CARSON CITY — Nevada’s inaugural bear hunt is one sow away from the end of the season after a fifth female was killed over the weekend, the Department of Wildlife said Monday.
The 350-pound bear was killed Sunday in the Pine Grove Hills area of Lyon County, south and east of Wellington, agency spokesman Chris Healy said.
Since the season opened Aug. 20, hunters have killed 12 bears: five females and seven males. Three were killed in Pine Grove Hills, six in the Pine Nut Mountains, one in the Sweetwater Mountains and two on the east side of the Carson Range.
Regulations adopted by the state Wildlife Commission set a limit of 20 bears that can be killed. Of those, no more than six can be female. The season, scheduled to close Dec. 31, will end earlier if either of those thresholds are met.
“The next female, the season ends,” Healy said.
Hunters are required to call a hot line for information on whether hunting is still allowed.
None of the bears killed was previously tagged or marked as being a nuisance by state wildlife biologists, Healy said. And none was killed in the Lake Tahoe Basin, where biologists think most Nevada bears live and where the hunting season drew the most opposition.
Some supporters of the hunt cited reducing bear-human conflicts during hearings last year.
“They get a little bit of fear of people in them (from being hunted), and hopefully they won’t come in contact with people,” Wildlife Commissioner Scott Raine, former chairman of the nine-member board, said at the time. “It might prevent some from being euthanized.”