You must be bear aware at all times in Missouri, but especially now. That's a new truth as the black bear population continues to explode which is why Missouri is warning that these apex predators are on the move and they're hungry. Oh, and there are now nearly 1,000 of them to deal with.

The Missouri Department of Conservation just shared a video today explaining that black bears are officially on the move throughout the state and their numbers are growing plus their areas are expanding.

Black bear on the move in Missouri.
MOconservation via YouTube

"Hey, bear"...

The state of Missouri estimates the growing black bear population to now be around 950 which is why the state is hosting another hunt in October with registration happening during the month of May. There are 400 permits that will be randomly drawn and their limit is a harvest of 40 black bears during that time.

Since May is the month when black bears in Missouri become very active trying to find food sources, the Department of Conservation warns that if you encounter a black bear, there are many things you should and shouldn't do.

MOConservation via YouTube
MOConservation via YouTube

They also remind Missouri residents that a fed black bear is a dead bear. Bears have a keen sense of smell that can detect food miles away which makes bear preventative food management when camping vital.

It's also good to remember that black bears aren't just a southern Missouri predator now, but are expanding northeast and have even been spotted in the Saint Louis, Missouri area.

If you're in the woods, assume a bear could be present and take precautions to make sure you and a potential bear are safe.

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Gallery Credit: BabbleTop via YouTube

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