Welcome to Small Game Hunting
Are you like me? The big game tag draw is complete and you have no tag to show for it? This Small Game Hunting Guide could provide hunters with ample solace: Everyone can go hunting this year!
I hope that this updated hunting guide will assist in you in exploring the many migratory and upland game hunting opportunities. This year for the first time, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, in our continuing efforts to streamline and simplify processes, has combined several guides into a single document so that you can view them all in one place. In this hunting guide, you should be able to find the necessary information to pursue upland game, migratory birds, furbearers, and wild turkey in Nevada. With this diversity, you shouldn’t get bored during the hunting season, and you should be able find something that peaks your interest.
Rabbits should be plentiful this year following the wet spring Nevada experienced. Rabbits are an excellent species for young or new hunters with which to begin hunting. Spot and stalk hunts with small caliber firearms teach many of the necessary elements that come into play in big game hunts. Although a big game hunt is often over shortly after a single shot is fired, liberal bag limits allow hunters to harvest multiple small game animals and hold a young hunter’s interest for much longer.
Chukar faced a difficult winter in 2017 and it looks as if base populations subsided in portions of northern Nevada. There are some areas that fared better in the west central portion of the state and should provide fair to good hunting opportunities. Veteran hunters often say that the first year hunting chukar is generally for fun, but subsequent years are to “get even”! Chukar inhabit steep and demanding habitat and seem to lure hunters to the upper reaches before flying by overhead, all the while laughing at the hapless hunters below. Persistent and successful hunters will enjoy one of the best tasting birds at the end of their hunts.
Nevada is the only state that offers the opportunity for hunting Himalayan snowcock. Hunting these birds will challenge your physical capabilities. You may find yourself hunting at altitudes where meeting oxygen demands is among the challenges. Mountain quail and blue grouse hunting can also be exciting feats.
If you prefer to let game come to you, perhaps dove or waterfowl may be more to your liking. A strong winter is likely to make geese and ducks more abundant this fall. While early dove hunting may make you wish for cooler fall weather, pursuing waterfowl is generally at its best when the weather is cold, wet, and windy. It really doesn’t matter what species you pursue, they all make you earn a successful hunt and help you to savor a hard-earned wild harvest!
And I haven’t even mentioned sage grouse, Hungarian partridge, or wild turkey!
Small game hunting is a great way to connect more people with conservation. Take the time to introduce a friend to these plentiful opportunities, or make an effort to get someone who used to hunt back in the field this fall. If people are not connected with conservation, conservation becomes less relevant and we all lose opportunities in the outdoor world that means so much to us. Efforts to recreate in the outdoors remain paramount to fostering our conservation legacy.
Please take the time to enjoy Nevada, and don’t hesitate to let us know at the Department of Wildlife if there is something we can do better. We truly want to be the best stewards of the natural resources entrusted to us on behalf of the citizens of Nevada.
Tony Wasley, Director