Well, I did it! I have officially submitted my applications via the Internet for 2006 Nevada big game tags. Now, it's just a case of waiting with fingers crossed to see if I am successful in the computerized drawings for those hard-to-get Nevada tags.
Earlier this week, I sat down at my home computer, went to the www.huntnevada.com Website and very carefully submitted my applications for some specific tags.
Those applications were for a rifle buck mule deer tag, a rifle Rocky Mountain bull elk tag and a California bighorn sheep tag.
Here's some info on my hunts:
I have already made arrangements for a good friend, Mark Day, to be my trusted elk hunting guide.
Mark is very familiar with the area where I want to hunt and in fact, was the one who recommended applying for that specific big game management area.
Mark has faithfully promised that he will take me to a "Super Secret Hot Spot," where I will have a chance to bag one of those eye-popping bull elk with all kinds of impressive-sized antler points.
I sure hope so, because we have space reserved on our cabin wall where that mount will fit nicely.
In addition, perhaps against my better judgment, I have also made arrangements for Norm Budden of Carson City to accompany Mark and I on my elk hunt, if I get drawn.
Mark and I have mutually agreed that Norm will be assigned the following duties: Pickup driver, ATV driver, camp setter-up, fire-wood cutter, bartender, food preparer, cook, waiter, bus boy, dish washer, scout, rifle carrier (that's the scariest part!), field dresser (when I bag that big bull), animal carrier, photographer and general all-around flunky.
Norm has unwittingly agreed to those duties in exchange for being allowed to accompany Mark and I on our outdoor adventure.
Rocky Mountain elk
I have 13 bonus points, and if you are a Nevada big game hunter, you will know that those 13 points represent many years of being unsuccessful in the drawings.
In all of the years of applying and applying, I have yet to draw my first elk tag.
But, you never know, this could be the year. If this is, I am ready!
My bull elk tag application is for big game management area No. 111.
That area is located east of Ely. It is bounded by U.S. 93 on the west side, U.S. 6-50-93 on the south side, State Route 893 on the east side and the North Spring Valley Road to U.S. Alt. 93.
In the 2005 season, a total of 131 bull elk were harvested in Area No. 111, of which 10 were 4-pointers on one side, 24 were 5-pointers, 79 were six-pointers and 10 were 7+ pointers on one side. That's 123 out of 131 bulls with at least 4 points!
Being greedy, I want one of those big bulls with 6 or 7 points on one side! It would look awesome on that cabin wall, plus I would have a freezer full of tasty elk meat.
California Bighorn Sheep
I have a total of 9 bonus points for a California bighorn.
Based on Mark's recommendation, I applied for big game management area No. 014.
This area is located in Northern Washoe County, north of Gerlach.
And, again, if drawn, he has agreed to be my sheep hunting guide in that area.
Most impressively, in 2005 there was only 1 tag for that entire area. So, If I were to get drawn in 2006, I would be the only hunter there, plus my season would stretch from Aug. 26 through Oct. 29. Yahoo!
Hmmm, I wonder if Mark and I can con Norm into accompanying us on that hunt? I sure hope so, because it would make life so much easier for the two of us.
And again, if successful on this particular hunt, there is a special spot on the cabin wall waiting for that big California bighorn ram.
My son Jim and I applied as a party of two for rifle buck mule deer hunting tags for big game management area No. 6.
If drawn, we plan to hunt for a big "Muley," west of Wildhorse Reservoir in Northern Elko County.
The two of us were successful in drawing tags last year, so we probably don't have much chance of getting one this year.
I applied for bonus points (but not for hunting tags) for both rifle pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep. I am not interested in hunting those species this year, but would like to add to my bonus points for possible hunts in some future year. Hopefully, their turn might come in 2007.
Keep your fingers crossed for me for getting tags this year!
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you if I have ever hunted elk anywhere.
If he grins and says, "Yep! Don hunted elk one year in Oregon and another year in Idaho," he could be a close friend of mine.
-- Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.