Tensions Rise Over Nevada’s Black Bear Hunt


Tensions have mounted recently in Nevada over the states second proposed black bear hunt this year – the first ended on December 31. Many activist groups like nobearhuntnv.org, along with a group of Native Americans from the Paiute, Washoe and Shoshone tribes have spoken out against the hunts according to an associated press article, via The Republic.

During one meeting, the contingent of Natives was taken aback by comments made by Rex Flowers, Washoe County wildlife advisory board chairman. According to AP Flowers, told the tribal representatives he didn’t want to “hear of bows and arrows” because his panel was focused on the bear hunt, as shared by Raquel Arthur, spokeswoman for the northern Nevada chapter of the American Indian Movement.

The bear has held a strong and sacred connection to many Native American cultures, often passed down through stories. As some Natives stand opposed to the bear hunts, other Natives who are hunters see no issue with the hunts.

As the state works towards its annual bear hunt, a meeting on March 24 saw a 6-3 vote to ban the black bear hunt on the Nevada side of the Lake Tahoe Basin, according to AP, via the Sierra Sun. Bear hunting will still be allowed in other areas of western Nevada.

Meanwhile, opponents of the hunt were calling Governor Brian Sandoval’s office complaining about Flowers’ comment. Flowers phoned Randal Massaro, spokesman for Union Members for the Preservation of Wildlife, last week to apologize according to AP.