The vast majority of hunters, trappers and anglers do their best to abide by the wildlife laws and regulations. For those people who fail to follow the law, convictions of wildlife law may carry serious penalties, including criminal fines up to $5,000, jail, civil penalties up to $30,000, loss of equipment and lost license privileges.
The following are a list of the eight most common violations in the field. Check twice, take due care, and you can avoid unnecessary citations, costly fines and loss of equipment and hunting privileges.
If you make a mistake — for example shooting a spike, or small forked-horn deer instead of an antlerless deer — report it immediately to the local game warden or Operation Game Thief (OGT) at 1-800-992-3030. Follow any instructions that are provided to you and wait for the warden to arrive. Taking the opposite approach, such as hiding or wasting game, will carry much more serious consequences.
1. Hunting Outside Unit Area Designated on Tag
Double-check the hunt area/unit designated on your tag, and review the boundary unit descriptions on the reverse of the Department’s Big Game Boundary Unit Reference Map. Purchase detailed reference maps. Know where you are. This is a misdemeanor offense, but if an animal is killed, it can escalate to a felony.
2. Loaded Rifle or Shotgun In/On Vehicle
Nevada law prohibits carrying loaded rifles and shotguns in or on vehicles, including ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc. After hunting on foot, unload the gun before placing it in or on the vehicle. This is a misdemeanor offense.
3. Using Tag of Another
This is a surprisingly common violation. Only the person named on the tag may use or possess the tag. This violation is considered a felony offense if an animal is harvested.
4. License and Tag Fraud
Providing false information (for example, claiming to be a Nevada resident, using a false date of birth, or fictitious name, etc.) to obtain a license is a misdemeanor. Providing false information to obtain a big game tag is a gross misdemeanor, and killing a big game mammal with such a tag is a felony. This activity steals tags from lawful sportsmen.
5. Early/Late Shooting
Do not shoot at game before or after the designated legal hunting hours. Check the sunset/sunrise and hunts by species table. Sunset does not mean dark! This is a misdemeanor offense. (Refer to sunrise/sunset tables at the back of this book.)
6. Failure to Properly Notch Tag or Permit Immediately After Taking Game
Upon reaching game, immediately validate (punch) the tag or permit with a knife or other sharp object. Marking it with a pencil or pen is not acceptable. This is a misdemeanor offense. If a tag is used to kill more than one animal, the crime is punishable as a category E felony and all equipment used in the crime is subject to forfeiture, including guns and vehicles.
7. Possessing an Over Limit of a Species
Possession limit is the maximum number of a species that one person can legally take and control at any one time—this includes animals held in the freezer and ice chest. Daily limit is the maximum number of a species that is allowed to be harvested in any given day.
8. Unplugged Shotgun
Waterfowl and dove hunters may not use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells. Shotguns must be plugged and rendered incapable of holding more than three shells. Shotguns must also be plugged in all Wildlife Management Areas regardless of species. This is a misdemeanor offense.