May 4, 2020

Nevada: CSF Supports NDOW’s 2020 Bear Tag Quota Recommendation

Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator

On April 24, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a comment letter to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners in support of the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s (NDOW) recommendation of the bear tag quota in Nevada for the 2020 season.

2020 marks the 10th season of black bear hunts in Nevada. The black bear hunt has been managed by NDOW and harvest has proven sustainable over the past nine seasons based on science-based management, and harvest metrics have provided safeguards against overexploitation of the black bear population.

Statewide, the Nevada black bear population is currently estimated to be between 600 and 800 animals. The maximum allowable harvest quota of 20 animals represents a maximum harvest level of 2.5% to 3.3% of the state’s population. The average annual harvest over the history of Nevada’s bear hunt from 2011-2019, is 14 bears per year, which means that the average rate of harvest is actually closer to 1.8% to 2.3% of the state’s population. This is a significant consideration since most North American black bear populations can be, and oftentimes are, sustainably harvested at much higher rates of 10% to 15%. 

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) supports regulated black bear hunting as a form of population management objective for increasing, decreasing or stabilizing populations. Nevada’s wildlife conservation success has been achieved through collaboration of NDOW and Nevada’s sportsmen and women to reestablish, conserve, and promote wildlife resources. Hunting has proven to be one of the greatest tools for wildlife and habitat conservation.

CSF’s support for NDOW’s 2020 bear tag quota recommendation echoed the comments and support of the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife.

On May 1, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners voted 7-2 to approve a resident quota of 45 tags and a non-resident quota of 5 tags for the 2020 Black Bear season, in line with the recommendation of NDOW, and CSF’s support.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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