-8758ae019c09.html (go back↩)

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