Bear killed for attacking sheep

Dorothy Heise described the visitat of a bear to the family ranch in Gardnerville as scary.

"A bear had been coming to get the sheep," said Heise. "He pulled the sheep out of the pen and didn't go very far with them. He started chewing on them right there. A wire and post pen doesn't stop a bear.

"We lost about five sheep, I guess. Bears are a real problem when they come in close - it's not very safe."

A 250-pound male bear was shot and killed at the Heise ranch at Highway 88 and Mottsville Lane on Sept. 22.

"The wildlife people put out a trap and the bear walked over it and took the sheep right out of the pen," Heise said. "The big bear cage didn't work at all."

If bears are getting livestock, a permit is needed to shoot it.

"The wildlife people didn't come very soon," Heise said. "They're busy with so many complaints so we hired a private trapper. He put out a bucket of junk and the bear looked at it one night. The second night the trapper was waiting and shot the bear."

Ranch hands tracked the bear to a place by the West Fork of the Carson River where it would bed down. It would come just around dark to feed.

After the bear was shot, Heise said the carcass was buried at the ranch.

Heise said there have been no more problems with missing stock since the bear was shot.

"I have my fingers crossed," she said when asked if the bear problem is solved. "Everything's all right now. I hope it's quiet over there for awhile."

The Heise ranch has been in existence since the 1880s.

"I lived here way over 50 years and we've never had a bear problem, although coyotes have been after sheep before," Heise said.


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