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Don’t wait until last minute to apply for your Nevada big-game tag

You would think that someone who writes about the outdoors would never miss the deadline for submitting his game tag applications, but it happens.

The deadline for Utah’s 2021 limited-entry turkey draw passed without my application being included.

No matter how good one’s intentions, you cannot draw a tag if your name is not in the hat, so consider this a reminder that the deadline for submitting your Nevada big-game tag applications is at 11 p.m. Monday. Do yourself a favor and don’t wait until the last minute.

Not because the timing of your application will somehow affect your draw results but because you don’t want to take the chance that some unforeseen glitch in your internet service or incorrect personal information might prevent you from submitting your digital paperwork. All applications must be submitted at ndowlicensing.com.

Some people might be intimidated by the online application system, but it’s straightforward and relatively simple to use. Especially when compared to the old paper system we negotiated in years past.

If you have not already done so, create an online profile and start clicking. Select the species you would like to hunt, and a map of the available hunt units pops up on the screen. Next select the units you would like to hunt along with the appropriate weapon choice — archery, muzzleloader or any legal weapon.

Folks who are new to hunting in Nevada might ask, “Which unit is the best?”

The simple answer is all of them. It depends on your personal preference and type of hunt experience you are seeking.

If you are not looking for anything more than a chance to get in the field, you might want to consider units where tag numbers are high. If you are looking for the chance to harvest an animal that meets a specific standard, you will want to examine the harvest data and make your selection accordingly.

If you want to hunt where vehicle access is widely available, avoid applying for those units with large wilderness areas. While you can hunt in wilderness, any mechanized means of conveyance is prohibited. That includes bicycles and game carts.

Or if you prefer a more primitive hunting experience, a unit with wilderness might be what you are looking for.

Something else to consider is the available terrain. Especially if age, health or other considerations limit what you can do. On the ground familiarity definitely makes the choice easier, but mapping programs such as Google Earth can help.

Be sure to double-check your choices before hitting submit. Results of the draw will be available no later than May 26.

Arizona already has drawn for its pronghorn and elk tags, but the state’s deadline for deer, bighorn sheep, sandhill crane and fall hunts for turkey, javelina and bison is generally the second Tuesday in June. As of this writing, the online application process has not begun but should be available soon at azgfd.com.

Utah’s application period for antlerless deer, elk and moose, and doe pronghorn opens May 27 and closes June 17. Apply at utah-hunt.com.

Now let’s talk turkey. Even though the Beehive State’s limited-entry turkey season is over, you are not out of options if you would still like to chase a gobbler. Utah’s general turkey season began Monday and runs through May 31. You can purchase a permit through the last day of the season.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions are his own. Find him on Facebook at @dougwritesoutdoors. He can be reached at intheoutdoorslv@gmail.com.

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