A proposal to allow bear hunting in Missouri has drawn criticism from varied voices, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Missouri Department of Conservation proposed the limited hunt to help manage bear populations.
However, more than 67% of the respondents to a public survey did not agree with the proposed bear hunting season dates and limits.
The department estimates that there are between 540 and 840 black bears in Missouri.
According to conservation officials, the state’s bears are concentrated below the Missouri River. The proposal would divide this region into three “Bear Management Zones” with spring quotas for each one.
The Conservation Federation of Missouri supports the proposal to help with population and habitat management, as well as research and monitoring.
“We agree that it’s crucial to use science-based methods to manage a self-sustaining population of black bears,” said Tyler Schwartze, executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri.