Camping & hiking in black bear country

Black bears have made a comeback in Missouri. While black bears primarily inhabit the Ozark region of southern Missouri, there have also been sightings in the northern part of the state.

Report all bear sightings to Missouri Department of Conservation staff

• Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If you follow these precautions, you probably won’t have any trouble with bears.

• If a bear appears to be stalking, following at very close distances, or cannot be deterred, leave the area immediately (do not run) and contact your local conservation agent. 

• If a bear makes contact, fight back aggressively using rocks, sticks, or your fists. Black bears are usually intimidated by an aggressive counterattack.

Fatal black bear attacks are more likely to be the result of predatory behavior rather than a female defending cubs.

Keep from attracting bears to your camp

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