You are required to call 800-668-4045 prior to hunting each day. A recorded message will tell you if the harvest quota has been met for the Black Bear Management Zone (BMZ) in which you are hunting. If the quota has been met, the season will close for that BMZ, and you may not harvest a black bear. In addition, the director of the Conservation Department may close hunting early within a BMZ if the harvest reaches 80 percent of the harvest quota, in which case the season for that BMZ would be closed and you may not harvest a bear.


Bears are becoming more common and widespread across the southern half of Missouri. The Department has determined that Missouri’s bear population can sustain a limited and highly regulated harvest, in order to provide an opportunity for Missourians to participate in the sustainable harvest of this valuable natural resource, while also allowing for the bear population to continue to grow. In the future, as the population continues to grow and upon the establishment of population benchmarks, hunting will serve as an essential component of black bear population management.