As We See It

Is Stephen Colbert responsibile for Nevada’s debate on bear hunting?

OK. Probably not. But you never know.

Illustration: Chris Morris

On September 23, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman appeared on The Colbert Report and suggested host Stephen Colbert tape a few shows in Las Vegas. The very next day the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners met to discuss and, ultimately, move toward creating Nevada’s first bear-hunting season. Coincidence? Hard to say. Few celebrities are as outspoken against bears as Colbert, who openly lashes out at the “godless killing machines” for their aggressive behavior, insatiable hunger and use of the great outdoors as a restroom. That Nevada is looking to regulate spring and fall bear kills would seem enough to entice the comedian. Chris Healy, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, said the board will decide whether to establish a season at its December 3-4 meeting in Reno and denies any Colbert involvement: “We have enough problems with bears without Colbert coming here.” There aren’t many bears in Northern Nevada—an estimated 200-300 in Sierra Nevada and as many as 400 in the state, and critics argue that hunting bears is inhumane and unnecessary. Others call hunting in Lake Tahoe unwise and dangerous. Colbert didn’t respond to requests for comment. Maybe he’s waiting for the bears to come south for the buffets.

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