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A Comprehensive Guide

% Public Land
Species Available
# of Hunters

2024 Nevada Big Game

Nevada has significant public lands and is known to have some solid mule deer and pronghorn opportunities. Odds can be long in this state with relatively few tags available and no over the counter hunting opportunities with the exception of mountain lion. However don't pass it up as the scenery and bucks are worth the wait.

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Species to Hunt


Black Bear


Mountain Goat

Mountain Lion

Mule Deer

Rocky Mtn Bighorn

Desert Bighorn

California Bighorn


Nonresident Guided                 March 11
Main Draw                                 May 8
2nd Draw                                  June 10

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Over the Counter Hunts

Nevada is one of the few states that does not have any over the counter deer or elk opportunities. Currently the only opportunity to hunt a big game species is purchase an over the counter mountain lion license. Nevada's relatively arid climate doesn't support large populations and hunter demand outstrips game population density.

Limited Entry Hunts

Nevada's big game hunts are allocated through 3 draws. The draw season kicks off with nonresident guided hunts be drawn first. Nevada allocates a percentage of nonresident tags to guided hunts each year based on guided hunt demand. The main draw follows where both resident, nonresident and youth applicants can apply for all big game hunts offered by the state. For hunts which still have quota remaining after the main draw, a second draw is held in June.


Nevada allows hunters to submit multiple applications per species for different categories or classes within the species. For instance, pronghorn has two categories of hunts: horns longer than ears and horns shorter than ears. Applicants can submit separate applications to each category of hunt but can only draw one license per species per year.

The draw is conducted in a specific order making it such that no species has more than one category being drawn in a round. The order is listed below and if an applicant is successful in a round for a species and has another application for that species in a later round, that application will be invalid.

  1. Silver State
  2. Partnership in Wildlife

  3. Junior Mule Deer Antlered/Antlerless (if available)

  4. Assigned simultaneously in no particular order: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Ram, California Bighorn Sheep Ram, Nelson (Desert) Bighorn Sheep Ram, Elk Antlered, Antelope Horns Longer than Ears, Mule Deer Antlered, Mountain Goat, Black Bear, Moose Antlered.

  5. Assigned simultaneously in no particular order: Elk Depredation Antlered, Management Bighorn Sheep Ram.

  6. Assigned simultaneously in no particular order: California Bighorn Sheep Ewe, Nelson (Desert) Bighorn Sheep Ewe, Elk Antlerless, Antelope Horns Shorter than Ears, Mule Deer Antlerless (if available).

  7. Spike Elk.

  8. Elk Depredation Antlerless.

The Draw

Nevada uses a square bonus point system to allocate licenses. In a bonus point system every applicant has a chance of drawing a hunt. However applicants with more bonus points have a greater opportunity and the squaring of points generally produces a quadratic increase in odds. This is because when an applicant has 3 bonus points, they actually receive 9 random numbers in the draw. Their lowest random number is retained and then their application is ranked against other applicants. 

Nevada evaluates an entire application when it is drawn rather than just evaluating the first choice on the application. Starting with the first choice on the application, if there is available quota for that hunt the applicant will be awarded the hunt. If not, then the second choice will be evaluated and so on. Applicants should rank the hunts in the order which they would prefer to hunt. 


Nevada separates resident and nonresident quota into separate hunts with explicit quotas. This is contrary to other states where the nonresident quota may be decided at the time of the draw. The quota is posted in the regulations prior to the application deadline.

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