Rules & Regulations

Make sure you understand the current hunting rules and regulations before heading out into the field.

Hunting Rules: Big Game
Hunting Rules: Small Game
County Regulations
Wildlife Laws
Wildlife Violators Compact

Big Game Applications

Nevada’s big game tags are awarded by a random draw process and are available to individuals 12 years old or older. Learn more about the big game tag application process here.

Big Game Quotas & Regulations Book

The Nevada Big Game Quotas & Regulations Book is the annual publication that serves as a one-stop-shop for all things big game in the Silver State.

Big Game Regulations and Seasons

Every year, Game Division’s biologists review big game hunt results, herd management objectives, sportsmen comments and other information to develop big game season recommendations for when, where and how long hunting seasons should be. These recommendations are presented at County Wildlife Advisory Board meetings for public input and ultimately the statewide Board of Wildlife Commissioners, who set the seasons in January.

Top Regulation Changes

In recent years, Nevada has adopted several new hunting regulations. Here are a few that you may not be aware of. Be sure to know before you go!

Weapons legal for archery hunts include longbow, compound bow or recurved bow. A crossbow cannot be used for archery only hunts. Specific archery equipment and specifications apply.

Muzzleloaders must have a single barrel of .45 caliber or larger, use an ignition system with a primer or percussion cap, and have an open or peep sight. Specific rules and specifications apply.

Shooting from a Vehicle or Road/Carrying a Loaded Weapon in or on a Vehicle

It is unlawful for sportsmen and women to shoot at any game mammal or game birds with a weapon from a motor vehicle, aircraft or helicopter.

Hiring a Hunting Guide

There are many expert licensed guides in Nevada that provide guide service for big game, game birds, game fish, furbearers and unprotected wildlife. Many hunters may never use or even see a guide, but understanding the rules surrounding guide licensing and how the process works can save problems for those hunters who want to use this type of service.

Small Game Hunting Guide

The state of Nevada offers ample opportunities for hunting upland game, watefowl and small game species. See the Small Game Hunting Guide for species, season and applicable rules and regulations.

Weapon Type/Method of Take

The State of Nevada follows the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 50, Part 20 for legal methods of take for migratory birds. Know before you go.

Weapon Types and species requiring plug in shotgun

Shotguns of any description must be plugged with a one-piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun for use on migratory birds, except during the late snow goose only season set annually by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commission.

Using Wildlife Management Areas

There are restrictions on entry into certain areas, use of certain firearms and ammunition, and use of certain vehicles on the WMAs. Know before you go.

Firearms Discharge Laws

Hunters and target shooters must also abide by the regulations in the county in which they are hunting. Please check with the County Sheriff’s department for more information concerning restricted areas and night hunting laws.

Species that can be hunted without a license any time of year

Some species can be hunted in Nevada without a hunting license, but a trapping license is required to trap them. These include the coyote, black-tailed jackrabbit, badger, weasel, spotted skunk, striped skunk, raccoon and the ring-tailed cat.

Specific species that you can hunt with an open season but can’t sell without a trapping license

Species classified as furbearers in Nevada include beaver, bobcat, gray fox, kit fox, red fox, mink, muskrat and otter.  These species can be harvested in season with either a trapping license OR a hunting license to harvest.  Selling the pelts of ANY species in Nevada requires the seller to possess a trapping license. Additional regulations include prohibitions on the take of bobcat or gray fox by nonresidents and check-in and sealing requirements for bobcats.

Trap Registration Law

Each trap, snare or similar device used to take wild animals on public land must either be registered with the Department ($5.00 fee per trap) or be stamped with the trapper’s name and address.

Trap Visitation Law

Trapping visitation requirements vary from what area and county the trap is in. Be sure you know the laws before placing traps.

Rules for Disturbing Traps/Property

It is unlawful to remove or disturb trap, snare or similar device of licensee.

Bobcat Harvest Report Form

Wildlife Violators Compact

NDOW is a member state of the Wildlife Violators Compact. This is a unified alliance between member states to recognize and apply hunting, fishing and trapping license suspensions to residents who violate hunting, fishing or trapping laws in other member states.


To report wildlife crime, sportsmen and members of the public can call the Operation Game Thief hotline or use the new NDOW Tip app. The NDOW Tip app provides citizens the ability to submit anonymous tips to the Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens. Citizens may text coordinates, messages and photos directly to the app which allows game wardens to respond and communicate quickly with the reporting party. NDOW Tip is available to download for free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store below.