WTA TAGS and the Nevada Draw

by Eric Pawlak

The May 10 application deadline for Nevada is almost here, and it’s hard to believe that another application season is more than halfway complete. Nevada holds a special place in my thoughts this time of year.

  • Will this be the year I finally draw a desert bighorn tag?
  • Or maybe I’ll draw another archery mule deer tag?
  • Will my name be drawn for a rifle elk tag? That sure would be nice. The bull elk hunting in Nevada is second to none.

And, if you’re like me, you’re wondering the same things about Nevada tags this year. Good news! The WTA TAGS office has concluded its GMU research in Nevada and we’ve held our state meeting. And our application team is hard at work submitting our clients’ applications.

How the Draw is Conducted

Nevada operates on a squared bonus point system, so each year you apply you have an increased probability of drawing a tag. Purchasing a $156 non-resident hunting license is a prerequisite to apply. For youth, the non-resident license purchase is only $16, making building bonus points for your kids not only affordable but also a no-brainer. First-time applicants born after January 1, 1960 must register a scanned copy of their Hunter’s Safety Card before applying. WTA TAGS can assist with this process. Nevada considers 5 application choices per species for each applicant. So it makes sense to lean on the research and expertise of WTA TAGS to get you applied appropriately. And I’m not just saying that because I work here.

Desert Bighorn/California Bighorn

Nevada is unique in that a non-resident applicant can apply for two species of bighorn sheep, the desert and the California. Simply put, this is a must-apply state for hunters trying to draw a desert bighorn tag because in 2022, the Silver State will most likely issue 30 desert bighorn tags to non-residents. That’s a big number and, by far, your best chance of drawing across the West.

Rocky Mountain Elk

Limited tag allocations coupled with superior genetics make Nevada second to none when it comes to hunting big bulls. Drawing a bull elk tag in Nevada should be looked at as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With their squared bonus point system, drawing this tag is not impossible, but it normally requires patience. I have been applying for this tag for 18 years. I haven’t drawn it yet, but one of these days I will. And when I do I’m going to hire the best outfitter to give me the best chance to harvest the bull of a lifetime!

Mule Deer

Like a Nevada elk tag, drawing a Nevada mule deer tag in a premium unit is something to get really excited about. Here’s a tip: applying for muzzleloader and archery tags can heavily increase your odds of being drawn. The velvet archery hunt in August, as well as the September muzzleloader season, historically produce the biggest bucks in the state. With five choices considered on the application, it is perfectly acceptable, and strategic, to mix weapons across your application. Talk to your WTA TAGS consultant about what’s best for you.

Again, the Nevada application deadline is fast approaching on May 10. With the incredible number of non-resident desert sheep tags allocated annually, and the fact that some of the best bucks and bulls in the country come from Nevada, this should be on your immediate to-do list. If you have any questions about the Nevada big-game draw or would like to talk strategy, please give WTA TAGS a call at 800-755-TAGS (8247) or email us today.  

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