RENO, Nev. (AP) - A panel reviewing Nevada's controversial bear hunting season has been told the long-term viability of Nevada's black bear population "appears favorable."
Nevada Department of Wildlife bear biologist Carl Lackey says the bruin population has increased from roughly 450 in 2011 to more than 500 now.
Over the same period, 39 bears have been killed by hunters in Nevada. The annual limit has been set at 20 bears but that has never been reached.
The special Nevada wildlife commission panel met Friday to review the first three years of the bear hunt and plans to meet again on Feb. 21.
NDOW spokesman Chris Healy says the panel will make recommendations concerning the hunt to the wildlife commission, which has received a recommendation from agency staff to continue it under the same rules.
The review of the bear hunt was required under legislation passed by the 2013 Legislature.