Nevada’s 2021 big game seasons and application regulations are available, which is the application booklet you use to apply for Nevada’s 2021 big game tags. You can download a copy from their website at www.eregulations.com/nevada/big-game/ or you can call 800-576-1020 and request one be sent to you. The 2021 Nevada application period is March 22-May 10. Applications must be submitted by 11 p.m. (PST) on the deadline day. Results will be released by May 26th.
Nevada has an application website that requires users to create an account before applying. Applicants will need to be logged in to their account in order to apply. When you apply, you have to choose whether or not to accept an alternate tag for your first choice unit should someone turn their tag back. Alternates can be selected up to 14 business days prior to the season opener.
Applicants may withdraw or change their application electronically by logging in to their account on or before the application deadline. If an applicant withdraws an application within seven days after the main draw deadline, they may reapply for points only within seven days after the deadline.
Party applications may only be made for deer, antlerless elk, and antelope (horns shorter than ears). Residents and non-residents may apply together as a party for deer. Bonus points for party hunt applicants will be averaged and rounded to the nearest whole number. New for 2021, party hunt members are able to return their party tag to the Department but will not receive a refund of bonus points unless all members of that party also return their tags to the Department.
If you apply for points only, your application deadline has a one-week extension over the regular application deadline.
If you draw, the tag fees will then be collected. You are given five hunt choices when applying. When an applicant is drawn, all five choices are considered before the next applicant is drawn.
There is no waiting period following a successful draw or harvest for deer or antlerless elk. Hunters who draw bighorn sheep ram or mountain goat tags must wait 10 years. The waiting period for a ewe bighorn sheep tag is two years regardless of hunt success. If you draw a buck antelope tag, you must wait three years to apply regardless of hunt success. If you draw an antlered elk tag, you must wait seven years to apply regardless of hunt success. New for 2021, there is change to the draw system. The draw will be conducted in the following groups. GROUP #1 Silver State, Partnership in Wildlife (PIW), and Resident Junior Mule Deer. GROUP #2 Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Ram, California Bighorn Sheep Ram, Desert Bighorn Sheep Ram, Elk Antlered, Elk Depredation Antlered, Antelope Horns Longer than Ears, Mule Deer Antlered, Mountain Goat, and Bear. GROUP #3 California Bighorn Sheep Ewe, Desert Bighorn Sheep Ewe, Elk Antlerless, Elk Depredation Antlerless, Antelope Horns Shorter Than Ears, and Mule Deer Antlerless. GROUP #4 Resident Spike Elk.
This allows applicants to put in for all species and gender classifications they wish to hunt without worry of drawing a less preferred tag over a more preferred due to changes in eligibility requirements as you are now only allowed to draw a single tag for each species or subspecies category.
There is a $10 non-refundable application fee for all regular big game applications, except elk, which is $15 plus a non-refundable $3 predator management fee on each tag application. Add another $1 processing fee per application and another $1 processing fee per license. The non-resident hunting license fee of $155 is non-refundable if you want bonus points. If you do not want bonus points, you do not have to purchase the license. If you apply for points only, you pay for the hunting license plus $11 per species. Nevada accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover for online applications.
Hunter education is required if the applicant was born after January 1, 1960. If it is your first time applying in Nevada, you must email a copy of your hunter education certificate to email@example.com. Hunter education records must be received seven days before the application deadline. Nevada does not require big game hunters to wear hunter orange clothing.
A child under 18 years of age and hunting with a firearm must be accompanied at all times by their parent or guardian or another licensed adult authorized by their parent or guardian. A child 14 years or older may hunt alone with their parents’ permission if they have a valid hunting license and use a shotgun or rifle that is not fully automatic.
Nevada has a bonus point system where you receive one point per species for each year you are unsuccessful in the drawing and have purchased a hunting license. Unsuccessful applicants who choose not to purchase the license do not gain bonus points. Bonus points are then squared. Example: if you have 3 bonus points for mule deer, 3x3 plus 1 (this year’s application) equals 10 chances in this year’s drawing. The most bonus points anyone can have for 2021 is 29 per species. That number increases by one each year. If an applicant fails to apply for a particular species for two consecutive years, they will lose all of their bonus points for that species.
Nevada gives non-residents approximately 10% of the big game tag quota. We take into account all applicants’ choices and the choice order in which they applied in our draw odds calculations. We listed the prior year’s first choice draw odds based on if that applicant had 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 points going into the draw. This will give applicants a better idea of their draw odds for that specific hunt, depending on the point level they are at, and it also gives applicants a time frame of when they can anticipate increased draw odds.
Nevada has a lower price non-resident youth hunt/fish combo license that is only $15, which is a lot cheaper than years past when there was not a difference in adult and youth prices. Nevada has set aside deer tags for resident youth applicants only. There are just over 3,000 youth deer tags available. Successful applicants can hunt archery, muzzleloader, and rifle seasons until they harvest a deer. An 11-year who will turn 12 before the beginning of the last season on their application is eligible to apply for a bonus point.
Rifle hunters may hunt big game with a centerfire cartridge of .22 caliber or larger. Muzzleloader hunters must use .45 caliber or larger rifles, open or peep sights, and blackpowder or blackpowder substitute, such as Pyrodex or Triple 7. Smokeless powder is not legal. Sabots are legal. Archery hunters must have a minimum draw weight of 40 lbs. and a maximum of 80% let-off. You must use arrows that are at least 24" long nock to broadhead with an overall minimum weight of 300 grains. Fixed broadheads must be at least 7/8" at the widest point, and if you are using expandable broadheads, they too must be at least 7/8" wide when opened. Crossbows may be used if you possess an archery disability permit.
While residents may apply for all species in the PIW (Partnership in Wildlife) draw, non-residents are only allowed to apply for mule deer PIW tags. These are tags that are good for any open season in any open unit until the hunter harvests an animal. Basically, you can only hunt a unit when a season is in progress and with the specific weapon allowed during that season. If you want to apply for this tag, all you have to do is check the PIW box. The fee for applying is $10 and will be deducted from your refund or will be charged to your card later in the year. Nevada issues antelope, elk, and deer landowner tags that are transferable.
Nevada offers all applicants the opportunity to participate in the Silver State Tag drawing. A Silver State Tag is a statewide tag that has the same season, which is three to five months long depending on the species, as a Nevada Heritage Tag (Governor type auction tag) for the same species. There is a total of one Silver State Tag each offered for elk, mule deer, Desert bighorn sheep, and antelope. Applying for or drawing a Silver State Tag does not affect your bonus points. All regular applicants are eligible to apply for Silver State Tags, and waiting periods do not apply. The non-refundable non-resident fee is $24 per species, except for elk, which is $29.
Nevada’s Dream Tags program is a raffle that allocates resident and non-resident tags for mule deer, elk, antelope, Desert bighorn sheep, and California bighorn sheep (one species per raffle tag). To enter the raffle, you pay a one-time $10 Resource Enhancement Stamp fee and then raffle tickets are $5 each plus an online convenience fee of $0.50. Winners can hunt anywhere in the state. All other rules for weapon class and seasons for that weapon must be followed. Go to www.nvdreamtag.org for more information.
Following the main drawing, all remaining licenses for deer, antelope, elk, mountain goat, and sheep will be available to residents and non-residents in a second drawing. You will lose your bonus points if you are successful in the second drawing. Online applications for the second drawing are due by 11 p.m. on June 14th with results provided on or before July 9th, after which, any remaining licenses will be available by a first-come, first-served application.
Within seven days of public release of the draw results, the successful tag recipient can choose to electronically return their tag at www.ndowlicensing.com.
Hunters who draw deer, elk, or antelope tags may turn them back in up to one day prior to the start of the season and retain their bonus points plus gain one point. Sheep and mountain goat hunters must turn their tags back prior to July 15th to retain their points, gain one point, and get a refund.
Part of each tag is a big game questionnaire, which must be submitted by January 31st. Failure to do so will result in being denied all big game tags for one year, unless you pay a $50 fine and complete the Hunt Questionnaire at www.ndowlicensing.com before the close of the 2021 big game main draw period. You can call 800- 576-1020 to check and see if your questionnaire has been received.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife website has several mapping resources plus USGS contacts. Go to www.ndow.org/Hunt/Resources/Maps/. For hunting unit information for each species provided by the biologist, go to www.ndow.org/Hunt/Hunting_Units/.
Nevada does not have any access programs that allow hunters to hunt private land.
There are no known wolf packs in Nevada.
Pro Tips from the License Application Department
NEW FOR 2021