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Missouri Could Allow Bear Hunting to Control Population

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri could join 33 other states that use bear hunting as a method for population control.

If a bear hunting season is developed , the Missouri Department of Conservation says the season would be very conservative and would start late November or early December, allowing only the hunting of male bears.

Officials say once a certain number of bears are estimated to be in the state they will begin the process of an official hunting season.

"It will probably be a very, very limited hunt, very few tags given out. It certainly won't be state wide and certainly won't be open to just whoever. It will probably be a drawing something very limited at first to see how the population is going to respond," said Frank Loncarich, Missouri Department of Conservation.

Right now, Missouri has approximately 350 bears.

5 years ago, Judd McPherson experienced the sport of bear hunting in Canada.

"It's a unique opportunity. You can go anytime up in Canada because they're dealing with overpopulation,” says McPherson.

Missouri could become a part of 33 other states that use hunting as a method for population control.

"Once that population reaches a certain benchmark, which we have determined to be 500 we'll begin the process of beginning a hunting season,” says Loncarich.

"I think it would be a good way to control the population, and I think it will be a good thing for Missouri,” says Judd McPherson.

If a bear hunting season is developed in Missouri, the MDC says the season would be very conservative-

"It will probably be a very very limited hunt, very few tags given out. It certainly won't be statewide and certainly won't be open to just whoever. It will probably be a drawing, something very limited at first to see how the population is going to respond,” Loncarich says.

And would start late November or early December, allowing only the hunting of male bears.

"Probably be open very late into the season when most female bears are in the dens,” Loncarich adds.

"There's a big difference in walking out into your garage door that you left open and finding a raccoon and walking out and coming across a bear,” says Judd McPherson.

(KSN)


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