Well, the notification deadline of June 17 has come and gone, and the results of the 2005 computerized Nevada big game hunting tag drawings are now official.
By way of explanation, Nevada law requires the submittal of application forms, and then a computerized drawing process for the issuance of hunting tags for its various big game species.
Those huntable species are: Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, California bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, Rocky Mt. bighorn sheep and Rocky Mt. goat.
The 2005 drawing has been conducted and more than 50,000 resident and nonresident hunters have been notified through the mail of their success or lack of success.
Systems Consultants of Fallon, the private computer firm that is contracted by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) to handle the drawings, said it received a record 123,040 applications this year, up from 111,490 last year. This year's applications are nearly double those received in 1994.
Most amazing, approximately 85 percent of this year's 123,040 applications were submitted online at www.huntnevada.com.
That's unreal: 85 percent of all applications were via the Internet! Wow!
Yours truly was one of the 85 percent who applied on the Internet, and I applied for the following tags:
A rifle buck Mule Deer tag for the big game management areas (Nos. 192, 194-196 and 291), surrounding Carson City. That season is Nov. 5 - Dec. 4.
A rifle bull Rocky Mountain Elk tag for management areas 111-115, 221 and 222 (Early) in the Ely area of Eastern Nevada. That season is Nov. 12-27.
A rifle California Bighorn Sheep tag for management area Nos. 014 (Northern Washoe County) and 031 (Northern Humboldt County). That season is Aug. 27 - Oct. 30.
A rifle Desert Bighorn Sheep tag for management area No. 161 in the Round Mountain area of Central Nevada. That season is Nov. 11 - Dec. 11.
How did I do?
Well, for the record, I did not draw a rifle bull Rocky Mountain elk tag, nor a rifle California bighorn sheep tag nor a desert bighorn sheep tag. Darn!
Worse of all, I had all kinds of bonus points for a rifle bull elk tag and was unsuccessful.
Once, again: Close but no cigar!
However, the good news is that my son Jim and I did draw rifle buck mule deer tags for big game management area 194-196, which is located between Carson City and Lake Tahoe.
Yahoo! We're going hunting.
I might not have been successful in drawing for those other big game hunts, but I guarantee that Don Q will have a "ton of fun" on his upcoming deer hunt for three big reasons:
First: I'm going to drag along my longtime partners, Norm Budden and Bob "Slick" McCulloch, both of Carson City.
Second: Those two, poor, wretched souls don't know it, yet, but here's what I've got planned for them to:
Drive the vehicles, provide all of the camping and hunting gear and equipment, set up our camp, gather the firewood, get the water, serve my beloved "Manhattans on The Rocks" and tasty appetizers in the afternoons, prepare all the food, cook my meals, do the dishes, call me "Bwana Don," scout the surrounding area for game, spot a trophy animal for me, lead me to it, carry my rifle, field dress whatever I bag, drag/carry it to the nearest road, clean, cover and hang the trophy in camp, take lots of pictures of me and my trophy, and then, most importantly, carefully wait on me, hand and foot.
Third: After the hunt is over, I want them to return and brag to all of their friends about my hunting prowess.
Geez, it's really hard to be humble when: You are a successful big game hunter, an all-around nice guy and modest. Or, so I like to tell them!
This should be a fun-filled, deer hunting season for Jim and I, and my two favorite pigeons!
Geez, I can hardly wait for Opening Day, 2005!
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you if my old pals, Slick and Norm, drew any hunting tags this year.
If he grins and says, "Slick drew a rifle antelope tag and Norm drew an archery buck deer tag and also a muzzleloader cow elk tag," they have probably already been bragging to him about their success.