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Weapons Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Nevada Hunting

Weapons Type/Methods Legal for Hunting Game Mammals and Birds

Species

Archery

Muzzle-loading Rifles

Centerfire* Firearms

Shotguns**

Rimfires

Crossbow*

Falconry

Antelope
Bear
Bighorn Sheep
Elk
Mountain Goat
Mountain Lion
Mule Deer *

Firearms

(Refer to NRS 503.150 and NAC 503.142)

Rifles

Must use a center-fire cartridge of .22 caliber or larger. Must have 1000 pounds of energy at 100 yards.

Handguns

Must have at least a 4-inch barrel and use either:

  1. A centerfire cartridge of .22 caliber or larger with an overall loaded length of 2 inches; or
  2. A centerfire cartridge of .24 caliber or larger with a case length equal to or longer than the case of a Remington .44 magnum.

Sights

See “Sight Attached to Firearm, Bow or Crossbow”.

Prohibited Firearms

Any firearm capable of firing more than one round with one continuous pull of the trigger.

Prohibited Ammunition

Full metal jacket, full steel, full steel core, tracer or incendiary bullets or shells.

Shotgun (only legal for deer and mountain lion)

10, 12, 16, or 20 gauge. Shotgun barrels may be smooth or rifled for either species.

For Deer: Only rifled slugs or shotgun rounds with sabots that contain a single expanding projectile may be used for deer.

Muzzle-loading Rifle and Musket

(Refer to NACs 503.142 & 503.145)

During a “Muzzle-loader-Only” Hunt:

Caliber

Firearm must have a single barrel of .45 caliber or larger.

Ignition

Wheel-lock, matchlock, or flintlock ignition system, or percussion ignition system that uses a primer or percussion cap; (in-lines are permitted.)

Legal Projectile

Lead ball, lead bullet, semi-jacketed bullet or a metal alloy bullet that expands. A saboted round may be used.

Sights

Only open sights or peep sights are permitted; scopes prohibited. A sight that is operated or powered by a battery, electronics or a radioactive isotope such as tritium is prohibited.

Powder

Only black powder or a black powder substitute may be used; smokeless powder is prohibited.

Handgun Carrying During Muzzleloader Seasons

A person who is hunting during any period of an open season during which hunting is restricted to the use of only archery equipment or a muzzle-loading firearm may carry a handgun for self-defense provided the handgun has a barrel length of less than 8 inches and does not have a telescopic sight.

Bow and Arrow

(Refer to NACs 503.144 & 503.145)

Bow includes longbow, compound bow or recurved bow. A crossbow cannot be used for archery only hunts.

Bow characteristics

A bow must have a peak draw weight of at least 40 pounds and, if the bow is a compound bow, a let-off of not more than 80 percent.

“Let-off” means the amount of decrease in the draw weight of a compound bow from the peak draw weight to the holding draw weight after the bow has reached full draw.

Arrows

Legal hunting arrows must have a broadhead attached, be 24 inches in length from the end of the nock to the tip of the broadhead and have a 300 grain minimum weight. An arrow that is used in hunting any game mammal or game bird may be equipped with a nock that is illuminated electronically or chemically.

Broadheads

Fixed broadheads must be at least 7/8 inch wide at the widest point; mechanical heads must be at least 7/8 inch wide at the widest point when in the open position.

Sights

See “Sight Attached to Firearm, bow or Crossbow” in this section.

It is unlawful

For any person to carry a rifle or musket in the field while hunting under archery regulations (i.e., an archery-only hunt).

To carry a longbow with an arrow nocked on the bowstring while in or on any motorized vehicle (exceptions in 503.144). To hunt any wildlife with an arrow that has any chemical, explosive or electronic device attached.

Handgun Carrying During Archery Seasons

A person who is hunting during any period of an open season during which hunting is restricted to the use of only archery equipment or a muzzle-loading firearm may carry a handgun for self-defense provided the handgun has a barrel length of less than 8 inches and does not have a telescopic sight.

Crossbow

(Refer to NAC 503.143)

Crossbows may only be used for hunting big game during an “Any Legal Weapon” hunt. Crossbows are not allowed for archery hunts.

Crossbow must have:

A minimum draw weight of 125 pounds. A minimum power stroke of 14 inches from the front of the bow to the nocking point. A stock that is at least 18 inches long. A positive mechanical safety mechanism.

Crossbow arrows/bolts

Must be at least 16 inches long, weigh 300 grains and have a broadhead attached.

Broadheads

Fixed broadheads must be at least 7/8 inch wide at the widest point; mechanical heads must be at least 7/8 inch wide at the widest point when in the open position.

It is unlawful to:

  • Hunt a big game mammal with a crossbow during either an ‘archery-only’ or a ‘muzzle-loader-only’ hunt.
  • Carry a cocked crossbow containing an arrow or a bolt while in or on any motorized vehicle while the vehicle is on a public highway or other public right-of-way.

Archery Disability Permit

A person with a permanent physical disability can now qualify for a permit that authorizes them to use a crossbow or a bow that uses a mechanical device that can anchor a nocked arrow at full draw or partial full draw during an archery hunt.

As used for this permit, “permanent disability” means a disability which prohibits a person from manually drawing and holding a legal bow at full draw. Contact your local NDOW office for more information.

Crossbows may only be used for hunting big game during an “Any Legal Weapon” hunt. Crossbows are not allowed for archery hunts. (Refer to NAC 503.1465)

Sight Attached to Firearm, Bow or Crossbow

A sight attached to a firearm, bow or crossbow may be illuminated or powered by:

  1. A battery contained within the sight;
  2. Light gathering fiber optics;
  3. A radioactive isotope such as tritium; or
  4. Iridescent or fluorescent paint.

The sight/scope may not cast or project a visible beam of light (Refer to NAC 503.145). The Department may issue a scope permit to a person with a visual disability. The scope permit authorizes a person with a visual disability to hunt, during a type of hunt that is restricted to bows or muzzle-loading firearms, using a 1 x magnification rifle scope that is mounted on a bow or muzzle-loading firearm.

(Refer to NAC 503.146)

Hunter Education Requirements

Anyone born after January 1, 1960 is required to provide proof of Hunter Education, in order to purchase a Nevada hunting license. Proof of Hunter Education is an official Hunter Education card or certificate from any state or Canadian province, with the Hunter Education number and state or provincial logo or seal or a previous year’s hunting license with the Hunter Education number or mark. If you have taken a hunter education class in another state or Canadian province, verification must be provided.

(Refer to NRS 502.330)

Use or Possession of Firearm by a Child Under 18 Years Old

  1. A child under 18 years of age, hunting with a firearm, must be accompanied at all times by the child’s parent or guardian. A parent or guardian may authorize an adult to take the child hunting, if that adult is licensed to hunt and accompanies the child at all times; or
  2. With the permission of a parent, a child 14 years of age or older may hunt alone if the child has a valid hunting license in his or her possession and uses a shotgun or rifle that is not a fully automatic firearm and cannot be concealed.

(Refer to NRS 202.300 and NRS 502.010(1c))

Possessing Firearm While Under Influence

It is unlawful for a person who:

  1. Has 0.10 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his blood; or
  2. Is under the influence of any controlled substance, or is under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and a controlled substance, or any person who inhales, ingests, applies or otherwise uses any chemical, poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders him incapable of safely exercising actual physical control of a firearm, to have in his actual physical possession any firearm.

(Refer to NRS 202.257)

Firing Firearm from/over Roads

A person may not discharge a firearm from, upon, over or across any federal, state, main or general county road as described in NRS 408.285 and 403.170.

(Refer to NRS 503.175)

Hunting with a Dog

It is unlawful to hunt, chase or pursue:

  1. Any black bear or mountain lion with a dog except during the open season, in an open management area and under the authority of a hunting license and:
    (a) A black bear tag, if the person is hunting, chasing or pursuing a black bear; or (b) A mountain lion tag, if the person is hunting, chasing or pursuing a mountain lion.
  2. Any fur-bearing mammal with a dog except during the open season and under the authority of a trapping license.
  3. Any wild turkey with a dog from March 1 through June 30 of any year.

(Refer to NAC 503.147)