Bonus Point Program Guidelines

The Wildlife Commission has adopted a number of changes in the state's bonus point program since the program was first enacted. The following is provided to assist you in understanding how that program now operates.

Residents and nonresident tag applicants receive bonus points for all hunts that have a quota set by the Wildlife Commission when they are unsuccessful in drawing a tag through the computerized random draw system. In addition to deer, elk, antelope, sheep, goat and black bear applicants also receive bonus points for swan and wild turkey.

Bonus points are awarded by specific species categories, each encompassing all separate weapons hunts available in that category. Those categories are:

  • Antlered mule deer
  • Antlerless mule deer
  • Mule deer depredation
  • Antelope buck
  • Antelope doe
  • Black Bear
  • Bull elk
  • Spike bull elk
  • Cow elk
  • Elk depredation
  • Desert bighorn sheep
  • California bighorn sheep
  • Rocky Mt. Bighorn sheep
  • Mountain goat

Those points cannot be transferred to another person or into another species category.

Applicants are only able to accumulate one bonus point per species category each year. So, if you applied for any legal weapon tag and were unsuccessful, and then applied for an archery tag, and were unsuccessful, you still only accrue one point because these are both in the antlered deer category.

The Wildlife Commission amended the regulation regarding youth bonus points to automatically transfer any bonus points accrued in the junior hunt to the antlered deer category at the time the junior hunter becomes ineligible for the junior hunt by either age, or after 4 years of application for the junior hunt.

However, if you apply for any legal weapon tag, and are unsuccessful, and then apply for a doe tag, and are unsuccessful, you would receive a bonus point for each because they are in two different categories- antlered deer and antlerless deer.

Those applying as a "party hunt" will have their points averaged (total points of all hunters in the party, divided by the number of hunters) and rounded to the closest whole number. Bonus points are squared by species category, resulting in the number of draw numbers that an individual hunter or hunt party will receive in that drawing.

A hunter's bonus points revert to zero in a particular species category when he is successful at obtaining a tag or fails to apply for two consecutive years.

Bonus points are not earned if an applicant requests and receives a hunting license refund.

You can also purchase bonus points without applying for a tag. This requires a non-refundable $10 application fee for each bonus point only application, and the purchase of a hunting license.

You apply for the bonus points the same way you would apply for a tag, through the mail or online at When you get the new application regulation book above each of the season tables there will be a “bonus point only code”. Put this three digit code in the hunter choice box on the application. You can go two years without applying before losing your bonus points.

The tag hunt process is administered by Wildlife Administrative Services. If you have questions about a tag or your online application, please contact them at Wildlife Administrative Services Office, 1-800-576-1020 or (775) 423-7577.

Bonus Point Statistics

The bonus point data below shows how many applicants were successful in drawing a tag in each bonus point category.

Because the draw numbers that determine whether or not a hunter draws a tag are generated randomly, there is no guarantee that a hunter will draw a tag for the unit group of his or her choice just because he or she may have more bonus points then anyone else. Please review Nevada's Bonus Point Guidelines in the Hunting Applications section of the web site to get a better understanding about how the bonus point system works.

Overall, there is a greater percent of maximum bonus-point applicants that draw tags then the percent of applicants in lower bonus point categories. But, as you review the bonus point data you will see that not all of the maximum point applicants draw tags. In fact, even in mule deer hunt unit groups with several hundreds tags, there are maximum point applicants that do not draw a low enough draw number and are not successful.

Bonus points increase a hunter's chances of receiving a low draw number in hopes of drawing a tag, but, unlike a preference point, they do not provide any guarantee of drawing a tag after so many points are accumulated.

2014 Bonus Point Data



2013 Bonus Point Data



2012 Bonus Point Data



2011 Bonus Point Data



Each table in the data is labeled with the species and hunt number. The tables are broken down into unit groups available for that hunt. Under each unit group, the total number of successful versus unsuccessful tag applicants for that unit group is listed. The “Succ” column is the number of successful applicants that drew a tag by bonus point. The “Unsucc” column is the number of unsuccessful applicants by bonus point who listed that hunt and unit group as their first choice.