Nevada will host its first black bear hunting season from August through December this year under regulations passed Friday by state wildlife officials. The state will distribute 45 tags through a lottery. Hunters who win a tag will be able to use any weapon legal for big game to hunt bears beginning on the third Saturday of August. The announcement comes only two months after the state Board of Wildlife Commissioners voted to create the hunt.
From this story in the Las Vegas Sun:
_… The one-year harvest cannot exceed 20 bears and only six bears can be female, meaning if the first six bears tagged are female, the season would end early. The regulations come less than two months after the nine-member Board of Wildlife Commissioners voted Dec. 4 to create the state’s first bear hunting season, despite opposition from animal rights groups who claim Nevada’s bear population should not be hunted. Roughly 300 black bears are in Nevada, mostly along the foothills of Lake Tahoe, said state Department of Wildlife spokesman Doug Nielsen. The population grows by about 16 percent each year.
_The bears can be problematic for residents in northwestern Nevada, so a hunting season is a good way to control nuisances, Nielsen said.
“Bears are very adept at coming into homes,” he said.
Pro-bear groups said they would rally at the meeting against the new hunting season.
Gina Greisen, of Nevada Voters for Animals, said there is “overwhelming public opposition to the wild bear hunt” that has gone ignored. She said there has never been a bear hunt in Nevada, and there’s no reason to start one now.
“The bottom line is, they haven’t shown us science that truly supports that a bear hunt is required,” Greisen said. “It doesn’t make sense, not for Nevada.”
Under the regulations passed by the board during its all-day meeting in Las Vegas, it is illegal to kill a sow accompanied by a cub or to kill a cub.
Hunters who harvest a black bear must notify the state within 24 hours. They have 72 hours to personally bring the skull and hide to the state for inspection.
That will allow the state to keep tabs on its bear population, Nielsen said.
The rules apply for this year only; the commission will decide in 2012 whether the bear hunting regulations need to be tweaked or made permanent.
The department planned to offer a bear hunting class in Reno before the season opens._