This is late March and it's time for Nevada big game hunters to be making serious plans for the many different big game hunts to be held later this year.
The application period for hunting tags is now open and will stay open until 5 p.m. on Apr. 16.
It is also time for me to tell you how to do so, like I did last year.
Nevada law requires a computerized drawing process for the issuance of hunting tags for its big game species, which include: Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, Rocky Mt. elk, plus Calif., desert and Rocky Mt. bighorn sheep and Rocky Mt. goat.
So, if you are an archer, black powder shooter or rifle hunter, with hopes of drawing one of those hard-to-get, hunting tags, draw a big red circle around Apr. 16, 2007.
That is the absolute deadline for RECEIVING applications for the up-coming hunts in Nevada.
You have two choices for submitting your hunting applications:
1. Send them through an authorized postal service.
2. Submit them via the Internet.
Choice No. 1:
If you use an postal service, you must use a service such as the U.S. Mail, UPS or FedEx.
Your application(s) must be mailed to the Wildlife Administrative Office, P.O. Box 1345, Fallon, Nevada 89407-1345. Do not mail your application(s) to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).
When you have the necessary forms, very carefully fill out all of the requested information. Then, have a friend or relative double check to make sure that you did not make any errors in filling out that information.
Once you have carefully completed the forms and have written your check for the proper amount for the various tags and their associated fees, mail them to that Fallon address. You're done!
Choice No. 2:
You can also apply via the Internet, which in Don Q's opinion is the only smart way to go.
Many tens of thousands of other Nevada hunters also believe that is the only way to apply.
In 2005, there were a total of 123,038 applications. Of that total, 104,460 were submitted via the Internet (which included Don Q's).
That's a mind-boggling 84.9 percent!
In 2006, there were a total of 133,742 applications. Of that total, 116,832 were submitted via the Internet (also including Don Q's).
That's 87.3 percent! Wow!
Only 16,910 paper forms were submitted last year, and that number gets smaller every year!
Here are my three reasons why you should use the Internet:
Reason no. 1
The data that you enter is automatically checked as you key it in.
In the event you make a mistake, the computerized system will not accept your application until that error has been corrected.
If the data you enter is valid, the computer will accept it.
It's that simple.
REASON NO. 2
At the time the computer system accepts your application information, you must also provide credit card information for the necessary money amounts.
Once your application information and money amounts have been accepted, you are officially in the drawing! You are then a contender for the computerized drawings to be held at a later date.
It's also that simple!
REASON NO. 3
The sneakiest reason why Don Q applies via the Internet:
After the deadline of Apr. 16, wait about four weeks and start checking the status of your charge card account on a daily basis.
If you have been successful in the drawings, your account will reflect the charge. That is long before you receive any notification via the U.S. Mail ("Snail Mail").
It's sneaky, but very legit and extremely informative.
On the other hand, if there is no charge on your credit card, you were unsuccessful and will finally receive a notice in the mail stating that you struck out in the drawings.
To apply, go to website: www.huntnevada.com. You'll have plenty of company, including me.
If you applied last year for big game tags, you should have already received your 2007 applications through the mail.
If you did not apply last year, you can obtain the necessary forms at any Nevada Department of Wildlife office or at any authorized license agent outlet, found throughout the state.
Or, better yet, go to www.huntnevada.com and do it the easy way.
No matter which method you prefer, do it today! Don't delay!
Call the Wildlife Admin. Services Office in Fallon at (800) 576-1020.
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon he can't tell you which hunting tag Norm Budden really wants this year.
Here's a clue: Do not apply for a Rocky Mt. goat tag, as it will really help to improve his chances of getting drawn. And if he gets drawn, I go along as camp cook! Yahoo!
-- Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.