Applying For Big-Game Tags In The Silver State

by Erik Schell
|  

To me, there is no western state in which I personally aspire to draw a big-game tag more than Nevada. The high number of giant mule deer bucks and bull elk in the state, plus the plentiful allocation of non-resident desert bighorn sheep tags keep it at the top of my hunting bucket list.

How The Draw Is Conducted

Nevada operates on a squared bonus point system; each year you apply you have an increasing probability to draw. Note that you must purchase a non-refundable $156 non-resident hunting license to apply.

Desert Bighorn/ California Bighorn

There is no other way to say it. This is a must-apply state for desert bighorn if you have any interest in pursuing this highly sought-after trophy animal. Currently, Nevada issues more non-resident desert sheep tags than any state in the West. Due to the sheer number of available units and diversity among those units, application strategies can be tailored to individual trophy expectations as well as physical ability or limitations. We will be happy to work with you to find the perfect hunt for you. Nevada is unique in a sense that non-residents also can apply for California bighorns, an extremely difficult tag to draw but you should seriously consider applying if you are already in the desert sheep draw.

Rocky Mountain Elk

Limited tag allocations coupled with naturally superior genetics of the native elk population creates the perfect recipe for success on big bulls. Drawing a bull elk tag in Nevada should be looked at as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And, if you draw you should plan on dedicating the maximum amount of time and resources toward the hunt as this will be your best chance at a trophy bull exceeding 350 inches.

Mule Deer

Like the elk draw, drawing a Nevada mule deer tag in a premium unit is well worth jumping up and down and celebrating like you’ve won the lottery, because you have. Here’s a tip: Applying for muzzleloader and archery tags can heavily increase your odds of being drawn. The velvet archery season and the September muzzleloader season historically produce the biggest bucks in the state. There also are tags that are easier to draw if you are simply looking to get in the field after nice muleys, but overall hunt and trophy quality will diminish outside premium units.

At first glance, it may seem complicated but it really isn’t if you have it dialed in like we do at WTA TAGS. We can walk you through the Nevada big-game draw and/or provide guidance on how to best use your accumulated points. We love talking about Nevada. Please give WTA TAGS a call at 1-800-755-TAGS (8247). 

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