CARSON CITY — A 14th black bear has been killed in Nevada’s inaugural bear hunt, state wildlife officials said Wednesday, as the season that began with an illegal kill draws to a close at month’s end or when one more female is killed.
Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said a 250-pound male bruin was killed by a hunter Tuesday in the Pine Nut Mountains east of Gardnerville.
Since the season opened on Aug. 20, nine males and five females have been killed by hunters. The season ends Dec. 31 but will close earlier if a sixth female bear is killed or a total of 20 are killed before then.
Half of the black bears killed have been in the Pine Nut Mountains. Two were taken in the Sweetwater Mountains near Wellington and three in the Pine Grove Hills area in Lyon County.
Two others were killed in the Carson Range on the west side of U.S. Highway 395, including the first one, a female, which was killed illegally by a hunter who baited the animal with apples, bacon grease and anise oil, which has a strong licorice smell.
Timothy Kawelmacher, 55, pleaded guilty Monday in Reno to two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully baiting a trap for the purpose of killing a big game animal. He was ordered to give up the bear meat, hide, head and claws and pay more than $500 in civil penalties.
Kawelmacher, a gun safety instructor, said he baited an area in the weeks before the season opened and didn’t realize luring animals with food made it illegal for him to kill one when the season began.
None of the black bears killed was in Lake Tahoe Basin, where opposition to the hunt was strongest. And none was identified as having previous run-ins with humans, such as raiding garbage bins or breaking into homes in search of food.