No offense, but if you don’t put in for a Silver State Tag when the big game application period opens on Monday, you must not like hunting very much.
The Silver State Tag already allows hunters the chance to hunt one of four premier big game species (mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, Nelson (desert) bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope) anywhere in the state, but now you also have the chance to win thousands of dollars of hunting gear as well.
Several sportsmen’s groups and stores have teamed up to include additional items to the lucky hunters who draw a Silver State Tag. These prizes include:
- Mule Deer:
Sportsman's Warehouse in Reno, Nevada is donating a $500 gift card for their store and Nevada Muleys is donating a Yeti Cooler (35 quart) and a Canvas Bedroll.
Sportsworld in Ely is donating a $500 gift card for their store, and the White Pine County chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is donating an RMEF edition Winchester 264 mag. rifle with a 26 inch barrel.
- Desert Bighorn:
Nevada Bighorns Unlimited is donating a Browning X-Bolt 300WM rifle with a Zeiss scope The Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn is throwing in a Minox optics package consisting of 10 x 43 binoculars as well as a 20-45 X62 spotting scope. Full Sitka gear and Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots donated by the Wild Sheep Foundation and guiding services provided by Hide N Seek Outfitters and White River Guide Service.
Scheels is donating a $250 gift certificate, the Coalition for Nevada's Wildlife is throwing in an Alaskan Guide Cooler and Cabela's is donating a backpack.
"We already think that the Silver State Tag is an incredible deal for both resident and nonresident hunters alike," said Chad Bliss, Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioner. "With all of these amazing prizes added on by Nevada’s sportsmen’s groups, it becomes a hunting opportunity you simply cannot pass up. Plus the money raised goes right back into helping Nevada’s wildlife. If there is a downside, I sure don’t see it."
The Silver State Tag is similar to the state’s Heritage Tags, sometimes called governors tags or bid tags, and gives lucky recipients the chance to hunt a specific big game animal statewide in those hunt units where there is an established season from July 1st through February 28th for the species specified on the tag. But unlike the Heritage Tags which generally sell at auction for thousands of dollars, Silver State Tags are available through Nevada’s normal tag application process at a far lesser price.
Tag applicants pay a nonrefundable application fee of $20 plus the $3 predator and $2 online fee, which bring the total to $25 each for mule deer, desert bighorn and pronghorn antelope. An additional $5 is required for the elk application. Tag recipients will be charged the current fees established for the tag received. Applications for the Silver State Tags may only be submitted electronically at www.huntnevada.com during the regular big game tag application period.
In addition to expanded choice of hunt location, tag holders also will have an extended season in which to harvest their game animal. For desert sheep, mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope, Silver State Tag bearers can begin hunting July 1 and hunt through February 28. Tag holders also can use their legal firearm of choice throughout the season’s duration – bow, muzzleloader or rifle.
The Silver State Tag draw is open to both resident and nonresident hunters who are eligible to hunt big game, even those who are fulfilling waiting period requirements for the species available. However, if an applicant is in a waiting period he is only eligible to apply for the Silver State Tag for that species. If he is not in a waiting period, an applicant could apply for a Silver State Tag, a regular big game tag and a Partnership in Wildlife tag all in the same year. But once an applicant is awarded a tag his application will not be considered in subsequent drawings for the same species in that year. With the exception of tags for certain depredation hunts, a hunter may obtain only one tag per species per year.
Like the money generated through the sale of Heritage Tags, Nevada law requires that Silver State Tag application fees be deposited in the Wildlife Heritage Trust Account. Funds from this account must be used for the protection, propagation, restoration, transplantation introduction and management of Nevada’s game species and fur-bearing mammals as well as management of predatory wildlife.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org.