Bear hunting now an option in Missouri

   The Missouri Department of Conservation implemented its first bear hunting season for the state this October since the black bear population has continued to increase at a pace of about 0.9 percent annually and should double by 2030, according to the Department of Conservation. This has already caused a major change in the Missouri hunting seasons.

   Frequent Missouri hunters like outdoorsman Donnie Rains had positive opinions about the new bear season in Missouri

   “I think it’s awesome we now have a bear season in Missouri. I never thought there would be a bear and an elk season during my lifetime,” Rains said.

   For any curious hunters looking for something new, the Missouri bear hunting season took place from Oct. 18-27.

   But there are big hunters, like Rains, who think that hunting can become unethical when it is done incorrectly.

   “The act of hunting in itself is not unethical. It is a tradition and a heritage that has been passed down from the beginning of time. It’s our love of nature and wildlife that keeps us practicing and working on our skills to make a quick and ethical harvest,” Rains said.

   But there are scenarios when these hunters understand how less-skilled hunters can become sloppy when they do not understand the concept of hunting ethically.

   “Hunting becomes unethical when we, as hunters, don’t practice shooting and don’t take clean, quick killing shots. Crippling or wounding an animal and not putting in the proper time and effort to dispose of it is an example of being unethical,” Rains said.

   Though, as of now, Rains had no definitive plans to use Missouri’s new bear season.

   “I would love to get a bear. However, as of now, the tags are extremely hard to draw and, as of today, I have never seen a bear. So I wouldn’t have a clue where to hunt. I didn’t apply for a bear tag this time because I didn’t have any land available that bears were on,” Rains said.

   Though, there are some inexperienced people who have not hunted who still understand the reasons behind Missouri’s new bear hunting implementations

   There are people like Freshman Aiden Duguay, who have some background knowledge on hunting, but still have some understanding of hunting reasons. Duguay agrees with Missouri’s new bear hunting season.

   “I think the new bear hunting season is a good idea if the bears are becoming overpopulated,” Duguay said.