Bear Reports

Although black bears are native to Missouri, they were nearly wiped out during settlement. Now they're making a comeback. Use this section to follow our black bear research project, report bear sightings, camp safely in bear country, and control nuisance bears.

Track bears in the Missouri Black Bear Project and keep up with efforts to determine the state's bear population.

In This Section

Black Bear Management Plan (pdf, 605 KB)

Missouri's black bear management plan provides the guidance and continuity for their conservation and management in our state. The plan was organized and prepared by a team of inter-agency resource professionals, and approved by the Conservation Commission in 2008.

Think you've spotted a bear in your part of Missouri? Please send us details of your sighting.

Related Content

American Black Bear

The American black bear is one of the largest and heaviest wild mammals in Missouri. It has a long muzzle with a straight facial profile; rounded, erect ears; rather short, stout legs; and a very short tail practically concealed in the long, heavy fur. For black bears in Missouri, the fur is predominantly glossy black; the muzzle is brown, and there is usually a white patch on the chest. The sexes look much alike, though females are usually smaller than males. Black bears are usually silent but can make a variety of sounds.

Be Bear Aware

Follow these guidelines to Be Bear Aware – stay safe in bear country, and keep our bears wild. 

Camping and Hiking in Black Bear Country

Learn how to Be Bear Aware while camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing to stay safe, and to keep bears wild. Follow these tips to fully enjoy your outdoor experience in Missouri.