Wolves were first classified as a game mammal in August 2008.
Also on the meeting agenda were proposals to create black bear and non-trophy bull elk hunting seasons, reclassify mountain lions, a proposed regulation to prohibit a person from interfering with the use of a guzzler and an update on the status of the Lake Mead Fish Hatchery and proposed changes to the Colorado River fish stocking program.
During recent years, residents along the Sierra Front in northwestern Nevada have seen a significant increase in human-bear interactions. While this increase is due in part to human development and behavior, another contributing factor is the black bear population itself.
Current estimates place Nevada’s bear population along the Sierra Front at between 200 and 300 animals. According to data, the Sierra Front bear population is growing at an annual estimated rate of about 16 percent.
After a lengthy discussion, the commission voted 8-0 in favor of asking NDOW staff to draft regulations for a spring bear hunt that would consist of a month-long any-legal-weapon season followed by a week-long archery season. Included in the motion was language requiring successful tag applicants to complete a bear education course similar to that required for bighorn sheep. A bear tag would cost $100, and the use of bait or hounds would be prohibited during the spring bear season.
A subsequent motion and vote added a fall bear hunt to the regulation request. Parameters would be similar to those of the spring hunt but the use of hounds would be permitted during the fall season. The commission decision also calls for the bear hunt to be reevaluated after the first year. A draft regulation will be considered at the December commission meeting in Reno.
Also considered by the commission was a proposal to change the current classification of mountain lions from that of a game mammal to that of a furbearer or unprotected species. Commission members voted to table the discussion with no action taken.
For more information, visit www.ndow.org.