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Nevada hunters can now return tags for any reason; retain bonus points

From the Nevada Department of Wildlife 

-- You forgot to double check your application and now you have a big game tag for the wrong area. You got the hunt of a lifetime in Montana and now you can’t use your Nevada tag. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is happy to say “no problem” because now hunters can return most big game tags for any reason. 

The best part of the deal for these hunters is that their bonus points, providing them more chances in the random big game tag draw, will be reinstated when their tags are returned by the deadline. It will be as if they had never applied. 

The idea to allow return of tags for any reason was initiated by sportsmen themselves, through the Tag Allocation and Application Hunt Committee established by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners a few years ago. Through that public input process, NDOW staff, the commission and members of the public identified various changes to big game tag allocation processes. 

“It allows an option for hunters who simply cannot use a tag; and for bighorn sheep and mountain goat, provides an opportunity for an alternate to receive and use the returned tags, if the tag is turned in by the deadline,” said Bob Haughian, Operations Division Chief at NDOW. “Hunters have been asking for this option for years, and we are pleased to be able to accommodate them.”

Regulations already allowed for the return and refund of tags and reinstatement of bonus points for death, disability or armed forces transfers. This expanded regulation doesn’t require a reason for return of tags.

For bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunters who meet the July 15 deadline, bonus points will be reinstated and hunters will get a refund of their tag fees. Those tags will be reissued to an alternate hunter.

For elk, antelope and mule deer hunters, bonus points will be reinstated for those who return their tags at least one day before the opening day of the hunt. However, there are no tag refunds for these species, and the tags will not be reissued.

Hunters can find a quick reference table in the 2009 Nevada Hunt Book, available at NDOW offices, licensed sales agents, and online at 

Those wishing to return their tags should contact Wildlife Administrative Services, a contractor handling draws for NDOW. They can be reached at (800) 576-1020.

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