ST LOUIS — Missouri's first black bear hunting season has begun, and a hunter in southwestern Missouri is the first to take a bear.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a 250-pound female was hunted on private land Monday. Missouri Department of Conservation communications manager Lucas Bond said a second bear was later killed on public land in the same area west of West Plains.
Bond didn't release the name of the hunter who shot the first bear. The man said in a video posted on the department's Facebook page that as a hunter, "this was probably the most thrilling, exciting thing that I've ever done."
The black bear season continues through Oct. 27. The state has an estimated black bear population of about 800, mostly south of the Missouri River. Hunters received permits in a lottery, and the state set a quota of 40 bears. Once quotas are met, the season closes.