“One of the primary guiding principles of NBU is ‘to support optimizing and managing existing populations of wildlife using proven sound science and knowledge.’ NBU is committed to the well documented fact that hunting has been, and is, an important management tool for all of Nevada’s big game animals, including bears, when the implementation process is based on proven sound science and knowledge,” said Nevada Bighorns Unlimited President Dennis R. Wilson, DVM.
NBU is in support of the continuation of the Nevada Black Bear hunt with no restrictions other than existing ordinances relating the to the discharge of firearms in congested areas, similar to past regulated bear hunt in Nevada for the following reasons:
1. The bear population in Nevada will continue to grow regardless of a bear hunt.
2. The bear population in Nevada requires management similar to all other big game species. Bears are classified as big game animals, however bears are the only species in that category that are not managed with a sustained harvest as proposed by the current Bear Management Plan.
3. The bear population involved in a Nevada hunt is shared with California along the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This population is expanding and is currently estimated at over 15,000 animals. This same bear population has been managed and hunted in California for decades. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, bear hunting has proven to be a successful population management tool(1).
4. The biology and sound science studies have concluded that an additional harvest through a managed hunt, beyond euthanasia from human/bear contacts, management kills, or natural attrition is warranted.
5. The current bear population in Nevada is male based with a 2:1 boar-sow ratio. Harvest targeting boars will create a more balanced sustainable population and likely increase cub recruitment and survival rates.
6. Bear hunts will increase hunting opportunities for Nevada sportsmen and sportswomen.
7. Hunting, fishing and trapping of wildlife by members of the public is the preferred means and method of managing wildlife in the state of Nevada.
8. Bear hunts have the endorsement of the primary game biologist professionals at the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
9. Past Nevada Bear hunts have resulted in no confirmed incidents of public safety concern.
The vast majority of Nevada sportsmen and sportswomen support bear hunting if it is done properly and ethically. In addition, the Nevada Bear Hunt is supported by scientific facts developed by the educated, trained expert professionals at NDOW. NBU urges the Nevada sportsmen and sportswomen and members of the Nevada State Senate to oppose SB 82.
According to Wilson, “the denial of SB82 is vitally important to preserve our sporting heritage. We have seen well-organized anti-sporting groups mount successful campaigns to limit methods, seasons, and bag limits for certain fish and game species not only in Nevada, but nationwide. The role of hunting, fishing and trapping as conservation and wildlife management tools cannot be understated.”