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SCI Congratulates Missouri Department of Conservation on Historic Bear Season

Safari Club International (SCI) is celebrating the conclusion of Missouri’s first ever black bear hunting season on October 27th. This is a major milestone for conservation and management efforts in the state, as the black bear’s range has been relatively absent from Missouri since the 1800s up until recent decades. 

As the bear population expanded and sightings increased, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recognized the need for a management plan. Thanks in part to critical funding from Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF), research was conducted over a ten year period to determine population estimates, densities, and other information. After this initial data, they studied habitat use, reproduction, and survival rates through a variety of methods. In addition to funding contributions, SCIF also made field visits to Missouri during the project. 

This research was instrumental in developing the 10-year management plan and having the hunting season for the first time ever. A total of 400 permits were issued, with a quota of 40 bears. The season ran for 10 days, from October 18th-27th with the first bear harvested on the 18th: a 250 pound female. A total of 12 bears were harvested over the season – read the full coverage from MDC here!

This season is a testament to the efforts of hunters in conservation and the value of science-based management. Through hunting license sales and tax revenue from the Pittman-Robertson Fund, hunters contribute more than anyone to conservation of wildlife and wild places across the country. Thanks to hunters, public lands are open for sustainable multiple use for all to enjoy the outdoors. 

SCI and SCIF congratulate MDC on a successful season and implementation of the management plan. We look forward to next year’s season and will continue to fight for science-based management, true conservation, and the rights of hunters. 

Read more about the research projects here and the details of the first hunting season here.

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