Our Opinion: Bear hunting hazards minimal

While there may be some basis for a challenge of a Nevada bear hunt on matters of the procedure for its approval, we would argue that hunting bears isn't any more dangerous to bystanders than hunting any other game.

Don't get us wrong, using a firearm under any circumstances is serious business. That's why hunter safety classes are a rite of passage for young Nevadans. Mishaps may happen in any activity. Teaching a young person to properly care for and operate a firearm is critical in this place where firearms are part of the culture.

The arguments for hunting black bears are directly related to their numbers, particularly during the summer of 2007 when bears came out of the mountains and found their way into the towns.

It's been relatively quiet since, but two black bears have already been put down by state wildlife officials in Douglas County because they habituated to humans.

While there are only an estimated 200 black bears living in Nevada, it seems like they congregate in the Tahoe Basin, which has the second highest density of black bears in North America, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Hunting 20 of those bears might reduce some of the population pressure that sees bears raiding people's homes in search of food, or it might not have any effect at all.

We would say that if there's an increase in danger from hunting bear over deer, it's probably to the hunters.

After all, we rarely hear someone say "Sometimes the deer gets you."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment