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Wild Ozarks! Here Are The Most Fantastic Critter Tales From Missouri In 2021

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2021 Critter Collage

Life in the Ozarks—and across Missouri—means living in community with unique creatures on the land and under the water.

From truly invasive deer to mischievous black bears to nearly unbelievable fishing stories (were it not for the photos), here are nine of the wildest, zaniest, most intriguing stories of Missouri critters in 2021.

*Deer*

#1. Doe In Disguise

During deer season, if you wear antlers, you're liable to get shot. This doe learned that lesson the hard way.


#2. Home Invader!

"Deputies entered the basement to try and detain the suspect." She resisted arrest.


#3. Everyone Loves This Deer

The neighbors have watched this albino deer grow up in their Lake of the Ozarks neighborhood. And she has many names...


*Bears*

#4. Close Call

This black bear got a serious talking-to from his mom after darting back and forth into Highway 54 traffic.


#5. Bear On The Square

No word on whether he was headed to Ozarkland for some taffy, or to the courthouse to pay a traffic ticket, but this bear was spotted meandering around in the busiest area of Camdenton, putting a smile on plenty of faces.


#6. Trash Raider

When the munchies set in, you'll settle for anything. But when you're a bear and you find a trash can, who's settling?!


*Fish*

#7. Bizarre Catfish

Incredibly rare... but still possible for another angler to catch a piebald catfish like this one, since this gracious guy snagged a once-in-a-lifetime photo, and then let this fish go.


#8. Fighting Eel

It put up a heck of a fight, but this angler reeled in a big'un on the Current River. A lady eel. How'd we know it was a lady? There's a way. Read the story to find out...


#9. Paddlefish Poachers

Couple of fellas allegedly trying to traffic caviar, busted by the MDC.


#10. Giant Throat-Toothed Invader Is Caught

When people say there are monsters in the river... they're not wrong.