Nevada Hunting Overview
Nevada is a big game hunting paradise, with a variety of species available including mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain goats, and pronghorn antelope. The state is home to some of the best trophy quality in the West, with hunters enjoying classic Western hunting experiences in uncrowded conditions. There are opportunities for archery, muzzleloader, and “any legal weapon” seasons, and hunters can find solitude in many wilderness and roadless areas. Nevada is one of only two states with all three subspecies of bighorn sheep, making it a popular destination for hunters seeking these elusive animals. Most tags are issued through a lottery system, with unsuccessful applicants gaining bonus points that improve their odds of drawing tags.
Hunters can apply for tags in Nevada through a lottery system that evaluates applications for bonus points and squares them to provide the number of entries for each eligible species. The more bonus points an applicant has, the better their chances of receiving the lowest draw number. However, the state also offers over-the-counter tags for certain species, making it possible for hunters to get tags even if they have few or no points. Nevada is known for its high-end trophy bull elk, with some very good tags available, and there are also quite a few options for mule deer tags across the state, including early-season archery options with reasonable draw odds. The Nevada Department of Wildlife is responsible for managing hunting and tags, and hunters must have a tag to pursue big game populations like mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain goats, or pronghorn antelope.
Big Game Species
Nevada offers a diverse range of big game species for hunting enthusiasts, including mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, pronghorn antelope, black bear, and mountain lion. Hunting tags for each species can be obtained through a lottery system, with residents and nonresidents both eligible to apply. The number of tags available varies by species and is determined by population estimates and management objectives. In 2019, approximately 108,000 hunters hunted in Nevada, with about 63% being residents and 37% being nonresidents.
Draw and OTC Sales and Dates
|Nevada Nonresident Mule Deer Guided Draw||Mule Deer||February 6, 2023||March 6, 2023|
|Nevada Big Game Draw||Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Desert Bighorn Sheep, California Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Black Bear||March 20, 2023||May 10, 2023|
|Nevada Big Game Second Draw||Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope, Rocky Bighorn Sheep, Desert Bighorn Sheep, California Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Black Bear||June 5, 2023||June 12, 2023|
|Leftover Tag Sale||Early July|
Nevada Hunting Point System
Nevada uses a bonus points squared system. A hunter’s chances of getting a low draw number and ultimately drawing a tag can be boosted by accumulating bonus points. However, unlike preference points, bonus points do not guarantee obtaining a tag after accumulating a certain number of points. Both residents and nonresidents can acquire bonus points by purchasing them or by being unsuccessful in their big game tag application. The different types of bonus points available to hunters is detailed in the table below. Under a single active license, a single bonus point can be obtained per species or subspecies a year. Bonus points are distributed based on specific species categories, each including all the different weapon hunts available in that category.
Nevada Point Types
|Elk - Antlered||Bonus Point||Both|
|Elk - Anlerless||Bonus Point||Both|
|Spike Elk||Bonus Point||Resident|
|Mule Deer||Bonus Point||Both|
|Mule Deer - Antlerless||Bonus Point||Resident|
|Antelope - Doe||Bonus Point||Resident|
|Black Bear||Bonus Point||Both|
|Mountain Goat||Bonus Point||Both|
|Desert Bighorn Sheep||Bonus Point||Both|
|Desert Bighorn Sheep Ewe||Bonus Point||Both|
|California Bighorn Sheep||Bonus Point||Both|
|California Bighorn Sheep Ewe||Bonus Point||Resident|
|Rocky Montain Bighorn Sheep||Bonus Point||Resident|
|Spring Turkey||Bonus Point||Both|
How to build points
Points are acquired through the annual big game draw, and there is no opportunity to acquire them outside of that draw. Points are not used in the secondary draw, nor can be acquired at that time. A valid hunting license is required to acquire points, as detailed in the license section of this article.
Tags, Licenses, and Pricing
A valid hunting license and predator control fee are required to apply for Nevada draws, including for purchasing points only. An application fee is applied per species applied for, including for points purchases.
|Item||Resident Price||Non-Resident Price|
|Hunting and Fishing Combination License||$75.00||$155.00|
|Application Fee or Point Purchase (per species)||$10.00||$10.00|
|Nonrefundable Predator Fee (per application)||$3.00||$3.00|
|Nonrefundable Elk Damage Fee (elk only)||$5.00||$5.00|
|Item||Resident Price||Non-Resident Price|
|Mule Deer Tag||$30.00||$240.00|
|Restricted Nonresident Guided Deer Tag||$300.00|
|Landowner Damage Compensation Tag-Mule Deer & Antelope||$50.00||$50.00|
|Bighorn Sheep Tag||$120.00||$1,200.00|
|Elk Incentive Tag||$120.00||$1,200.00|
|Rocky Mountain Goat Tag||$120.00||$1,200.00|
|Mountain Lion Tag||$29.00||$104.00|
|Black Bear Tag||$100.00||$300.00|
Nevada Hunting Regulations
- Hunters Education is required for individuals born on or after January 1, 1960. The certification must be registered with the state prior to applying.
- Hunters must be 12 years of age.
- Mechanical broadheads and lighted nocks are allowed.
- Draw weights must be 40 pounds or greater and a maximum of 80% letoff.
- Crossbows are not allowed in archery seasons, except with a disability permit
In Nevada, pairs or groups of hunters can apply together for party applications, but only for deer, antlerless elk, and doe antelope. Bonus points for party hunt applicants are averaged and rounded to the nearest whole number. While residents and non-residents may apply together for deer tags, the application is treated as a nonresident application. Additionally, party hunt members can 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.
Nevada Hunting FAQ
Landowner Tag Options
Return / Transfer Tags