It looks like Missouri is preparing to have its biggest ever bear season later in 2023. The state will begin offering 400 black bear permits starting in May. The Department of Conservation released all the details today of what to expect.

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The Missouri Department of Conservation said in a press release that hunters can begin applying May 1, 2023 for 400 total black bear permits. The black bear hunting season will officially take place beginning October 16 through the October 25th. Here are the rules as shared by the state on how permits will be distributed:

Only Missouri residents who will be at least 11 years of age by the first day of the hunt for which they are applying are eligible to apply for bear and elk permits during the application period of May 1-31. All permits will be assigned through a random drawing.

It's important to state that the state of Missouri will only allow 40 bears to be harvested. The season will end once the 40th bear has been taken down.

Other things to note: Only lone black bears may be harvested. Mothers with cubs are not permitted to be hunted.

If you're curious why a black bear hunting season is necessary in Missouri, the Department of Conservation has stated it's due to an increasing population of black bears in Missouri and is intended for wildlife management.

Ideas have been floated about the possibility of reintroducing wolf packs back into Missouri to balance the amount of black bears, but that's still just a theory that doesn't look to happen anytime soon. Until then, it's annual black bear hunting season in the Show Me State.

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