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It’s that time of the year for hunters to daydream/plan

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

By Don Quilici

This is late March and in addition to the usual March Madness in the NCAA college basketball world (my pick to win it all is Duke University), it’s also time for Nevada big game hunters to begin day dreaming/planning.

Yep, It’s already been one year since my last reminder of the following:

This is the time to begin making your plans for the many different, up-coming, big game hunts to be held in this state.

Nevada law requires a computerized drawing process for the issuance of hunting tags for its big game species.

Those species include: Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, California bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain 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, be sure to draw a red circle around the date of Apr. 19, 2004.

In fact, mark several big red circles around that date. Big and red!

Apr. 19 at 5 p.m. is the absolute deadline for RECEIVING applications for the up-coming big game hunts in the State of Nevada. Please take special note of the key word “receiving.”

That is not the deadline for submitting your application(s), it is the final deadline for when they must be RECEIVED!

As you did lasty year, you have two choices for submitting your application(s). You can either send them through an authorized postal service or you can submit them over the Internet.

Here’s how:

1. If you use an authorized 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). That is a big “No-No!” That is the wrong location. If you erroneously mail your application(s) to NDOW, they will be sent back to you.

Worse yet, if you are one of those poor souls who wait until the last possible moment to do something and then send your applications to that wrong location, you could get into deep trouble.

It could be possible that by the time NDOW receives those application(s) and mails them back to you, the deadline will have passed and you will be completely out of the computerized drawings.

When you have the necessary forms, very carefully fill out all of the requested information. Then, to be doubly sure, 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, you need to mail them to that Fallon address. And, do it ASAP!

However, be advised that there is another way to apply for your big game tags that is virtually fool-proof, plus it is quick and easy.

2. You can also apply via the Internet.

In my personal opinion, applying via the Internet is the only way to go.

Don’t waste your time and theirs by mailing in paper application(s).

By way of explanation, many other people also believe that is the only way to apply. In 2003, there were a total of 78,209 (73 percent) applications submitted via the Internet (including Don Q’s). Yep, 73 percent!

And, I am going to do so, again, this year for three important reasons.

A. The data that you enter is automatically checked as you key it in.

In the “unlikely” event that you enter erroneous data, the computerized system will not accept your application until that error has been corrected.

If the data that you enter is valid, the computer will accept it. If it is not valid, it will tell you so. It’s that simple. However, again carefully note a keyword “Valid.”

For you see, last year, the information that we entered on our party application for deer tags for my son, Jim and I, was valid….but not necessarily correct.

I had inadvertently entered the code for archery deer tags rather than for rifle tags as one of our choices of hunting.

Valid but not correct for the two of us.

Whew, thank goodness that we did not draw those bow and arrow tags because neither one of us is an archer.

B. At the time the computerized 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 in the drawing!

Yahoo! You are then a serious contender for the computerized drawings to be held at a later date.

C. Then, here comes the sneakiest reason why Don Q applies via the Internet.

After the mail-in deadline of Apr. 19, wait approximately three weeks and then start checking the status of your charge card account on a daily basis.

If you have been successful in the drawings, your credit card account will reflect the charge. And, that is long before you receive any notification via the U.S. Mail (“Snail Mail”).

Heck, last year, I knew days in advance that I had drawn a rifle buck mule deer tag, long before it arrived in the mail.

I knew because of the amount of money charged to my credit card.

It’s very sneaky, but very legal and very, very informative.

If there is no charge on your credit card, you were unsuccessful and will finally receive something in the mail stating that you struck out in the drawings.

To apply via the Internet, go to website http://www.huntnevada.com.

In addition, at huntnevada.com, you can also access all kinds of very informative data such as:

The 2004 hunting season dates, areas and units description information.

Information about herd movement, groupings, camping, map resources and access limitations.

Last year’s harvest information.

Finally, if you applied last year for any big game tags, you should have already received your 2004 application forms 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.

For information, call the Wildlife Administrative Services Office in Fallon at (800) 576-1020 during business hours.

I plan to apply for a rifle buck mule deer tag and a rifle bull elk tag.

– Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you what else I knew by checking my charge card account.

If he grins and says, “Don knew from the amount that was not charged to his credit card that he was unsuccessful in drawing a rifle bull elk tag,” he could be one of my hunting partners.