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Missouri hunter shoots first black bear during state’s hunting season

Missouri hunter shoots first black bear during state’s hunting season

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Lucas Bond, communications manager with the Missouri Department of Conservation, interviews a hunter who harvested the first black bear in southwestern Missouri on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. Video provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation

The first black bear hunted in the state of Missouri was shot in the southwest part of the state on Monday.

The bear, a female weighing about 250 pounds, was hunted on private land, said Missouri Department of Conservation communications manager Lucas Bond. 

A second bear was also hunted Monday on public land in the same area of Missouri, Bond said.

Bond didn’t release the full name of the hunter who shot the first bear. In a video posted to the department’s Facebook page, the hunter said he knew he had bears on his property.

“Very exciting. I’ve hunted my entire life,” the man said. “As far as the hunt, this was probably the most thrilling, exciting thing that I’ve ever done ... Bear come in, couldn’t really believe it and couldn’t believe that I actually seen one ... I didn’t hesitate very long to be honest with you.”

“Looking forward to taking it to the taxidermist,” the hunter said, adding that he’s also excited to try the meat.

The area of the state where both bears were shot is south of Springfield and Joplin, and west of West Plains. 

The black bear season this year is the first in the state, and continues through Oct. 27. The state has an estimated black bear population of about 800, mostly found south of the Missouri River.

The hunters received permits in a lottery, and the state set a quota of 40 bears to be hunted during the season. A hunter with a permit can only shoot one bear. Once quotas are met, the season closes.

Hunters can use either bows or firearms during the season; Bond said the first bear was shot with a rifle.

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