87.35 percent of Nevada big game applications were via the Internet

The results of the computerized, 2006 Nevada big game hunting tag drawings are now official and are public information. By way of explanation, Nevada law requires the submittal of application forms either on paper or via the Internet, and then a computerized drawing is held for the issuance of hunting tags for its various big game species.

Those huntable species are: Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, California bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat.

The 2006 drawing has been conducted and the more than 50,000 resident and nonresident hunters who applied for tags have been notified through the mail of their success or lack of success.

Don Sefton of Systems Consultants of Fallon, the private computer firm contracted by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) to handle the drawings, said that his company received a record 133,742 applications this year. 113,742!

That is up from 123,040 applications in 2005, which in turn, was up from 111,490 in 2004.

Most amazing, 87.35 percent (116,832) of this year's applications were submitted online at www.huntnevada.com. That's unreal: 87.35 percent of 133,742 applications were via the Internet. Talk about the age of the computer!

So, if you turn that percentage around, only 12.64 percent (16,910) were submitted on paper forms.

Hmmm, those must be the very few folks left in the world, who do not own a personal computer.

For the record, yours truly was one of the 87.35 percent who applied on the Internet and I applied for the following tags:

Rifle buck Mule deer tag: For big game management area Nos. 061-Early (the Wildhorse Reservoir area), 061-Late (the Wildhorse Reservoir area), 192 (above Genoa), 194-196 (between Carson City and Lake Tahoe) and 291 (the Pinenut Mountains, east of Carson City).

Rifle Rocky Mountain bull elk tag: For big game management area Nos. 111-115-early, 221-early, 222-early (all in the Ely area).

Rifle California bighorn sheep tag: For big game management area Nos. 014 (Northern Washoe County) and 031 (Northern Humboldt County).

In addition: I also applied for bonus points for rifle buck Pronghorn Antelope and for rifle Nelson (Desert) bighorn sheep.

Those bonus points allow you to build up your bonus points for the following year, while not applying to hunt those species this year.

How did I do in the drawings?

Well, for the record: I did not draw a rifle buck mule deer tag nor a rifle California bighorn sheep tag.

However, the good news is I finally drew a rifle bull elk tag for big game management area No. 111 (near Ely) after years of trying.

Yahoo! I'm going elk hunting in Nevada for the first time in my life.

My elk season runs Nov. 11-26, and for that period, there are 200 bull tags for my hunting area.

I guarantee that Don Q will have a "ton of fun" on his upcoming November elk hunt for four very important reasons:

First: My hunting guide will be longtime friend Mark Day of Carson City, who is extremely knowledgeable about the area I drew.

He has "almost" guaranteed that he can guide me to a trophy-sized bull for my hunt. After waiting this long to draw a tag, I sure hope so!

Second: Norm Budden of Carson City has agreed to perform the following duties on my hunt:

Provide any necessary hunting gear and equipment, serve Manhattans and appetizers in the afternoons, call me "Bwana," scout for elk, help spot a trophy bull for me, help lead me to it, carry my rifle and bullets, field dress the big bull when I bag it, drag/carry it to the nearest road, clean, cover and hang my trophy in camp, take lots of pictures of me and my trophy, and wait on me, hand and foot.

Third: My son Jim of Carson City will be along to help Norm perform all of the duties listed above, and to offer words of wisdom and advice to the hunting guide (Mark) and the elk hunter (me).

Fourth (Last and most important): The scariest part is that as "The Hunter," I am expected to provide those three guys with all the Manhattans that they can drink, when we get back to Ely at the end of each day. Yipes! That could be costly for The Hunter!

Then, after my elk hunt is over, I expect all three of them to brag to their friends about my hunting prowess. Geez, it will be a "blast" to be a successful big game hunter, plus being an all-around nice guy, modest, humble, polite and soft-spoken. Or, so I tell them!

This should be a fun-filled elk hunt for all four of us and I can hardly wait for Opening Day.

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you if Mark, Norm and Jim drew any hunting tags this year.

If he grins and says, "Jim and Mark did not draw any tags, while Norm drew a muzzleloader buck mule deer tag for area No. 141," he could have been peeking at the results of the drawings.

-- Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.


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