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Missouri residents can apply for bear, elk permits

May 4—Missouri residents can apply for bear and elk permits through the end of May.

The state is offering 400 permits to take a maximum of 40 black bears during the 2023 Missouri black bear hunting season, Oct. 16-25.

Residents can apply for the bear-permit random drawing through May 31 online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, through the Missouri Department of Conservation's free MO Hunting app, through a permit vendor, or by calling 1-800-392-4115. Results of the bear-permit random drawing will be available online by July 1.

The department also is offering five permits to hunt bull elk in Missouri this fall, with at least one permit designated for qualifying landowners in Carter, Reynolds or Shannon counties and the remaining permits for the general public. The department has designated the elk archery portion to run Oct. 21-29 and the elk firearms portion to run Dec. 9-17.

Residents can also apply for the elk-permit random drawing through the end of the month online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, through the department's free MO Hunting app, through a permit vendor, or by calling 1-800-392-4115. Results of the elk-permit random drawing also will be available online by July 1.

Only Missouri residents who will be at least 11 years of age by the first day of the hunt for which they are applying are eligible to apply for bear and elk permits during the application period of May 1-31.

BLACK BEAR HUNTING

The Missouri Department of Conservation has established three Bear Management Zones in southern Missouri and will issue annual permit numbers and harvest quotas for each. Each permit will be for a specific zone and may be used on public or private property in the zone. Once the specific harvest quotas are filled for each zone, the season in that zone will be closed.

There is a fee of $10 per applicant. Applicants must select one of three zones. Those selected will then be eligible to buy a zone-specific permit at a cost of $25.

Permit and harvest quotas for the Oct. 16-25 bear season will be:

—BMZ 1: Permit quota of 200 issued with a harvest quota of 20 bears. This management zone includes Newton, McDonald, Barry and part of Lawrence counties, and counties further east along the state line.

—BMZ 2: Permit quota of 150 issued with a harvest quota of 15 bears. This management zone includes Jasper and Barton counties and parts of west-central and central Missouri.

—BMZ 3: Permit quota of 50 issued with a harvest quota of 5 bears. This management zones covers many counties in Southeast Missouri.

Hunting hours will be a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. Hunters must call MDC prior to hunting each day to determine the closure status of the zone for which they are permitted.

Hunters will be allowed to use both archery and firearms methods with allowable methods being the same as those for deer and elk, except the use of an atlatl. Baiting and the use of dogs will not be allowed.

The harvest limit will be one bear per permit. Only lone black bears may be taken. Hunters may not take bears that are known to be in the presence of others bears, including female black bears with cubs. Bears may not be disturbed, pushed, harassed or taken from a den.

ELK HUNTING

MDC will require a $10 application fee for elk-permit applicants. Those selected will then be eligible to buy a permit at a cost of $50. All elk-hunting permits, including those allocated to qualifying area landowners, can be used in Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties, except the refuge portion of Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

The allowed hunting methods for each elk season portion will be the same as for deer hunting. The permits will allow for the harvest of one bull elk with at least one antler being 6 inches or greater in length.