RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's inaugural bear hunting season has drawn to a close with hunters killing 14 black bears.
Nine males and five females were killed by hunters between Aug. 20 and Saturday, when the season ended, said Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy.
Under regulations established by state wildlife commissioners, the season would have closed earlier had a sixth female been killed or a total of 20 bears been killed before then.
Healy said the hunt's success rate was higher than wildlife officials expected as 14 of 41 hunters who picked up tags were able to bag bears.
"That's a success rate of about 33 percent," he told The Associated Press on Sunday. "Because we allowed the use of dogs but no bait, we thought that maybe from six to 10 bears would be taken."
Wildlife commissioners are scheduled in February to establish the upcoming bear hunt season's dates, and in May to set the quota for how many bears can be harvested.
Kathryn Bricker of Zephyr Cove, executive director of NoBearHuntNV.org, said independent scientists have concluded wildland bears are under threat and the hunt is not biologically sustainable.
Every poll has shown widespread opposition to the hunt, she added, and her group plans to mount further opposition to it this year.
"Only 2 percent of Nevadans have a hunting license, and of that 2 percent who do, (few) applied for a bear tag," Bricker said. "It's only a minuscule number of people who want to hunt bears, and people are outraged that (wildlife commissioners) are going out of their way to accommodate them."
Half of the black bears killed were in the Pine Nut Mountains just east of Minden. Two were taken in the Stillwater 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. 395 - including the first one, a female, that was killed illegally by a hunter who baited the animal with apples, bacon grease and anise oil, which has a strong licorice smell.
None of the black bears killed were in the Lake Tahoe Basin, where opposition to the hunt was strongest. Opponents feared conflicts between hunters and hikers, mountain bikers and other users.
And none were identified as having previous run-ins with humans, such as raiding garbage bins or breaking into homes in search of food.
Only two bears were killed after Oct. 30.