After being over-hunted to near extinction, black bear populations have slowly been rising in the state, and the Missouri Department of Conservation is proposing a trophy hunting season in response.
The MDC reports that the bear population has tripled in the last few years and is concerned about conflicts with humans. Studies have shown the numbers the department is reporting, however, are potentially inflated and a hunting season could be catastrophic for the already suffering black bears.
A trophy season for this already small group of bears, paired with the fact that bears already have a slow reproductive potential, would reverse the steady recovery they have made and is simply unnecessary.
The department is accepting public feedback on its proposed bear hunt through Nov. 14. Please let MDC know you oppose the hunt at mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/public-comment-opportunities.
Abbie Knudsen is a lifetime and career animal advocate. She lives in Auxvasse.