Black bear population growing in Missouri

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | 1:40 p.m. CDT; updated 4:00 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 10, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — The population of black bears in Missouri could be growing, with anglers, hunters and campers reporting more frequent sightings.

A scientist with the Department of Conservation, Jeff Beringer, said he believes the bears probably migrated from the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains in west and northwest Arkansas.

Firm population estimates aren't available yet, but some believe a few hundred bears could be living in Missouri.

The department recently wrote a Black Bear Management Plan.

"Our goals are to learn more about bears in the state," Beringer said.

Conservation agents believe the population of bears is scattered south of Interstate 44. However, a credible report came from Boone County and one bear was even killed in Iowa.

"We don't know a lot about the bear population," Beringer said. "We rely on the public. We record those reports and we record the number of cubs sighted."

Typically, black bears are not aggressive and only a mother near her cubs will react protectively.

Shouting, banging pots and pans, or making other loud noises typically will frighten them away, Beringer said.

He encourages people to report any sighting to the nearest Conservation Department office.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


jack sumner March 6, 2010 | 9:11 a.m.

I would like like auctal location where the bears have been seen, and what not to do if you come close to one or more of them, Also if they would harm farm animals or pets? Special

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.