(Jefferson City)–The Missouri Conservation Commission approved a proposal Friday that could allow people to hunt black bears in the state. The commission finalized the framework and regulations for the hunting season at its December 11th open meeting in Jefferson City. The approval means Missouri could hold a black bear hunting season as soon as October 2021, but hunting would be limited in the southern Missouri areas and only to Missouri residents. According to a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the next step to organize Missouri’s first bear season involves conservation department officials presenting recommendations to the commission next spring for a potential initial permit quota and harvest quota. If quotas are set, Missouri residents could apply for a hunt as soon as May 2021.