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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2016: Nevada Sheep & Goat

 

Pair of bighorn sheep
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Nevada's bighorn sheep and mountain goat application overview

Jump to: New for 2016 State Information Draw System Desert Sheep Breakdown Rocky Sheep Breakdown California Sheep Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown

Nevada is the ultimate leader among western states when it comes to nonresident desert bighorn sheep hunting opportunities. More tags are issued to nonresident desert bighorn sheep hunters in Nevada than all other states combined.

Nevada is also one of the few states that holds three species of bighorns (desert, rocky and California), providing a great chance to draw a tag. Keep in mind that nonresidents can only apply for desert and California bighorns; whereas, residents can apply for all three. There is a slim chance that you could draw more than one species of sheep in the same year.

Trophy quality animals are plentiful and game management among the desert bighorn sheep units are excellent — and the tag numbers prove this.

Nevada once had world class Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunting, but sheep species can be fragile. A pneumonia outbreak several years ago has reduced the herd size dramatically. Although recovery efforts are in place, only resident hunters have a chance to draw a tag for Rocky Mountain bighorns. Mountain goat tags are also only available to resident hunters because this species is found in a small section of the state within the Ruby Mountains.

2015 sheep tag breakdown (we anticipate similar tag numbers for 2016):

•  Desert bighorn: 271 resident tags and 31 nonresidents tags
•  Rocky bighorn: four resident tags only
•  California bighorn: 54 resident tags and six nonresident tags
•  Mountain goat: 13 resident tags only (one tag was returned and not reissued)

Note: The application deadline for all sheep and mountain goat hunts in Nevada is April 18, 2016 at 11 p.m. PST. You can apply online here.



Why Nevada for sheep and goat

Lots of sheep tags

•  Residents and nonresidents have lots of options for drawing a sheep tag in 2016.

Three sheep species

•  Nevada holds desert, rocky and California bighorns. Each sheep species may be applied for and bonus points are earned for each of the species.

Resident advantage

•  Only residents can apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats.



New for 2016

•  Four units (212, 213, 253, 268) will have a nonresident quota for desert bighorn ewes (tag fee will be $1,200 for the ewe).
•  Unit 091 will not have a rocky bighorn tag in 2016.



State information

State quotas will not be set until the May 2016 Commission meeting. This is done to ensure that the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has the latest and most current data on big game herds.

To view important information and an overview of the Nevada’s rules/regulations, the draw system and bonus points, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map, check out our State Profile. You can also view the Sheep Profiles and Mountain Goat Profile to access historical and statistical data to help you find trophy areas.

State Profile Desert Profile Rocky Profile California Profile Mountain Goat Profile

Important dates and information

•  You may begin applying NOW.
•  The deadline to apply is April 18, 2016 at 11 p.m. PST for online applications and 5 p.m. for paper applications.
•  You can apply online here.
•  Bonus point only applications will be accepted up to April 25, 2016 at 11 p.m. PST.
•  You can apply for a bonus point only here.
•  Results will be made available before June 10, 2016.



The draw system

Understanding the draw

For all species in Nevada, there are five hunt choices. When drawn, all five choices are considered prior to drawing the next application.

Bonus point only application

If you missed the application deadline to apply for a tag or you just want to apply for bonus points, then you may submit an application for a bonus point during the main big game application or within seven days after the application deadline. Application fees will still be charged. It is highly recommended that you print a copy of your application confirmation page for your records after applying. The last day to apply for a bonus point only is April 25, 2016 at 11 p.m. PST. You can apply for a bonus point here.

2016 maximum bonus points for desert bighorn sheep: 24
2016 maximum bonus points for rocky bighorn sheep: 24
2016 maximum bonus points for california bighorn sheep: 24
2016 maximum bonus points for mountain goat: 24

Unlocking Nevada’s system

The key to finding success in Nevada’s drawing is twofold. First, you will need some luck on your side since Nevada is a true bonus point state and does not reserve any tags for the applicants with the most points. It is also important to understand that you get five hunt choices and your first two choices should be filled with the hunts that you desire most regardless of your point level or the popularity of the hunt choice.

Nevada's draw order and why it matters

With five choices, there is always a slim chance for applicants with little or no points to draw a tag. After your first two “dream” choices are filled in, then you must determine if your intentions are to hold out for only the best of hunts or if you would be happy with a less popular selection. Remember, your bonus points are squared in Nevada. See the Nevada State Profile for more information.


 

Nevada's desert bighorn sheep breakdown
 

Louie Somers with a desert bighorn sheep taken with 7L Outfitters
Louie Somers with a desert bighorn sheep taken with 7L Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member

All Nevada desert bighorn sheep are classified as the Nelsoni, or Nelson subspecies, and there are giant rams available across the state. Rams scoring well into the 170s are harvested every year in many units.

Nevada is clearly the land of opportunity for desert bighorn sheep hunting. With several unit groups to select from, there are more nonresident desert bighorn sheep tags in Nevada than all other states combined.

In 2015, there was a total of 302 state draw tags and five specialty draw tags. Of the state draw, there were 31 nonresident tags and 271 resident tags available. That was an increase of three nonresident tags and 21 resident tags from 2014. This solidifies the fact that desert bighorn populations are doing very well in Nevada.

Of those rams taken, the average Boone & Crockett (B&C) score was an impressive 152 6/8” and the average age was 6.4. See the summary below for a detailed breakdown.

Desert bighorn sheep 2015 draw and harvest summary

Type No. of
tags
Largest
ram
Avg.
ram
Avg.
age
Avg. days
hunted
Resident 271 176 5/8" 152 1/8" 6 years old 5 days*
Nonresident 31 172 6/8" 154 1/8" 7 years old 3 days**
Specialty tags 5 181 1/8" 172" 8 years old 8 days
All 307 181 1/8" 152 6/8" 6.4 years old 4.7 days

* 16 residents hunted two weeks or more, with the maximum number of days hunted for a ram was 28.
** One nonresident hunter took two weeks to take a ram.

In 2014, there were 28 nonresident tags and 250 resident tags available through the draw. Nonresidents have 17 units to choose from. You can quickly filter out the nonresident units on Draw Odds.

Current desert bighorn sheep herd condition

According to NDOW biologists, Unit 268 holds the only 100% non-diseased bighorn sheep herd. There was a small herd die-off in Unit 263 recently, but there was also a 181 1/8” ram killed there in 2015. The report is the hunters weren’t seeing the bighorn sheep numbers like in the past. The Stonewall Mountains in Unit 252 also had a report of a small die-off. Yet, this a great unit where, if you hunt hard, you can kill a big ram. During a NDOW helicopter survey they captured one ram that was 175”.

Nevada desert bighorn population estimate

The seasons
 

Giant Nevada desert bighorn sheep taken with G and J Outdoors
173" Nevada desert bighorn sheep taken with G and J Outdoors — A goHUNT Business Member

Desert bighorn sheep hunts are any weapon permits. You can use a rifle, muzzleloader or even archery equipment if you choose. Most hunts are long, giving you almost two months to fill your permit.

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Nevada desert bighorn sheep in 2016

Nevada produces some good rams in the 160” to 170” range and there is potential on Unit 268 for something a bit larger. In Unit 268, no one was able to kill a giant ram in 2015; the biggest was 170”. Yet, it is still one of the best and most fun sheep hunts in the state.

A unit to keep on your radar that is on the upward trend is the Stillwater Range, Units 182 and 044. A 168”, 169” and a 173” ram were killed there in 2015.

The Bare Mountain Range of Unit 253 seems to produce big rams each year. Recently, five rams were killed over 168”, with the biggest being a solid 176 5/8” ram.

Top hit list units to consider for 165"
or better desert bighorn sheep
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Biggest ram
killed in 2015
Ram:ewe
ratio
Harvest
success
Unit 268 175" 170 2/8" 100:100 100%
Unit 262 170" 163 4/8" NA 100%
Unit 263 170" 181 1/8" NA 100%
Unit 267 170" 160 3/8" 46:100 100%
Unit 181 165" 170 5/8" 53:100 93%
Unit 261 165" 157 4/8" 55:100 63%
Unit 272 165" 161 5/8" NA 100%
Unit 283 165" 169" 51:100 67%
Unit 286 165" 153 4/8" 76:100 50%
Unit 280 165" 150" 30:100 50%
Unit 281 165" 169 7/8" 59:100 100%
Unit 282 165" 174 1/8" NA 100%

 



Hidden gem information

If you are looking at simply hunting sheep and do not care if it is a ram, there are four units (212, 213, 253, 268) that will have resident and nonresident tags for desert bighorn ewes in 2016. This is the first year that nonresidents will be able to draw a ewe tag in Nevada. Keep in mind that the tag fee will be $1,200 for the nonresident ewe.

Also, you should be aware that you cannot apply for a desert ram and a ewe tag in the same year. You must chose one or the other. You can, however, apply and draw a ewe tag during the waiting period after you have drawn a ram tag. This is something to consider.

Top B&C states for desert bighorns 2000-2015

Unit 213 is home to the Monte Cristo Range that holds a lot of “mini rams.” Old rams are taken in this unit each year that only score in the mid 140s. Expect to be hunting smaller rams in the 140” to 150” class.

If you want a steep and rugged sheep hunt, look at Unit 161 for the early and late hunt. You need to be in shape for the early hunt as sheep can be near 11,000’. There are not many roads in this hunt and it might be best to hire a guide with horses. If you want to hunt the late hunt, the sheep will come off the mountain into some of the rolling foothills. It is not really that good of a unit anymore. NDOW has taken too many sheep for transplants, there is a lot of lion predation and a high number of sheep killed from hunting.

You can also use Filtering 2.0 to find units that might fly under the radar as far as trophy potential goes, but hold higher concentrations of rams. See the table below for the top 10 desert bighorn ram:ewe ratio units in Nevada.

Top 10 Nevada desert bighorn units for ram:ewe ratios

Unit Ram:ewe
Ratio
Trophy
potential
Unit 045 100:100 155"+
Unit 153 100:100 155"+
Unit 268 100:100 175"+
Unit 212 85:100 160"+
Unit 131 79:100 155"+
Unit 164 79:100 155"+
Unit 286 76:100 165"+
Unit 211 69:100 160"+
Unit 204 63:100 155"
Unit 183 61:100 160"+

 

Nevada's top Boone & Crockett producing
counties since 2010 for desert bighorn sheep

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
Clark 34 243, 244, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 271, 272, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 286
Nye 16 243, 244, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 271, 272, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 286
Lincoln 5 133, 223, 241, 243, 245, 271, 280, 281, 282, 283
Esmeralda 1 208, 211, 212, 213
Mineral 1 181, 202, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208
Pershing 1 044, 045, 182, 183

 


The points system

The bonus point race

2016 maximum bonus points for desert bighorn sheep: 24

Managing points and expectations

Find your draw odds

Nevada desert bighorn bonus points going into the 2016 draw

* 2015 successful applicants have been removed.

I have 0 desert bighorn sheep bonus points. What can I expect?

Residents: If you are just starting to apply then you will be relying on pure luck because draw odds are between <0.01% and 0.10% with zero points.

Nonresidents: There are 17 units to choose from. You can quickly filter out the nonresident units on Draw Odds. If you are applying then you will be relying on pure luck because draw odds are <0.01% with zero points.

What can I do with 3 or 4 desert bighorn sheep bonus points?

Residents: Draw odds are still hovering around 1% and less with four points. Select the unit that you want to hunt and hope you get lucky. Check out the Draw Odds section to find a unit that you may want to consider.

Nonresidents: At four bonus points, your odds of drawing a desert bighorn tag are still less than 1%. Lots of luck will be needed.

What can I expect with 9 or 10 desert bighorn sheep bonus points?

Residents: A resident with 10 bonus points is starting to get in the game. While draw odds are still very low, you have a few units that are in that 5% to 9% draw odd range. And for sheep those are great odds! Keep applying and you may get lucky!

Nonresidents: At 10 bonus points, your odds of drawing a desert bighorn tag are still less than 1%. Lots of luck will be needed.

What can I expect with 11 or more desert bighorn sheep bonus points?

Residents: If you at 15 bonus points or higher you have a great chance to pull a tag. Units to consider are: Unit 131, 164, Unit 206, 208, Unit 207, Unit 211, Unit 212E, Unit 212L, Unit 213, Unit 241, Unit 243, Unit 280, Unit 281, Unit 282, and Unit 283, 284 as your draw odds are now between 8 and 21%.

Maximum point holders can see draw odds as high as the mid 20s. Check out our Draw Odds page for more detailed information.

Nonresidents: At 12 bonus points, your odds of drawing a desert bighorn tag are finally over 1%. You will still need lots of luck. At maximum points of 23, your highest draw odds were 3.6% in Unit 213 and 2.0% in Unit Group 044, 182.


 

Nevada Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep breakdown

Nevada has a limited population of huntable Rocky Mountain bighorns that are only found in Unit 114 and Unit 115. Rocky Mountain bighorn tags are only available to Nevada residents. Unit 091 along the Utah border will not have a season for 2016.

While Nevada once produced bighorn rams that scored over 180” B&C on a regular basis, average ram scores now fall within the mid 150s, with an occasional ram scoring in the mid 170s.

In 2015, there was a total of four state draw tags for residents. That was an decrease of one tag from 2014. Of those rams taken, the average B&C score was an impressive 146 5/8” and the average age was 6.4. See the summary below for a detailed breakdown.

Rocky bighorn sheep 2015 draw and harvest summary

Year No. tags
issued
Percent
success
Avg. days
hunted
Avg.
age
Avg. B&C
score
Maximum
B&C score
1995 2 100% 10.5 10.0 174 1/8" 183 2/8"
1996 2 50% 10.0 10.0 165 6/8" 165 6/8"
1997 3 67% 7.3 8.5 164 6/8" 169 1/8"
1998 5 100% 1.4 7.6 169 6/8" 176 2/8"
1999 5 100% 6.4 7.4 159" 176"
2000 4 100% 4.3 7.5 164 2/8" 173 3/8"
2001 3 67% 5.7 6.0 174 2/8" 178 1/8"
2002 3 100% 3.0 6.7 167 6/8" 183 1/8"
2003 6 100% 4.7 6.8 168 1/8" 183 4/8"
2004 6 83% 3.2 8.0 176 7/8" 189 4/8"
2005 6 83% 8.5 7.4 174 5/8" 178 2/8"
2006 6 83% 2.7 7.0 170 1/8" 190 5/8"
2007 9 100% 3.2 6.1 172" 190 5/8"
2008 13 92% 6.4 6.8 169 4/8" 191 5/8"
2009 11 100% 3.8 7.9 172 2/8" 195 4/8"
2010 4 100% 3.0 5.8 153 6/8" 160 1/8"
2011 5 60% 8.0 7.7 159 5/8" 167 2/8"
2012 8 88% 5.1 7.0 158" 174 7/8"
2013 7 100% 6.3 6.6 153 3/8" 170"
2014 5 80% 12.0 7.0 150" 154 6/8"
2015 4 25% 10.0 7.0 146 5/8" 146 4/8"
Total 117 88% 5.4 7.2 166" 195 4/8"

 

The Ruby Mountains were once home to a larger number of Rocky Mountain bighorns, but die-offs have greatly impacted herds.

Current rocky mountain bighorn sheep herd condition

Nevada’s Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep herd isn’t what it used to be. Recent hurdles with pneumonia have reduced herd numbers to the point that only four resident tags were available in 2015. We do not see the quota increasing any time soon.

Nevada rocky bighorn population estimate

The seasons

Nevada Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunts are any weapon permits. You can use a rifle, muzzleloader or even archery equipment if you choose. Most hunts are long, giving you almost two months to fill your permit. Unit 114 has a two month long season from Sep. 1 to Oct. 30 and Unit 115 also has a two month season from Dec. 20 to Feb. 20.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 160"
or better Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Ram:ewe
ratio
Unit 115 170"+ 78:100
Unit 114 170"+ 62:100

 

Nevada's top Boone & Crockett producing counties
since 2010 for Rocky Mountain and California bighorn sheep

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
Elko 2 No huntable sheep in these units for 2016
Humboldt* 1 012, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 051, 066
White Pine 1 114, 115
 
* This county holds California bighorn sheep.


The points system

Managing points and expectations

2016 maximum bonus points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: 24

Find your draw odds

Nevada rocky bighorn sheep bonus points going into the 2016 draw

* 2015 successful applicants have been removed.

I have 0 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep bonus points. What can I expect?

Only residents may apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. There are only two units available to select from: Unit 114 and Unit 115. A few very lucky residents will get drawn. If you are just starting out, you will be waiting a long time to draw this tag. At zero points, your draw odds are less than 0.01%.

What can I do with 5 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep bonus points?

Once again, good old fashioned luck will play a huge part. At five bonus points, you are barely over 0.01% draw odds. Expect a long wait.

What can I expect with 15 or 20 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep bonus points?

By this point you have accumulated a lot of years and haven’t gained much ground in draw odds. At 20 bonus points you are only at 0.28% draw odds for Unit 114 and 0.15% draw odds for Unit 115.



Nevada California bighorn sheep breakdown
 

Herd of California bighorn sheep in Nevada
Herd of California bighorn sheep in Nevada. Photo credit: Victor Trujillo

Nevada is one of the western states that is fortunate to have a huntable population of California bighorns. Although considered a different subspecies of bighorn sheep, B&C classifies them with the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. For this reason, California bighorns rarely qualify for the B&C record book. Unlike Rocky Mountain bighorns, nonresidents are eligible to apply for California bighorns in a few units. The units that offer hunts for this species are located in the northwestern portion of Nevada. Although it is difficult to draw a tag, the hunt success is very high for this sheep species. Remember that you can apply for each of the sheep species on separate applications. Residents can apply for all three species while nonresidents are only eligible for California bighorns and desert bighorn sheep.

In 2015, there was a total of 60 state draw tags and three specialty draw tags. Of the state draw, there were six nonresident tags and 54 resident tags available. Of those rams taken, the average B&C score was an impressive 153” and the average age was 6.8. See the summary below for a detailed breakdown.

California bighorn sheep 2015 draw and harvest summary

Type No. of
tags
Largest
ram
Avg.
ram
Avg.
age
Avg. days
hunted
Success
rate
Resident 54 172 7/8" 152 7/8" 7 years old 5 days 87%
Nonresident 6 158 4/8" 151" 7 years old 5 days 100%
Specialty tags 3 167" 159" 9 years old 8 days 100%
All 63 172 7/8" 153" 6.8 years old 5.3 days 89%

 

Current California bighorn sheep herd condition

Back in early February, NDOW shot a total of 24 infected bighorn sheep from Unit 031 in the Montana Mountains. This decision was made in order to contain the outbreak within the Montana Mountains and halt contamination of healthy herds in the Double “H” Mountains or any other neighboring ranges. Maybe NDOW should have considered a depredation hunt like the state of Montana did in the Tendoy’s in 2015. With the high level of bighorns removed from this unit, it may be wise to avoid this area for a few years if you have a high number of bonus points.

Nevada California bighorn population estimate

The seasons
 

Nevada California bighorn sheep taken with G and J Outdoors
John Dickerson's 167" Nevada California bighorn sheep taken with G and J Outdoors — A goHUNT Business Member — This is the largest governor's tag California bighorn taken since 2008.

Nevada California bighorn sheep hunts are any legal weapon permits. You can use a rifle, muzzleloader or even archery equipment if you choose. Most hunts are long, giving you almost two months to fill your permit. Dates run Sep. 1 to Oct. 30 for 2016.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 160"
or better California bighorn sheep
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Biggest ram
killed in 2015
Ram:ewe
ratio
Harvest
success
Unit 032 170"+ 164 1/8" 37:100 100%
Unit 051 165"+ 161" 22:100 100%
Unit 041 165"+ 168 1/8" 125:100 100%
Unit 033 160"+ 159 3/8" NA 100%
Unit 034 160"+ 154 2/8" 61:100 82%
Unit 035 160"+ 160 1/8" 16:100 67%
Unit 066 160"+ 163 4/8" 33:100 100%
Unit 031* 170"+ 172 7/8" 38:100 100%

* Recent die-off in this unit so caution should be taken to burn lots of points.

 

Hidden gem information

Unit 032 holds a lot of sheep and is a really fun hunt if you draw a tag. Hunters will have the best success in this unit by hunting them late into October because it is not as hot and that is when rut starts.

Last year, in Unit 041, there was one resident sheep tag and the hunter killed a 168 1/8” ram. There is a rumor going around that there is a 180” ram in this unit, but few have seen it.

Keep in mind that in 2015, Unit 012 had a 57% success rate. That is an alarmingly low number and the report is that hunters were having a hard time finding sheep there.

Five year B&C entry trends for Nevada California bighorns

B&C classifies California bighorns as Rocky Mountain bighorns. So the B&C table is the same as the one above in the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep section. Look at Humboldt county for the California bighorn sheep units.



The points system

The bonus point race

2016 maximum bonus points for California bighorn sheep: 24

Managing points and expectations

Find your draw odds

Nevada California bighorn bonus points going into the 2016 draw

I have 0 California bighorn sheep bonus points. What can I expect?

Residents: If you are just starting to apply then you will be relying on pure luck because draw odds are between <0.01% and 0.01% with zero points. Someone has to draw, so you might as well start building points.

Nonresidents: There are four units to choose from. You can quickly filter out the nonresident units on Draw Odds. If you are applying then you will be relying on pure luck because draw odds are <0.01% with zero points.

What can I do with 3 or 4 California bighorn sheep bonus points?

Residents: Draw odds are still between 0.01% and 0.10% with four points. Select the unit that you want to hunt and hope you get lucky. Check out the Draw Odds section to find a unit that you may want to consider.

Nonresidents: Not much has changed if you have at least four bonus points. Your odds of drawing a California bighorn tag are still less than 0.01%. Lots of luck will be needed.

What can I expect with 9 or 10 California bighorn sheep bonus points?

Residents: You’ve been at this bonus points game in Nevada for 10 years now for California bighorn sheep and you are still below 1% draw odds. Apply for the area you would like to hunt and hope to get lucky.

Nonresidents: At 10 bonus points, your odds of drawing are between 0.03% and 0.05%. Lots of luck will be needed.

What can I expect with 15 or more California bighorn sheep bonus points?

Residents: Odds are still very low, but with maximum points you are around 3% draw odds for some units. You still will need a lot of luck to draw a sheep tag. Check out the Draw Odds section to find a unit that you may want to consider if you are near maximum points.

Nonresident: Even with maximum points, your odds of drawing are less than 0.03%. Although odds are low, you might as well keep applying.



Nevada Rocky Mountain goat breakdown

When you think about mountain goats most people don’t think of Nevada, and for very good reasons: Mountain goat tags are only available to resident hunters; they are only available to hunt in the Ruby Mountain Units (101, 102, 103); and very few tags are offered. In 2015, only 13 tags were offered. Yet, even a few tags still offer hunters a great chance at taking a B&C billy.

The great part about Nevada’s mountain goats is the remoteness of the terrain. The majority of the goats are not easily accessed and are a long way from roads. This helps billies to reach older age classes (the B&C records confirm this) and it also helps keep application numbers down due to the physical nature of the hunt.

In 2015, there was a total of 12 state draw tags for residents. One tag in Unit 102 was returned and not reissued from the original six tag quota. See the summary below for a detailed breakdown.

Rocky Mountain goat 2015 draw and harvest summary

Unit No. of
tags
Largest
goat
Avg.
goat
Avg.
age
Avg. days
hunted
Success
rate
Unit 101 6 9" 8" 6 2 100%
Unit 102 5* 9 5/8" 9" 5 7** 100%
Unit 103 1 7 4/8" 7 4/8" 2 9 100%
Total 12 9 5/8" 8 4/8" 5 5 100%

 

* One tag was returned and not reissued from the original 6 tag quota.
** One person hunted for a total of 25 days.

Current mountain goat herd condition

Mountain goat numbers are doing very well in the Ruby Mountains. High adult survival rates have been documented in Unit 101 and Unit 103. This means that we can expect to see similar tag numbers as 2015 and maybe even a little higher. There is some concern over the limited number of kid recruitment in Unit 101 that might be due to pneumonia according to NDOW. Hunters can expect to see multiple billies a day in the steep and rugged peaks. The majority of the mountain goat population lives in Unit 101 and Unit 102. Remember that only residents are allowed to hunt mountain goats in Nevada.

Nanny harvest numbers have been a concern in Nevada over the past five years. The percent nanny harvest of the total harvest from 2008 to 2015 was 22, 30, 40, 27, 33, 33, 25, 8, respectively.

The current five year average nanny harvest is 25.2%. Nanny harvest will continue to be monitored closely and assessed relative to quota development to minimize any potential impacts to overall production and recruitment following the recent disease event documented in the mountain goat population. Nevada’s mountain goat populations are limited by winter ranges. Normal snowpack years are required to produce adequate feed on their summer ranges.

Nevada mountain goat population estimate

The seasons

Nevada mountain goat hunts are any legal weapon permits. You can use a rifle, muzzleloader or even archery equipment if you choose. The great part about Nevada mountain goat hunting is the two month long season. Dates are Sept. 1 through Oct. 30, which give hunters plenty of time to find a quality goat.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 9"
or better mountain goat
(not in order of quality)

Unit 2015
tags
Trophy
potential
Largest billy
killed in 2015
Population Harvest
success
Unit 101 6 9"+ 9" 100 goats 100%
Unit 102 5 9"+ 9 5/8" 200 goats 100%
Unit 103 1 9"+ 7 4/8" 45 goats 100%

 


 

How to uncover hidden gem mountain goat units

There really isn’t any secrets to Nevada’s mountain goat units. Since they are only available to residents, and you only have three units to chose from, our advice is to select the unit you are most interested in based on terrain and the number of goats the unit holds.

Nevada's top Boone & Crockett producing
counties since 2010 for mountain goat

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
Elko 2 101, 102, 103
 
 


The points system

The bonus point race

2016 maximum bonus points for mountain goat: 24

Managing points and expectations

Find your draw odds

Nevada mountain goat bonus points going into the 2016 draw

* 2015 successful applicants have been removed.

I have 0 mountain goat bonus points. What can I expect?

With three units to choose from and limited tags hunters are relying on pure luck with zero points.

What can I do with 3 or 4 mountain goat bonus points?

With trophy species comes trophy odds. At only four bonus points, your draw odds are still less than 1% (actually 0.03% and lower).

What can I expect with 10 or more mountain goat bonus points?

With only three units competition for tags are very high. At 10 bonus points your draw odds are still less than 1%. Good old fashion luck will play a large part if you will ever draw a mountain goat tag in Nevada. Remember,  you can’t draw unless you put in.

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