Nevada’s fourth season for black bear hunting starts today and if controversy over the hunt has died somewhat in intensity, opponents say they remain determined to keep up the fight.
Up to 20 bears can be legally killed during a hunt that lasts until Dec. 31, with hunting allowed across much of the east flank of the Carson Range and along other western Nevada mountain ranges including the Pine Nuts, Pine Groves, Desert Creek and the Sweetwater Range.
The hunt, approved by the Nevada Wildlife Commission in 2010 amid impassioned controversy, has resulting in the killing of 39 black bears over the course of three hunting seasons that started in 2011.
The 2014 hunt follows a review of the hunt’s first three years by wildlife commissioners who determined the state’s bear population can safely withstand continued hunting. Critics, however, blasted a review – ordered by the 2013 Legislature – that they characterize as inadequate.
“We’re not happy,” said Kathryn Bricker, founder of the nonprofit NoBearHuntNV. “We’re going into the fourth year without that process being completed and we think that should have been done.”
Bricker, who said she and others will bring their concerns to the 2015 Legislature, accused wildlife commissioners of ignoring widespread public opposition to the hunt.