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Keep deadlines in mind when applying for big-game tags

One of the advantages of living in Southern Nevada is having big-game hunting opportunities nearby. Whether you enjoy hunting mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk or pronghorn antelope, they all can be found in Utah or Arizona as well as right here in the Silver State.

Like Nevada, and with only a couple of exceptions, Arizona and Utah require hunters to participate in a tag draw if they want to hunt big game. But while the Silver State’s tag application process still is a month and a half away, now is the time to submit your tag applications.

Arizona is accepting tag applications for pronghorns and elk, but you don’t have much time to wait. The application deadline is 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Arizona does not have an online application process, so you have to complete and submit a paper application. You can hand-deliver it to any Arizona Game and Fish Department office or mail the application. The closest office to Las Vegas is in Kingman. The application can be downloaded from the Arizona Game and Fish website (www.azgfd.gov), where you also can find more information.

Hunters looking to apply for deer, bighorn sheep, buffalo, bear or mountain lion tags should plan on submitting applications for those tags in June. Keep in mind that before you can apply for an Arizona big-game tag, you will need to have a 2011 hunting license. These can be purchased through the draw process, online at the game and fish website, at agency offices and through license vendors.

Hunters interested in pursuing big game in the Beehive State have nearly a month to do their research and submit applications. Utah began accepting applications Tuesday, and you have until 11 p.m. March 3 to submit your application online at wildlife.utah.gov. Results will be available by May 31.

“Big-game hunting in Utah is very popular with people across the country,” said Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “We expect to receive about 280,000 applications this year.”

■ WILDLIFE COMMISSION TO MEET IN LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will have a full agenda when it meets Friday and Saturday in the Commission Chambers at the Clark County Government Center.

This would be a good time for hunters and anglers to get a close look at one of the significant processes that are part of managing Nevada’s wildlife and hunting and fishing opportunities. Friday’s meeting is to begin at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday’s at 8:30 a.m.

On the agenda are proposed regulations for Nevada’s first black bear hunt, recommendations for the development of what are being called “management bull elk seasons” and various options for the addition of a new waterfowl hunt zone.

Also, the commission will consider quotas for the newly created Silver State Tag, which will give recipients hunting opportunities similar to those that come with the purchase of a “bid” tag.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column, published Thursday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. He can be reached at intheoutdoorslv@gmail.com.

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