SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On Monday, June 28, a bear was hit by a vehicle on Highway 60 near Republic.

Sightings of bears have increased in the Ozarks.

Summer marks three major events for most bears in the area: Mating season, juvenile male bears finding new homes, and preparation for hibernation.

The increase in bear population has contributed to the first-ever Missouri regulated bear hunting season, which begins in October.