What a whirlwind year it’s shaping up to be! With so much going on in the world of wildlife conservation, the imminent small game season will surely bring some welcomed weekend respite. I don’t know about you but chasing birds up steep crevices and over rugged terrain always relaxes me—or at least helps me to get some good sleep!
When staring out at the vast sagebrush sea that makes up our state, you probably would be surprised to hear the sagebrush ecosystem is one of the most threatened habitats on the planet, largely due to drought, wildfire, and invasive species like cheatgrass. Despite the ecosystem shrinking more than 50 percent from its historic range, I’m happy to report that in 2021, the Department implemented a total of 62,862 acres of wildfire rehabilitation treatments. Since 2015, NDOW, with significant financial contributions from our partners, has restored more than 500,000 acres—an area roughly the size of Douglas County—at a cost of nearly $9.5 million. These projects are restoring vital sagebrush habitat used by game animals both large and small.
A couple new items to note this year in the world of small-game hunting: The Nevada Wildlife Commission has approved an increase in Canada goose bag and possession limits; sage-grouse have a shorter season and reduced possession limits than previous years; and swan permits are returning to a draw system. Check out the “What’s New This Year” section on page 5 to read more information about these changes, and please reach out to your regional NDOW office if we can help answer any questions you may have.
Small game hunting is often explosively exciting. This year could be your opportunity to show the next generation of hunters how much fun the sport can be, or reinvigorate a friend or family member that may have lost interest in recent years. Whatever your reason, get out there and enjoy all this state has to offer.
I encourage you to explore the outdoors, shoot straight, and most importantly, have fun.
Director, Nevada Department of Wildlife