Nevada bear hunt ends Saturday |

Nevada bear hunt ends Saturday

by Kurt Hildebrand
Tribune file photoAbout 40 protesters seeking to stop the Nevada bear hunt make their point in front of the Capitol in September.

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – There are a few hunters out looking for the last bear in Nevada’s first bear hunt.

It’s been more than a week since the last bear was killed on Dec. 19, and hunters only have until Saturday before the season sunsets.

Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said the number of bears slain in the hunt has held steady at nine males and five females.

The state approved taking 20 bears during the first season, or six females, whichever comes first.

“I know one guy who is out hunting today,” Healy said on Wednesday. “I’ll call him right after sundown to see how he did.”

Wildlife officials won’t know the final total until New Year’s Day, since hunters have 24 hours to report their kills.

“We have had more than half the instances this year that we haven’t found out until the following day,” he said.

Only a few hunters are taking advantage of warm weather to find the bear, Healy said.

“This weather is to the bears’ advantage,” he said. “Hunters need some moisture for tracking, and for the dogs.”

Dogs have been integral to the bear hunt this season with only two of the 14 bears being taken without them.

The hunter set out bait for the first bear killed in the hunt, something he was prosecuted for doing.

The other bear was the 700-pounder taken in the Carson Range between Kingsbury Grade and Spooner. That bear so far has been the largest to be shot during the hunt.

The first bear hunt season opened on Aug. 20 to protests from activists and Lake Tahoe residents.

Seven of the bears were taken in the Pine Nut Mountains.

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