Hunter had never seen a bear in Missouri. Then she killed a 268-pounder, officials say

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A hunter’s patience paid off as she became the first woman to bag a bear this hunting season in Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said Kelsie Wikoff, of Hume, spent 48 hours in a tree stand while she was hunting.

Her reward was a 268-pound male bear, which officials say she killed Thursday.

Wikoff would not reveal her hunting location on Facebook, but said she intends to mount the full body of the bear. She said she had never seen a bear in the state before, except on trail cameras.

“So thankful for all the people and support along the way,” the hunter said on Facebook, calling the harvesting “rewarding.”

Missouri is home to about 800 black bears, with officials saying a highly-regulated hunting season is essential to managing the bear population.

Bear season in Missouri is from Oct. 18 to Oct. 27. Officials said Friday nine hunters have harvested a bear this season.

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