Breaking news: Missouri votes to open first black bear trophy hunt in decades

By on December 11, 2020 with 39 Comments

Missouri, a state that once nearly wiped out its black bear population, has clearly failed to learn from its mistakes. This morning, the four-member Missouri Department of Conservation Commission, made up of political appointees, voted unanimously to allow trophy hunters to kill its black bears despite the fact that most Missourians do not support such a hunt.

The state would also allow hunters to kill cubs unaccompanied by their mothers—a heinous practice most other states reject.

The commission members knew when they voted today that they were going against the will of a majority of Missourians. More than 2,000 comments were submitted to the agency about the proposal earlier this year. Only about 100 of those comments supported a trophy hunt.

The proposal itself makes no sense from a conservation perspective because the numbers just don’t add up. The MDC estimates that Missouri has approximately 540 to 840 bears—a number that is, at best, a guess, and that could be lower. The proposal passed today would allow for up to 500 bear hunting permits to be issued during the season that would begin next October. Potentially, trophy hunters could wipe out the state’s entire bear population in a single season.

The only group that stands to benefit from the decision are trophy hunters, who represent a miniscule percentage of the state’s population. Fewer than 8% of Missouri residents held a paid hunting license in 2020, and a recent economic study found that only about 2% of the hunters in the state are trophy hunters, who seek to kill animals only for their heads, hides, or for bragging rights.

But this small percentage of Missouri citizens has the support of well-funded trophy hunting groups like Safari Club International (SCI), which lobby heavily in states to open hunting seasons on carnivores like wolves, grizzly bears and black bears. The SCI Foundation, which claims to have “invested over millions on North American conservation projects, working on nearly every big game species in 22 US states and Canadian provinces,” has contributed $82,000 for “research” on the “Missouri Black Bear Project” since 2011, along with its affiliate, the Hunter Legacy 100 Fund.

It is shameful that the MDC and the commission chose to pander to these special interests, while ignoring the interests of the animals and the wishes of the state’s residents. But this fight is not over. We won’t give up that easily, and we don’t intend to give the last word to these so-called guardians of wildlife who sold the state’s black bears out today to trophy hunters shopping for bearskin rugs and heads on their walls.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Esto no lo podemos permitir ya basta de tanta indiferencia hacía los seres vivos por favor no lo permitan

  2. Dave Boules says:

    Please stop all trophy hunting and all hunting. It’s cruel and barbaric and inhumane and inexcusable. Animals have a tright to live as much as humans. They should be shown love and respect.

    • Edith Torp says:

      Trophy hunting is terrible an d I cannot understand people kan enjoy having a head or body of an animal they shot in their home. Nature has already lost many animals
      because mankind has not done anything to help them. Shame on these peopåle- it is disgusting!
      Edith Torp


    • Patricia A King says:

      I can’t figure out how to post a reply to this black bear slaughter !!!
      I agree with you!!!

  3. Michele says:

    Oh what money can do, when in the hands of the irresponsible and despicable.

  4. Janet says:

    What is wrong with you all. Quit hunting bears. There is no need. Let them rebound back.

  5. Michael Lawrence says:

    Disgusting! Stop the hunt

  6. Kim says:


  7. Gloria cefalo says:

    What is the point about it??? Please is just to have consideration with the Mother Nature.

  8. Janis Theisen says:

    How barbaric! Kill babies who aren’t with their moms!

  9. Sandy Grant says:

    This is barbaric. Shooting mom is bad enough shooting a cub is not acceptable.

  10. Susan Rose says:

    This is despicable legislation! Please do everything possible to stop this! Please!

  11. Radames torres says:

    We must stop this type of killing for no reason why wipe out a bear population just for a trophy the same way we almost wiped out or we did the Buffalo population

  12. Nancy Lowe says:

    Will you please leave wildlife alone for a change.

  13. Sheila O'Neill says:

    Please stop this trophy hunting as well as all hunting. This is truly barbaric and selfish. There’s no need to hunt and kill any wild animal just for the fun of it. Unacceptable, period!

  14. Beverly Spicer says:

    I am so disgusted with this. Stop killing the animals. Our group has worked so hard to protect them. This trophy hunting issue started this year because we have higher up legislators and their family who love this type of hunting. To go into a cave to kill hibernating bears and their cubs is murder. Issuing these licenses are inhumane. Stop the killing. Every state and animal advocates should be pissed at this. Every state better fight this. Even if this isn’t your state if this passes it could come to your state. We should all fight this. These animals only have us to fight for them and to be their voices.

  15. Lori McCormick says:

    What is point of killing an innocent baby bear or any bear for that matter!?! Trophy hunting is cruel and she be outlawed!!!

  16. Jeanette Ortiz says:

    This is so sad and disgusting! What is the reasoning of killing innocent bears and their babies ? Who will you kill when they are all gone? Hopefully things will change for the better for our wild life once the new administration is in….I pray!

  17. Karen Rapp says:

    What is wrong with you people, stop this hunting now. Trophy hunting , really?? Killing babies too.shame on all of yiu that are on that committee. Reverse this decision NOW

  18. M.W. says:

    The animals need to be left alone. The nonsense killing/shooting of animals is just barbaric. The mentality that some people have to harm other beings is just sickening. Please make it stop … ban all shootings/killings of animals that are trapped and targeted for an easy kill or for any reason. They too have feelings of happiness, sadness, fear and pain. Put yourself in their place … how would you feel to be in their place. Losing your mother or your child. Make it stop.

  19. Pam Arthur says:

    Can’t you people find something else to do with your time other than kill Gods creatures FOR NO REASON!!!!!
    Leave well enough alone!

  20. Shannon says:

    This is so sad and angers me!

  21. Marti Triff says:

    Stop the abuse. Leave the bears alone! How dare you to think its alright to kill them! Stop it now!

  22. Carol Giles-Straight says:

    Barbaric, Pathetic, Heartbreaking, Just another chance for proud trophy hunters to take photos of themselves with their dead “prizes.”

  23. Dee says:

    Why! Why! For what! We (humans) should stand back and take in the awe inspiring wonder and beauty if nature, NOT THRILL KILL. It’s barbaric, unnecessary and such action displays just how much we(humans) have not evolved and learned.

  24. D smith says:

    How evil can they get? Baby bears need protection not killing

  25. Dawn says:

    Trophy Hunting seems to make some people feel like a “big man” or woman. Since they have to kill a helpless animal to boost their frail ego, what does that say? Outlaw Trophy Hunting! It’s so unfair and barbaric.

  26. ELAINE SLOAN says:


  27. Cindy says:

    This is so awful for the Black bears and their babies !!!what have they ever done to us but be born and live and share our life’s in Missouri !! This must be stop !!!

  28. kristina holmberg gustavsson says:

    We must stop this type of killing for no reason why wipe out a bear population just for a trophy the same way we almost wiped out or we did the Buffalo population

  29. Diane Ashby says:

    Absolutely horrible does man have nothing better to do than hunt bears this isn’t a Daniel Boone era where you had to hunt for your family to eat. It goes back to the want to kill, and a cub which I do not understand go to the grocery store they have plenty of meat for them to purchase. How would they feel if someone shot their wife and baby they would want to Kill them, so if a bear turns on them and does some damage to the hunter it will be the bears fault right?

  30. Sharon Feldberg says:

    Unfortunate that some people get pleasure from killing defenseless animals. They are determined to cause suffering in order to satisfy immature egos. Exactly the wrong direction for us to evolve to better humans.

  31. Iris Owens says:

    Shame! Shame! Shame! on you Missouri. Trophy hunting is barbaric, cruel and heartless. Leave the heads on the beautiful animals where they belong. They definitely don’t belong in your living room walls!!!!!

  32. helga udvardy says:

    All I can say “IT IS DISGUSTING”

  33. Marilyn says:

    When are hunters going to realize that these living things feel pain and loss of their own kind. Animals are not ours to use and abuse – they have a right to live in peace just as we do. Stop the killing!!!

  34. Annette Moolman says:

    Why allow trophy hunters to murder these sentient beings? This is atrocious! Wake up and BAN TROPHY HUNTING!!!

  35. Iris Owens says:

    Shame! Shame! Shame! Missouri. Leave our beautiful wildlife alone. They enjoy their lives just as much as you cruel people enjoy yours. What gives you the right to kill any living creature. People like you who kill just for the fun of killing are a disgrace to our planet.

  36. Diane Monroe says:

    How can a conservation agency agree to sign a bill to have there Black Bear population be murdered when the numbers are already decreased. All of the residence of Missouri should protest this slaughter and get those people out of the Conservation Commission who does not meet up to their responsibility to protect the wildlife in their state. FIRER ALL OF THEM, NOW!!!

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