Wow, looks like hunters in Oklahoma learn pretty quickly.
Last year their bear season lasted 28 days and 19 black bears were shot. That’s one short of the quota of 20 the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation had set for a maximum kill.
This year’s season lasted just one day because 32 bears were shot in the southeastern counties open for the state’s second bear season in modern times. The season was again set to be closed the day after the 20th bear was taken.
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As you can read, biologists credit a limited food supply making bears more concentrated. Crossbows were also recently legalized for the archery-only season, too.
Interesting stuff, no doubt.
It’s also interesting that bears have done well enough after being re-introduced in Arkansas to spread into Oklahoma and also Missouri. Show-Me State biologists estimate they have a few hundred bears, mostly in the southern Ozarks.
One was road-killed not far from Joplin not too long ago. That’s pretty close to the Kansas border.
So, will we eventually have a population of black bears in Kansas? Don’t forget, New Mexico and Colorado also have solid populations with bears sometimes wandering on to their eastern plains.
Time will tell, but I have my doubts. Kansas lacks the broad woodlands where the bears appear to be thriving in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
But it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we had the occasional bear wander over our borders.