Missouri to vote this Friday on opening black bear hunt

By on December 9, 2020 with 32 Comments

The Missouri state wildlife commission will vote this Friday on whether to allow trophy hunters to target the state’s small and still-recovering black bear population. If the proposal passes, up to 500 individuals could get permits to kill bears, including cubs unaccompanied by their mothers. Only a handful of states allow the heinous practice of killing cubs.

Members of the Missouri Department of Conservation Commission, which is made up of political appointees, know that a vast majority of Missourians unequivocally oppose the hunt. Missourians submitted thousands of comments in opposition to the hunt, while fewer than 100 residents support it, according to information we obtained through a public records request.

Nearly 14,000 individuals also signed an online petition suggesting they would boycott travel to the Show-Me State if the bear hunt is allowed to move forward. A Remington Research Group poll we commissioned earlier this year found that 67% of Missourians do not support black bear trophy hunting.

It should be abundantly clear to the MDC by now that Missourians simply do not want this hunt. Most state residents understand the immense benefits that bears provide to the environments they live in and to the state’s tourism revenue. Tourism brings an estimated $18 billion annually to Missouri’s economy, and each year, millions of tourists throng to the state’s Ozark mountains, many hoping to catch a glimpse of these beloved animals.

The only people who do want Missouri to open a bear hunt are trophy hunters who want to kill these animals for bragging rights. The trophy hunting industry’s fingerprints are, in fact, all over Missouri’s bear hunting proposal, and the Safari Club International Foundation partially funded one of the state’s preliminary bear population studies.

A new study on the economics of trophy hunting in the United States found that trophy hunters benefit largely from public and private lands largely maintained by non-hunters, and that federal taxes from all Americans, rather than from a minority of hunters, contribute to the funding of state wildlife management agencies. MDC officials would do well, then, to remember that they work at the will of the state’s taxpayers, not trophy hunting lobbies. They are tasked with the job of conserving the state’s wildlife, not offering wild animals for slaughter.

Missouri’s black bear population was nearly extirpated by the 1920s because of overhunting and logging, which decimated the bears’ habitat. These animals, so slow to reproduce, have not yet fully recovered and a hunt is the last thing they need. The MDC estimates that the current black bear population in the state is between 540 and 840 bears but this is just a guess and the numbers could, in fact, be lower. Allowing 500 hunting permits has the potential to wipe out the entire black bear population in Missouri, setting the clock back on all progress made over the decades. We urge the agency to do the right thing, honor the public’s wishes and keep Missouri’s black bears protected.

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

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    no podemos permitir más violencia y más masacres sólo por diversión esto tiene que acabar de En qué clase de mundo estamos viviendo por favor esto tiene que terminar ya

  2. Kalyn McCloud says:

    Where has our humanity and connection to nature? Despicable

  3. JOHN+Shirley Valney says:

    Can you just please leave the bears alone! Why must every living thing become a target for killers?

  4. Paula Levandowski says:

    Please protect these precious bears from hunting. We have no right to kill them and break up their families. Please don’t allow this to pass.

  5. Kris says:

    As humans we are here to protect animals and nature. Killing Cubs should not be a consideration ever!

  6. Celeste edwards says:

    No one has the right to kill an animal……any kind of any age
    This has to stop’ we have to respect wildlife

  7. Daryl Burleson says:

    Are we not over all the senseless killing of our wildlife yet? Can we please come up with another solution? This is unacceptable

  8. Barbara McDonough says:

    I can only hope it doest happen.

  9. Liz Perkins says:

    Please do not allow this barbaric hunt to happen. People love all wildlife, especially bears. Stop killing. There is no reason for this. Let the bears be. They are not ours to kill. Please, do the right thing. Do not allow any killings. Listen to what the people want. Thank you for doing the right thing.

  10. Leah toomey says:

    Please do not do this, killing animals makes no sense when they are endangered and are having all there habitats taken away. It is not right, let’s do the right thing for our planet.

  11. Esther Fetterhoff says:

    Stop killing!!!!

  12. Laurie says:

    Don’t be a backward, barbaric State. Stop these hunts and killing of innocent wildlife.

    Having been a part time resident of MO, history has never been on the side of animals. Time for a change.

  13. Sharon L Pratt says:

    Please do not pass this. We need the black bear cubs.

  14. Maurice Samuels says:

    Don’t kill the bears

  15. Michael Lollar says:

    Stop the hunting!!

  16. Vic Bar says:

    Please don’t do this!!!
    Join the other states & stop this senseless hunt!!!
    Living & feeling,just trying to live…🌿

  17. Vic Bar says:

    Please don’t!!!
    Join the other states & stop this senseless hunt!!!
    Bears are living & feeling just trying to live peacefully…🌿

  18. Deborah Suhr says:

    Please do the right thing and stop the trophy hunting of the bears. The black bear population is small and getting smaller. This is not a sport this is murder.

  19. Angie Schoenhard says:

    Please reconsider and do not allow this to happen! There is no reason black bears need to be hunted. Period. Think of these small
    Cubs left without mothers to starve. For the sake of an egotistical man having the ability to have a bear rug on his wall. Disgusting. STOP

  20. GAIL DENNEY says:

    Please stop this horrible cruel killing of these beautiful innocent creatures of God ..

  21. Mary Jane Fisher says:

    Please do NOT allow this trophy hunting! Vote No!!!!

  22. Elly Ross says:

    What joy can someone get out of killing animals. STOP! Let them be and let them live in the wild.

  23. John P. Chambers says:

    It’s a great error to believe one has divine authority to trifle with Nature, even more so for amusement’s sake. Allowing her to thrive and establish cycles without human interference is the only answer. We were given the Garden to enjoy, not to destroy with perverse actions. I oppose sport hunting at every turn! The creature killing industry should be taxed out of existence. Forcing killers to pay a very heavy fee would at least fund real conservation instead of the bootlicking & facilitating procedures regularly enacted by the State.

  24. Jennifer Mcgregor says:

    Vote NO. This is horrible and inhumane. We are better than this. Please do not allow this to pass. Protect the black bears!

  25. Kathleen Quandt says:

    Why are some humans so cruel and heartless. This should NOT BE ALLOWED. IT IS NOT OK!!!!!!!!!!!!😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

  26. Denise Anzelmo says:

    This is beyond shameful! Let the bears and their cubs live. These hunters should donate their killing time to help people not kill innocent animals for a trophy. It’s disgusting!

  27. Amanda says:

    Please do not hunt these bears, they are the most amazing animals who shy away from people. They are omnivores and do not care to bother people. They are not a problem to us humans and it would be morally wrong to hunt them for trophies!!!!!!!!!!!! God would not stand for that!

  28. Michael Drake says:

    I oppose killing for fun. That’s what trophy hunting is. God has given us humans the responsibility to protect our world and all the creatures that live here. It’s critical that we stand up for what’s right before it’s too late.

  29. Donna says:

    Please do whatever you can to sway legislators to oppose this heinous killing. Bears are beautiful, majestic, playful, intelligent, sensitive creatures. This population should be left to grow as habitat allows without human interference. The killing of Cuba is particularly disturbing, and may ndicate a mindset prone to violence toward humans. Please oppose this!

  30. Cindi mclaughlin says:


  31. Elizabeth Kawecki says:

    Those bears and Cubs have a right to live. By please do not allow hunting of these poor bears just for a hunter to brag that he shot a bear. Please allow these bears their life!

  32. Jeane Camargo da Silva says:

    Que vergonha ainda haver pessoas que apoiam esse tipo de ação tão cruel e sem sentido!!

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