All About Hunting In Nevada

Nevada, a western U.S. state, is the 7th most extensive and the 32nd most populous state in the U.S.

Besides offering Las Vegas strip and desert climates, Nevada offers big game species like mule deer, Rocky Mountain Elk, three sub-species of bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mountain goat, and black bear.

Upland game birds are also available in plenty. Exploring the diverse habitat of the ‘Silver State’ is a must and the state’s beauty is reflected in its rich bounties.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife oversees all hunting and fishing regulations in the state.

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1. Hunting Season

Hunting seasons are mainly set by taking into certain primary factors such as breeding or nesting, age or gender distribution, economic and recreational concerns.

The simple trick is that if the animal population is large, moderators will time it to give the hunters a greater hunting advantage. However, if the animal population is dwindling, regulators will time it to give the animals a greater survival advantage.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife has bifurcated the hunting season into two categories depending on the size of the game animal: Big Game Hunting Season and Small game Hunting Season.

1.1 Big Game Hunting Season

Big-game species found in abundance in Nevada include antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, elk, mule deer, black bear. The general season for each animal is mentioned below.

  • The general season to hunt antelope is from August 22 to October 30.
  • Bighorn sheep can be hunted from September 15 to January 1.
  • Mountain goats can be hunted between September 1 and October 31.
  • The general season for elk is from September 12 to January 5.
  • Mule deer and black bear can be hunted from August 10 to January 1 and from September 15 to December 1, respectively.
NDOW Tutorial: Big Game Draw Application

1.2 Small Game Hunting Season

Small game species in Nevada comprise wild turkey, pheasant, sage grouse, crow, quail, rabbit, chukar, and Hungarian partridge.

  • Pheasants can be hunted from November 1 to 30.
  • Sage grouses are available for hunting from September 1 to November 17 and March 1 to April 15.
  • Crows can be hunted from September 1 to November 17 and March 1 to April 15, thus coinciding with sage grouse hunting season.
  • Quail and rabbit have the same commencing date, that is, October 10. The former’s ending date is February 7 and for the latter, the ending date is February 28.
  • Chukar and Hungarian partridge can be hunted between October 10 and February 7.

2. What Species to Hunt in Nevada?

2.1 Antelope

The body of an antelope is distinctly marked with white on the underside and rump and shed their horns annually. They prefer rolling, wide and open topography.

Nevada boasts of a healthy population of Nevada because of its excellent conservation of the species and antelope’s ability to adapt to a varied range of habitats. They are the fastest running hoofed animal in entire North America.

You need to abide by the Nevada hunting norms while going for an Antelope hunt.

How To Hunt Nevada for Elk, Deer, Antelope, and Sheep

2.2 Bighorn Sheep

In 1973, the desert bighorn sheep was venerated as the official state animal of Nevada. They can weigh as much as 200 pounds and may grow to 4-1/2 feet tall.

They can survive without water for a prolonged period of time. They develop right after their birth, which continues to grow throughout their lifetime.

You need to apply for a controlled hunting tag, to hunt bighorn sheep.

2.3 Mountain Goat

Mountain goats were first introduced at the Rocky Mountains of Nevada in the mid-1960s. They are well-known for their excellent agility and can climb up to 1500 vertical feet in 20 minutes.

It is advised to follow the proper hunting guidelines while hunting mountain goats in Nevada.

2.4 Elk

Elk is a large animal with a four-chambered stomach and small tail. They have loud vocalization consisting of screams known as bugling and can be heard from long distances. Their antlers are used in artwork, novelty items, and furniture.

Hunters are required to hunt elk, by following all the hunting norms.

2.5 Mule Deer

Mule deer are covered by brown fur in summer and grayish-brown in winter with a white rump, black-tipped tail, and large ears. They have the ability to adapt to a wide range of habitats.

They are excellent swimmers and have a good sense of hearing and can sense moving objects in their vicinity.

Since it is a traditionally hunted big game species in Nevada, it can be hunted only during the specified season and by allocated tag only.


2.6 Black Bear

Black bears may weigh up to 450 pounds and live near the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They hibernate during the winter months. They do not have any humps on their back, which the brown bears have. They are omnivores.

Hunting norms are required to be followed by the hunters in Nevada.

2.7 Pheasant and Sage Grouse

Pheasant is a long-tail game bird, with beautiful plumage. It is widespread and is adorned by bright colors. On the other hand, sage grouses have a long, pointed tail and legs with feathers to the toes. They have two yellowish sacs on the neck.

The daily bag limit of pheasant and sage grouse is 2.

2.8 Chukar and Hungarian Partridge

The chukar was first introduced in Nevada in 1935. Chukar habitat can mainly be found in the Death Valley National Park. Nevada averages more than 12,000 chukar hunters a year.

The daily bag limit is 6, with a possession limit of 18.

2.9 Crow and Rabbit

Crows are widely available in Nevada. The daily bag limit for crow is 10.

Blacktail jackrabbit, whitetail jackrabbit, and the snowshoe hare are the three types of rabbits found in Nevada. The daily bag limit is 2, with a possession limit of 4.

3. Where to Hunt in Nevada?

3.1 Public Lands

With vast swathes of public hunting lands in Nevada, the state offers ample opportunities to hunters. The following list enumerates certain important public hunting lands in Nevada.

  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, of 6.8 million acres, offers excellent predator hunting.
  • South Fork State Recreation Area, of 1650 acres, provides mule deer and pheasant hunting to a large extent.
  • Desert National Wildlife Refuge, of 1.5 million acres, has campsites and an extensive trail system and offers limited desert bighorn sheep hunting by permit.
  • Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge of 141,000 acres, offers excellent deer and predator hunting.

3.2 Private Lands

Among 53 million acres of hunting land in Nevada, most of the lands are under the possession of private owners that are given on lease. Hunting from vehicles is not allowed on hunting leases.

Since these lands are not privately owned, hunters do not face crowd while hunting. There are designated areas for camping on hunting leases.

By asking permission, hunters are required to develop good relations with the landowner. Hunters must respect locked gates, ‘no trespassing’ signs, and orange-painted gate posts.

4. License Requirements

All hunters born after January 1, 1960, must have a valid hunter education certificate to purchase a Nevada hunting license. There is no minimum age to take the hunter safety class or to receive the Nevada hunter education certificate.

4.1 Types of Licenses

4.1.1 Nevada Resident

A resident is a person who has lived in Nevada for at least six months. Non-resident full-time students who attend an institution in Nevada for at least six months are considered residents.

All Nevada residents of age 12 or older must have a resident hunting license.

4.1.2 Non-Resident

All non-residents of age 12 or older must have a non-resident hunting license. Additional licenses and tags may also be required.

4.1.3 Youth Hunting License

All youth under 12 years of age may not lawfully hunt big game in Nevada. Nevada residents between the ages of 12 to 15 years old may purchase the Junior Hunting License.

Residents between 16 to 17 years old may also obtain the Pre-Adult Hunting License. Non-residents of age 17 or older may purchase the non-resident Pre-Adult Hunting License.

4.1.4 Senior Hunting License

Nevada residents of age 65 or older who have lived in Nevada for 5 continuous years may purchase the Senior Hunting License.

4.1.5 Disability License

Nevada residents with severe physical disabilities may be eligible for the Severe Disability Hunting License. Additional permits may also be available.

4.1.6 Military and Veteran License

Active-duty military members who are permanently stationed in Nevada may purchase a resident hunting license. Besides, active-duty military members who are Nevada residents but stationed elsewhere may purchase the Serviceman’s Hunting License.

Resident veterans who have 50% or more service-connected disability may be eligible for the free Disabled Veteran Hunting & Fishing License.

4.2 License Expiration

Hunting licenses are valid from March 1 until the end of February of the next year.

Nevada Hunting Laws — 3 Things to Know: licenses, tags, classes & crimes

5. Rules and Regulations

5.1 Distance Regulations

In Nevada, firearm hunting must be at least 50 yards from a road, either way, you cannot hunt from or across a roadway.

5.2 Legal Hunting Hours

Legal hunting hours in Nevada begin from 30 minutes before sunrise and end 30 minutes after sunset.

5.3 Hunter Orange Requirements

In Nevada, it is not compulsory to wear a hunter or blaze orange. However, it is recommended that all hunters wear hunter orange clothing visible from all sides while hunting.

5.4 Bag Limits

According to the size of the game animal, the bag limit or tag permits vary. If the game is small, the bag limit is more and vice-versa.

5.5 Can You Hunt at Night?

In Nevada, it is unlawful to cast any motor vehicle’s spotlight while having firearm possession at night. You can use artificial light only when you are using it to dispatch or track an already wounded animal.

6. Hunters Education

All hunters born after January 1, 1960, must have a valid hunter education certificate to purchase a Nevada hunting license. There is no minimum age to take the hunter safety class or to receive the Nevada hunter education certificate.

Hunter Education Series #1

6.1 Traditional Hunters Education

There is no prescribed minimum age to take the offline classes. Students under the age of 11 are required to be accompanied by an adult.

Parents or guardians are solely responsible for student transportation and must notify the classroom instructor if someone other than the parent or guardian is picking up the student after class.

A fee of $5 will be taken at the commencement of the in-person class.

6.2 Online Hunters Education Course

Students who are 11 years of age or older can complete their hunting safety courses entirely online. To meet the home study requirement, students must complete the ‘Today’s Hunter’ workbook or complete the required work online.

Students are offered two choices of internet course, with both courses charging an additional fee over the basic $5 class fee.

What’s the deal with Hunter Education in Nevada?

7. Bowhunting

In Nevada, bowhunting implies hunting with a longbow, compound bow, or recurve bow. Crossbows cannot be used for archery-only hunts.

  • It is illegal for any person to carry a rifle in the field while hunting under archery regulations.
  • It is unlawful to carry a bow with an arrow nocked on the bowstring while in or on any motorized vehicle.
  • Hunters cannot hunt any wildlife with an arrow that has any chemical, explosive, or electronic device attached.

7.1 Bow and Arrow Requirements

  • A bow must have a peak draw weight of at least 40 pounds and if the bow is a compound bow, a let-off of not more than 80 percent is required.
  • Legal hunting arrows must have a broadhead attached.
  • The broadhead must be 24 inches in length from the end of the nock to the tip of the broadhead and have a 300-grain minimum weight.
  • An arrow that is used in hunting any game mammal or a game bird may be equipped with a nock that is illuminated electronically or chemically.
  • Fixed broadheads must be at least 7/8-inch-wide at the widest point.
  • Mechanical heads must be at least 7/8-inch-wide at the widest point when in the open position.

8. Game Calls

Game calls refer to the signals emitted by the hunters to lure the animals to the trap. There are two types of game calls: hand-held and electronic. Hand-held game calls are carried out with the aid of wood or plastic and are cost-friendly.

Electronic game calls are, however, not always considered legal. Recorded or amplified sounds may not be used to take any non-game bird or non-game mammal except coyotes.

Practice Your Big Game Calls


The Silver State offers multiple hunting opportunities to avid hunters. With diverse species, Nevada has turned into a popular hunting state. You can have a truly adventurous experience, only if you follow the state hunting rules.

For further details, please visit the website of the Nevada Department of Wildlife:


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