If you've never seen a black bear in Missouri, the odds are you will eventually if you live in the state long enough. That's especially true this time of year as conservation agents are warning that black bear sightings are about to increase big time and there's one main reason why.

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I saw KY3 in Springfield reporting on this recently. It involves Missouri conservation agents and why they're warning residents especially in the southern part of the state to be extra aware as temperatures drop to watch for these big predators.

As they mentioned, black bears (like all other bears) increase their food intake as cold weather approaches since they are preparing for winter when their food sources aren't as easily found. That means they'll be even more active and aggressive as they stock up the pounds as their bodies prepare for hibernation.

When you factor in that black bear sightings have broken records in Missouri in 2023 already, the incoming winter months will only make those sightings more common and encounters potentially more dangerous.

Black bears are normally herbivores (although they're technically omnivores since they'll eat plants and animals) and will avoid human contact whenever possible. The exception can happen when a bear is surprised or feels cornered in the back country. A black bear sow with cubs is an especially dangerous situation. Add "hungry and preparing for winter" into the mix and you understand why being cognizant of black bears in Missouri is even more important.

Bears in the Trash Dump


10 Photos of Bears I Saw In the Wild

I was privileged to take a trip to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park with guys that have been there before to look for bears. That experience paid huge dividends. I am nowhere close to being a professional photographer, but getting these bear shots was a huge thrill.

Gallery Credit: Zane Mathews

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