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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2019: Nevada Elk and Antelope

2019 Nevada elk and antelope app strategy

Nevada's 2019 elk and antelope application overview


Main writer: Jordan Christensen of The Draw

Jump to: New for 2019 State Information Draw System Elk Breakdown Antelope Breakdown

With an incredible track record for producing some of the best bulls in the country Nevada should be part of any serious elk hunter’s application strategy. While this may be a long-term goal that will definitely take some luck, when the day comes and you draw a Nevada bull elk permit for the fall, you’ll see what all the fuss was about and why it was worth the wait. With a total of 47 different elk units in the state and 24 of them—or just over half—having a 350”+ trophy potential, you can really start to see what is waiting for you in the Silver State.

Like any other state that requires you to purchase a hunting license prior to applying, you should look for any opportunity to get as much value as you can out of this license. Often, applicants in Nevada will apply for mule deer as well as the California bighorn sheep and desert bighorn sheep, but leave antelope out. For the small investment—even if you simply apply with a point only application—it’s always nice to have another big game hunt in your back pocket and Nevada antelope should be that hunt if you are already committed and have purchased your annual hunting license.

Nevada operates the draw on a bonus point system that squares the number of points you have each year and adds one more for that year’s applications. If you have five points, then you will receive 25 raffle tickets for your current number of points and receive one additional ticket for that year’s application, resulting in 26 total chances for that year. If you have 10 points, you will go into the draw with 101 tickets. Overall, if you compare states, the cost to apply in Nevada at the time of the application is relatively low since they do not require the applicant to front the money for each species until that applicant has successfully drawn. With the excellent trophy quality that can be found for both of these species—if you are serious about big bulls and big buck antelope—not applying for this state would be a mistake.

Note: The application deadline for all species in Nevada is April 29, 2019 at 11 p.m. PST for online applications. Paper applications are no longer accepted in Nevada. You can apply online here.


Why Nevada for elk and antelope in 2019

Top-end quality elk

As stated above, with over half of the units in the state producing 350”+ bulls each year, you would be hard-pressed to find many other states with this kind of statistics. There isn’t a unit in the state that doesn’t produce 300”+ inch bulls annually, so no matter where you land the odds of taking a mature bull are very high.

High success on mature antelope bucks

With over an 80% success rate on rifle antelope hunts and over 30% of the bucks taken having at least one horn over 15”, if you are interested in an above average antelope, then you need to be applying for Nevada.

High bull to cow ratios

Nevada has some very high bull to cow ratios in many of their units. For example, many of the northern units in the state are surveying at close to over 100 bulls to every 100 cows. Not only does that lend itself to a great opportunity to have bulls make it through the hunts each year and inevitably creates a higher age class, but, especially during the rut, the likelihood of calling in a mature bull becomes very high as the competition for cows is so extreme.

Nevada Silver State tag

For an additional $30, you can select to be included in the Silver State tag drawing, which would make you eligible for a one permit drawing each year that allows the recipient the opportunity to hunt any public land across the state from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31 just like the governor’s tag. This, along with thousands of dollars in free gear, is just too good to pass, make sure you click the box while applying and get your name in the hat for this amazing opportunity.

Nevada Dream Tags

Nevada Dream Tags are another shot at drawing the hunt of a lifetime for mule deer, antelope, desert bighorn sheep, California bighorn sheep, elk and black bear in Nevada. Dream Tags are similar to Super Tags, and Super Raffles in other western states. This drawing is open to both residents and nonresidents. After purchasing a $10 Resource Enhancement Stamp, you can then buy an unlimited number of raffle tickets for $5 each for as many species as you want. You can enter the Dream Tag raffle here.


New for 2019

  • The application deadline is now April 29, 2019 at 11 p.m. (PST), which is almost a full two weeks later than last year. The point only deadline is now May 6, 2019.
  • Eligible persons may apply for both antlered and antlerless mule deer hunts, but may only obtain one mule deer tag per year. Eligible juniors may apply for the junior antlered/antlerless mule deer hunt.
  • Eligible hunters may apply for both antelope horns longer than ears and antelope horns shorter than ears hunts, but may only obtain one antelope tag per year.
  • Harvested bighorn sheep ewes do not need to be physically inspected by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).
  • Successful bighorn sheep ewe tag winners and mountain goat tag winners must complete a mandatory bighorn sheep and mountain goat gender identification course prior to receiving their tags.
  • Harvest return card questionnaires are not required if a harvested bighorn sheep ram, black bear or mountain goat is physically inspected by NDOW.
  • Harvest return card questionnaires are required for all unsuccessful tag holders, even if they did not hunt.

Female/antlerless draw odds

Remember, goHUNT has Draw Odds for female species. In Nevada, there are many opportunities for elk and antelope in the way of antlerless licenses for residents and nonresidents. Note: doe antelope tags are for residents only. When selecting your units to hunt be sure to also check out our standalone Draw Odds details page to see if opportunities exist that can be added to your hunt.

Antlerless elk draw odds

Find your resident antlerless elk draw odds here

Find your nonresident antlerless elk draw odds here

Doe antelope draw odds

Find your resident doe antelope draw odds here


State information

State quotas will not be set until the May 2019 commission meeting. This is done to ensure that NDOW has the latest and most current data on big game herds.

To view important information and an overview of 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 Nevada Elk Profile and Antelope Profile to access historical and statistical data to help you find trophy areas.

There is a waiting period to apply of seven years for both successful and unsuccessful elk hunters in Nevada once you have drawn a tag.

Nevada State Profile Elk Profile Antelope Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • You may begin applying now.
  • The deadline to apply is April 29, 2019 at 11 p.m. PST.
  • Paper applications are no longer accepted.
  • You can apply online here.
  • Nevada requires new users to submit a photo showing proof of hunter education before applying. It is a slow process, so we suggest you do it early. You can email your hunter ed photo to: onlineed@ndow.zendesk.com
  • Bonus point only applications will be accepted up to May 6, 2019 at 11 p.m. PST.
  • You can apply for a bonus point only here (you will still need to purchase a hunting license).
  • Results will be made available on or before May 24, 2019.
  • The second draw deadline for leftover tags is June 24, 2019 at 11 p.m. PST.
  • The second draw results will be available on or before July 12, 2019.

Drought and snowpack in Nevada

Compared to last year, Nevada has made an incredible turnaround with 0% of the state considered in a moderate drought and another 10.06% barely making the scale at abnormally dry. This is great news for Nevada and plays right into the theory that 2019 is going to be a banner year for bucks and bulls across the state.

2019

Nevada drought status as of early April 2019

Nevada drought status as of April 2, 2019. Source: United States Drought Monitor

2018

2018 drought status for Nevada updated March
Nevada drought status on March 20, 2018. Source: United States Drought Monitor

2017

Nevada drought status March 2017
Nevada drought status on March 28, 2017. Source: United States Drought Monitor

Compare the drought monitor status in 2018 to March 28, 2017, and you get a different picture when 6.17% of the state was experiencing drought conditions.

2018 versus 2019 snow depth analysis

This comparison below shows year over year more clearly the incredible amount of moisture that the Silver State is receiving this year in all of its highest elevations.

2019

Nevada snow depth analysis as of early April 2019

Nevada's Snow Depth Analysis as of April 8, 2019. Source: Weatherstreet.com

2018

Nevada snow depth analysis for March 2018

Nevada's Snow Depth Analysis on March 27, 2018. Source: Weatherstreet.com

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 after the main draw

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 May 6, 2019 at 11 p.m. PST. You can apply for a bonus point here.

Unlocking Nevada’s system

As mentioned before Nevada should be considered a long-term goal and the key to success in this state like others is to keep applying and to only apply “point only” when you absolutely cannot pull off a hunt that fall. You never know when it’s going to be your year and to miss out on a year of having your name in the hat is a mistake that should be avoided whenever possible. If you are looking for a hunt sooner rather than later in the Silver State, Nevada makes it possible to chase the odds while still applying for a top-shelf hunt by allowing the applicant to select five choices each year.

Nevada's draw order and why it matters

With five choices available, the first two selections on your application should always be for the best units in the state or the hunt you desire the most. The last three selections can be a continuation of this strategy or allow the applicant to aggressively chase the odds and often draw in fewer years. The applicant will lose all his/her points on any successful application regardless of which choice so be realistic in what kind of hunt you are looking for and always swing for the fence on your first two selections. Remember that your bonus points are squared each year plus one additional point for that year’s application. See the Nevada State Profile for more information.


Nevada's 2019 elk breakdown

As we have stated before, 2018 was really a throwaway year for elk hunting if you were looking to harvest a big bull in Nevada. If you were one of the unlucky few who waited many years to finally draw your permit and now have to wait seven years to get started again, it was definitely unfortunate to say the least. You didn’t get a fair shake. That is for sure. Hunters struggled to find bulls that were of the caliber many units have commonly produced and, although the age class had not changed, the antler growth was horrible and antler density was a struggle as many hunters might have found the right bull; however, if it was very far into the archery season, the bulls were beginning to break their headgear and that trend continued into the fall. However, despite last year’s obstacles, the incredible snowfall that Nevada has received this year leads up to a perfect storm so to speak as you have a bumper crop of bulls that are a year older than they should be on the mountain. Thanks to fantastic late winter weather, there should be plenty of great feed on the mountain and antler growth should be as good as we have seen in a number of years. If there was ever a time to wish upon a star, this would be it. Make sure you are wishing for an elk hunt in Nevada this fall as every unit in the state has a chance to produce above average bulls.

Current elk herd condition

Using data that was collected during the aerial surveys and from hunters, NDOW has determined that the overall population of elk went down approximately 10% in 2018 to 13,500 total elk. However, the bull:cow ratio across the state is currently at 47 bulls to 100 cows and is above the long term average of 39:100. This, along with the fact that 88% of the units across the state are at or below overall herd objectives, means that we should see a reduction in the number of cow hunts offered in the state while staying the course on the number of bulls permits offered. This is an attempt to not affect the overall population negatively, but, instead, reduce the number of bulls on the mountain to a number closer to the 10-year average.

Nevada elk population estimate - 2019 app strategy

Nevada elk antler lengths - 2018 app strategy

2016 vs. 2017 percentage of 50"+ bulls per unit group compared to bulls taken

(data wasn't available in 2018)

Unit Group % of bulls 50"+
(2016)
% of bulls 50"+
(2017)
Total bulls taken
in Unit Group 2017
051
(resident only)
100% 29% 9
061, 071 21% 22% 66
062, 064, 066-068 25% 39% 63
072, 073, 074 26% 20% 245
075 23% 10% 33
076, 077, 079, 081 23% 17% 133
078, 104, 105, 107, 109 35% 45% 20
091
(resident only)
71% 60% 5
101, 102, 103
(resident only)
4% 16% 42
104, 108, 121 34% 42% 37
108, 131, 132 19% 39% 29
111-115 40% 44% 129
144, 145
(resident only)
0% 17% 6
161-164, 171-173 44% 25% 47
221, 222, 223 39% 39% 93
231 29% 30% 76
241, 242
(resident only)
100% 50% 2
262
(resident only)
0% 67% 4

NEVADA HARVESTED ELK BY ANTLER POINTS - 2017 SEASON


The hit list units for Nevada elk in 2019

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 350" or better elk
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
Percent 6pt
or better
Public land
%
114 380"+ 36:100 80% 98.8%
115 380"+ 36:100 80% 93.9%
221 380"+ 36:100 79% 96.2%
222 380"+ 36:100 79% 99.1%
231 380"+ 136:100 69% 96.8%
161 370"+ 55:100 71% 97.4%
162 370"+ 55:100 71% 98.9%

How to uncover hidden gem elk units

Uncovering a hidden gem for Nevada elk is the same as many states and should be considered more than ever this year. The further from the rut that you are willing to hunt and the more primitive the weapon, then the more likely you are to find yourself with an elk permit in the Silver State this fall. With so many solid destinations across the state, don’t be afraid to take a chance if you are sitting on 10 or fewer points. Drawing an elk permit in Nevada is always tough and a less than premier unit on a year like we have coming could be a homerun. If there was ever a year to chase the odds, then this would be it. As always, in Nevada, apply for what you believe to be the best hunts in the state per your goals. But maybe this is the year, you get a little dangerous and look for something outside of your normal and swing for the fence.

Use resources like our Filtering 2.0 and Draw Odds to dissect all of the qualifiers for you and your goals. Using this system, it has never been easier to help you locate a unit that fits your individual goals. You can pour over information like trophy potential, draw odds percentages, bull:cow ratios and percentage of 6 point or better per hunt and unit. You will also be able to analyze the number of applications that are submitted each year as well as the number of tags drawn to show you how a specific unit is trending. With all of these tools at your disposal, it has never been easier to locate your perfect hunt.

B&C entry trends for Nevada elk

Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are included if any part of the unit is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Nevada's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for typical elk

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
White Pine 21 065, 104, 108, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115,
131, 132164, 221, 222, 231
Elko 10 061, 062, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 071, 072, 073, 074, 075, 076, 077,
078, 079, 081, 091, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 121
Nye 3 131, 132, 161, 162, 163, 164, 171, 172, 173, 262
Lincoln 2 115, 132, 221, 222, 223, 231, 241, 242
Eureka 1 064, 065, 068, 131, 145, 161, 162, 163, 164

Map of Nevada's typical elk B&C all time entries 2019

Top B&C typical elk locations since 2015 - Nevada 2019 app strategy

Nevada's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for nontypical elk

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
White Pine 10 065, 104, 108, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115,
131, 132164, 221, 222, 231
Elko 2 061, 062, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 071, 072, 073, 074, 075, 076, 077,
078, 079, 081, 091, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 121

Map of Nevada's nontypical elk B&C all time entries 2019

Top B&C nontypical elk locations since 2015 - Nevada 2019 app strategy

Bull:cow ratios and why this matters

Following the bull to cow ratios can be an excellent way of locating a hidden gem and is a critical tool for wildlife managers when deciding how many tags to issue in each unit each year. Essentially, when a unit has a higher bull:cow ratio, you can’t help but assume that some of the bulls are making it through each season; therefore, creating an opportunity for an older age class of bulls. This is not a given, but tends to generally hold true. If you are not looking to break records while you are hunting and are simply looking for a hunt that you can expect to see more bulls per day, then studying these ratios could be the most important data at your disposal. Whether you are planning a youth hunt or just tired of not seeing bulls while you are out hunting, take a look at the total population of elk (very important as well as the bull:cow ratio, which can be misleading at times if a unit doesn’t have a lot of elk the ratios can be skewed) in each unit and compare that to the bull:cow ratio and you will off and running to a very enjoyable hunt.

Top Nevada elk units for bull:cow ratios
(not in order of quality)

Unit Bull:cow
ratio
Trophy
potential
Percent of 
6 pt bulls
Total population of
elk in 2017 survey
078, 105-107, 109 173:100 350"+ 84% 350
051
(resident only)
166:100 330"+ 67% 180
231 136:100 380"+ 69% 450
072-074 71:100 350"+ 64% 2,800
171-173 62:100 310"+ 71% 140
108, 131, 132 59:100 350"+ 77% 330

The points system

Managing points and expectations

2019 maximum bonus points for elk: 26

Resident successful/unsuccessful applicants

Nevada resident successful applicants by point level for elk in 2018

Nevada resident unsuccessful applicants by point level for elk in 2018

Nonresident successful/unsuccessful applicants

Nevada nonresident successful applicants by point level for elk in 2018

Nevada nonresident unsuccessful applicants by point level for elk in 2018

I have 0 elk bonus points. What can I expect?

Remember: when applying in Nevada—because you are allowed to list five selections—you should always apply for the hunt you would most prefer with your first two selections regardless of how long the odds are; there is always a chance even with zero points. The likelihood of drawing any elk tag other than a cow permit on your first year is quite low.

Residents:

Congratulations! You are taking the first step toward a world-class elk hunt in your home state. Unfortunately, you are probably going to need some serious luck to pull a mature bull permit of any kind this early in the game and you should be prepared to wait on this one for a few years. Currently, there is only one hunt—an early archery hunt in Units 072-074 up in the northeast corner of the state that you even have a 10%+ chance of drawing. Based on last year’s applicants, with zero points, you would have had a 14% chance at drawing this permit. If you are looking to secure a permit as fast as possible then this hunt was your most likely chance of that happening. Remember to apply for hunts you would consider your top picks based on your goals for your other four choices. Who knows? Maybe you will beat the odds and come out of the hat very early and you could find yourself on a top-shelf unit this fall.

Quick tip: Study the standalone Draw Odds here and adjust your individual point value to see your best odds for drawing a tag or planning for a future hunt.

Find your resident elk draw odds with 0 points here

Nonresidents:

So, here is the long and short: the demand very much outweighs the supply in this situation and elk should definitely be considered a long-term goal in the Silver State. There is not a single mature bull hunt in the state that you even have a 1% chance of drawing. Your best bet is to get comfortable and apply for all species of interest in the state as this one could take some serious time.

Another option to consider if you simply can’t wait to go is to watch for opportunities on the second draw period. Any of the hunts that go undersubscribed in the first drawing will now be available in the second drawing and there is no nonresident quota for these permits. Essentially, a nonresident has the same odds of drawing any of the available permits as a resident. Remember that regardless if you were to draw in the second drawing or even purchase a leftover permit in late July you will lose any bonus points that you have accrued.

Quick tip: Study the standalone Draw Odds here and adjust your individual point value to see your best odds for drawing a tag or planning for a future hunt.

Find your nonresident elk draw odds with 0 points here

What can I do with 3 or 4 elk bonus points?

Residents:

With three to four points there are going to be a few options for all styles of weapons and season dates to consider. Applicants with four points now have a 20%+ chance at drawing seven different hunts offered in units that have a 350”+ trophy potential or better. The bulk of these opportunities are located in the northeast corner and include Units 061, 062, 067, 068, 071 early archery, Units 077, 079, 081 archery, Units 072, 074 early archery, muzzleloader, early rifle, and late rifle. There is also a muzzleloader hunt in the Humboldt’s in between Tonopah and Eureka on Units 161, 162, 173.

Resident hunts with a 20%+ chance of drawing with 4 points on 
a unit with a 350"+ trophy potential

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
Draw 
odds
6 pt
bull %
061
(archery)
350"+ 52:100 69% 54%
062
(archery)
350"+ 36:100 62% 62%
067
(archery)
350"+ 36:100 62% 62%
068
(archery)
350"+ 36:100 62% 62%
071
(archery)
350"+ 52:100 69% 54%
072, 074
(archery, muzzy,
early rifle, late rifle)
350"+ 71:100 92%
46%
33%
48%
64%
077
(archery)
360"+ 39:100 43% 66%
079
(archery)
350"+ 36:100 43% 66%
081
(archery)
350"+ 36:100 43% 66%
161, 162, 173
(muzzleloader)
370"+ 55:100 47% 71%

Find your resident elk draw odds with 4 points here

Nonresidents:

Listen, I know reality is starting to sink in slightly as you are about to submit for the fifth time and, unfortunately, you don’t get to know if you were close or not at getting to the finish line. You simply have to roll the dice again year after year and hope to see something miraculous happen. Drawing an elk tag this early in the game in Nevada is likely the cause of some higher power and a miracle is in fact what will have happened. Cross your fingers and get back in the game and remember if you were willing to settle for a less than a premier unit of all years this one is shaping up to be a great one. Don’t be afraid to look outside the box.

Find your nonresident elk draw odds with 4 points here

What can I expect with 9 or 10 elk bonus points?

Residents:

Not much has changed as far as an opportunity since you had four points except that those same hunts are now at a 50% chance of drawing instead of a 20% chance and you can now add the archery hunt in Unit 121 to that list.

Resident rifle hunts with a 45%+ chance of drawing with 10 points

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
Draw 
odds
6 pt
bull %
161-164, 171-173
(late rifle)
370"+ 55:100 49% 64%
062, 064, 066-068
(late rifle)
350"+ 36:100 45% 70%
061, 071
(late rifle)
350"+ 52:100 60% 50%
072-074
(early rifle, late rifle)
350"+ 71:100 84%
97%
72%

Find your resident elk draw odds with 10 points here

Nonresidents:

Well, you are in luck. After 10 years of applying, you now have a few options that have a 10% or better chance at drawing. One in 10 isn’t too bad and who knows? Maybe you come out of the hat early and draw one of the best tags in the state. Continue to apply for the premier hunts per your goals with your first two or three selections; however, if you are tired of waiting, take a look at a few of the options that drew at 10% or better for nonresidents in 2018.

Nonresident hunts with a 10%+ chance of drawing with 10 points

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
Draw 
odds
6 pt
bull %
072, 073, 074
(archery, late rifle,
early rifle)
350"+ 71:100 17%
17%
12%
64%
061, 071
(archery)
350"+ 52:100 16% 54%
076, 077, 079, 081
(muzzleloader)
330"-360"+ 39:100 10% 66%
161, 162, 163, 164, 171, 172, 173
(muzzleloader)
310-370"+ 55:100
62:100
11% 71%

Find your nonresident elk draw odds with 10 points here

What can I expect with 15 or 20 elk bonus points?

Residents:

Well, with any luck, you have spent some time outside of Nevada chasing elk at this point or you have been the bridesmaid, but never the bride a number of times in your home state because going for 15 to 20 years in between elk hunts is just disgusting. With 20 points, you have more than likely had either horrible luck or you have had your sights on a premier permit in the state and you are not going to be deterred. If this is the case, then apply accordingly and we will be crossing our fingers for you. You are also at a point where you want to be careful applying for all five selections if all five do not line up with what your goal is. It always takes a little luck to draw in Nevada, but, at your point total, you have got some serious presence in the draw and drawing a fifth choice may not be what you are looking for. You have waited this long. As long as your age and your health are holding up, stay the course and wait for that hunt of a lifetime.

Find your resident elk draw odds with 20 points here

Nonresidents:

Well, at this point, you know how Nevada’s system works better than most as you have no doubt looked closely into why you have not drawn at this point. The long and short comes back to what we have talked about a few times already: regardless of points, it is simply a large bucket of raffle tickets and there just isn’t very many winners each year. Depending on your age and your goals, you may decide to chase the odds a little and look towards a late rifle hunt in the northern areas of the state or stay the course and continue to apply for the best tags in the state. Regardless, don’t sell yourself short. Always apply for the top-shelf hunts and areas with your first two selections even if you are looking towards some better odds with your final three selections. If you were to come out of the hat early, of course, you would want to hunt the best area of the state; however, if time is a factor, research is critical and using our Filtering 2.0 and Draw Odds features can really increase your chances of having a quality hunt even if it is not in a unit that is typically considered the best.

Find your nonresident elk draw odds with 20 points here


Nevada's 2019 antelope breakdown

Nevada antelope is not typically talked about when hunters are looking to plan an antelope hunt, but, if you are already buying the state hunting license, you should be building points for this species, too, especially the way it is trending. If archery hunting is your passion, there are two unit groups in the state that have better than a one in four chance of drawing even with zero points. With 20 units in the state having an 80”+ trophy potential there is plenty of opportunity for a world-class antelope for those who are willing to wait out the drawing odds. 28% of the bucks taken in 2017 had 15” horns or greater across the state. That is slightly below 30%, which is the 10-year average. Much of this could be due to the drought conditions across the state. Overall, like other species in Nevada, this application should be considered a long-term goal and should be used as an additional opportunity to get more value out of the hunting license you are required to purchase prior to applying.

Note: Only residents can apply for muzzleloader antelope hunts in Nevada.

Current antelope herd condition

The overall population of antelope reported in 2018 was at 30,000 animals, which is an increase of about 1,000 animals compared to 2017. This is an upward trend that has been happening for many years and is a true conservation story of western big game hunting. This has reached beyond the Silver State with two very successful reintroductions of herds in Washington, totaling 150 animals in the fall of 2017. Due to an increase in wildfires across the state, the last few years has been very damaging to the mule deer habitat; however, it has created much better conditions for the antelope. We are seeing a direct reflection of that in the state surveys.

Nevada antelope population estimate - 2019 app strategy


Top hit list units for Nevada antelope

Top hit list units to consider for 80" or better antelope
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Buck:doe
ratio
% of 15"+
bucks
Public land
%
011 80"+ 38:100 28% 83%
012-014 80"+ 43:100 22% 93.3%
015 80"+ 43:100 24% 88.5%
021, 022 80"+ 31:100 44% 51.4%
031 80"+ 23:100 13% 85.4%
032, 034 80"+ 23:100 14% 94.1%
033 80"+ 30:100 16.5% 99.4%
041, 042 80"+ 38:100 27% 68.6%
065, 142, 144 80"+ 54:100 36% 85%
067, 068 80"+ 34:100 42% 55.7%
131, 145, 163, 164 80"+ 41:100 31% 98.4%
171-173 80"+ 23:100 14% 97.6%
161, 162 80"+ 25:100 32% 98.2%
251 80"+ 35:100 31% 99.3%

Hidden gem information

Just like any of the other species, finding a hidden gem for antelope often involves hunting with a more primitive weapon and, for nonresidents, muzzleloaders are not an option so that leaves archery hunts as your best place to start. Using Filtering 2.0, we can look at the odds of drawing as well as success rates and the number of applications on any given unit. Studying the drawing odds and looking for a rollercoaster trending pattern will also show you a hidden gem. Get consistent applying for a hunt that has a rollercoaster in the number of applicants and you will be in it when the number of applicants drops off, giving you better than average odds of drawing. Remember to always swing for the fence on the hunt that looks the best for you based on your goals. You could come out early and, instead of going on a hunt you would settle for, you are headed to one of the very best.

Nevada harvested antelope horn size per unit - 2017 season

Buck: doe ratios and why this matters

Following the buck to doe ratios can be an excellent way of locating a hidden gem and is a critical tool for wildlife managers when deciding how many tags to issue in each unit each year. Essentially, when a unit has a higher buck:doe ratio you can’t help but assume that some of these bucks are making it through each season; therefore, creating an opportunity for an older age class buck. This is not a given but tends to hold true most of the time. If you are not looking to break records while you are hunting and are simply looking for a hunt where you can expect to see more bucks per day, studying these ratios could be the most important data to consider. Whether you are planning a youth hunt or just tired of not seeing bucks while you are out hunting, take a look at the total population of deer in each unit and compare that to the buck:doe ratio. Before long, you will off and running to a very enjoyable hunt.

Top Nevada antelope units for buck:doe ratios

Unit Buck:doe
ratio
Trophy
potential
066 68:100 75"+
101-104, 108,
109, 144
59:100 75"+
078, 105-107, 121 56:100 75"+
141, 143, 151-156 53:100 75"+
065, 142, 144 52:100 80"+
043-046 50:100 75"+
203, 291
Resident only
50:100 75"+
076, 077, 079, 081, 091 47:100 75"+
111-114 46:100 75"+


B&C entry trends for Nevada antelope
 

Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are included if any part of the unit is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

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

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
Washoe 27 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 021, 022, 033, 041
Elko 20 061, 062, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 071, 072, 073, 074, 075, 076, 077,
078, 079, 081, 091, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 121, 144
Lander 8 068151152153154155156161162172173183184
Humboldt 7 012, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 041, 042, 044, 046, 051, 066, 151
White Pine 5 065103104108111112113114115,
131132144164221222231
Pershing 4 012034041042043044045046151153182183
Eureka 4 064, 065, 068, 131, 141, 142, 143, 144,
145, 152, 154, 155, 161, 162, 163, 164
Nye 4 131, 132, 161, 162, 163, 164, 171, 172, 173, 262

Map of Nevada's antelope B&C all time entries 2019

Top B&C antelope locations since 2015 - Nevada 2019 app strategy


The points system

The bonus point race

2019 maximum bonus points for antelope: 24

  • There is a waiting period of three years regardless of success in Nevada.
  • Nonresidents are not allowed to apply for muzzleloader antelope hunts in the state of Nevada.

Managing points and expectations

Resident successful/unsuccessful applicants

Nevada resident successful applicants by point level for antelope in 2018

Nevada resident unsuccessful applicants by point level for antelope in 2018

Nonresident successful/unsuccessful applicants

Nevada nonresident successful applicants by point level for antelope in 2018

Nevada nonresident unsuccessful applicants by point level for antelope in 2018

I have 0 antelope bonus points. What can I expect?

Residents:

Given that Nevada is your home state not applying for any species would be a mistake and antelope is no different. For the low cost of getting your name in the hat each year regardless of your goals, it would be a shame not to give yourself another chance at a hunt where you call home. However, you are going to be up against a pretty tall order for some time and shouldn’t expect much for this first year and, even, a few more years. If you are looking for the best chance you can get this first year there is a hunt code that you could use as your fifth choice that had a 27% chance of drawing in 2018. It is an archery hunt that spans all of the units south of I-80 at Battle Mountain and continues through the mountains till you get to Eureka on the southeast corner of this region of units. They are Units 141, 143, 151-156. There were only 46 applicants that applied for this hunt last year. If you are looking for a rifle hunt or, even, muzzleloader, then your odds are quite small with your current point level.

Find your resident antelope draw odds with 0 points here

Nonresidents:

If there were one species that many nonresidents overlook in Nevada when choosing to apply, it is the antelope. Even with the inexpensive application fee many nonresidents who are applying for other species, including bighorn sheep, deer and elk choose not to apply for antelope. Now, this makes the odds of drawing slightly better; however, given that there are very few nonresident permits up for grabs—even with the drastically less number of applicants when looking at the other species—it still takes some better than average luck to be successful, especially on your first year. If you are interested in chasing the odds, the archery hunt that spans across Units 141, 143, 151-156 had the best odds in the state with zero points and came in just under a 1:10 chance at drawing at 9.5%. Applying for archery hunts is going to be the best way to fast track yourself into an antelope tag in Nevada. If you are trying to see this plan come to fruition as soon as possible, always apply for your dream hunt with the first two selections and chase the odds with your last three if the units meet your goals. Currently, there are no units in the state where you have better than a 1% chance of drawing a rifle tag.

Find your nonresident antelope draw odds with 0 points here

What can I do with 3 or 4 antelope bonus points?

Residents:

With as few as four points, you are starting to have some options to consider, especially if you are interested in an archery hunt. There are many options to consider with above average drawing odds. If you are more interested in hunting with a rifle you now have three options to consider with 20% drawing odds. Study each of these areas before applying and make sure they line up with what your goals are. Again, keep swinging for the fence with your first two selections. Who knows? You could come out of the hat early and be headed to the best hunt in the state.

Quick tip: Study the standalone Draw Odds here and adjust your individual point value to see your best odds.

Find your resident antelope draw odds with 4 points here

Nonresidents:

If you are up for an archery hunt there are a couple of options to consider. Pay close attention to the success rates, trophy quality and buck:doe ratios, but, if everything looks good based on your goals, your hunt may not be too far away.

  • Units 141, 143, 151-156 archery hunt had an 82% chance with four points.
  • Unit 111-114 archery hunt had a 66% chance with four points.

If you are still waiting on a rifle hunt, look at the same units listed above as well as Units 205, 206, 207—all of which reported a 10% to 11% chance of drawing for applicants with four points.

Keep applying for the best tags in the state with your first two selections. If you come out early, planning a hunt for the best area of the state is more fun anyways.

It will be best to study the standalone Draw Odds here and adjust your individual point value to see your best odds.

Find your nonresident antelope draw odds with 4 points here

What can I expect with 9 or 10 antelope bonus points?

Residents:

Well, lady luck just hasn’t been on your side when it comes to antelope in your home state. Hopefully, you have seen some luck in some of the other species offered. Regardless, you are in a great spot as you now likely to be a top point holder for any of the archery or muzzleloader hunts in the state and have four different rifle units to consider with 80”+ trophy potential.

Units producing 80"+ antelope and have greater than 50% of drawing a rifle tag with 10 points
(residents)

Unit % chance of drawing
with 10 pts.*
Trophy
potential
011
(archery, rifle)
>81%
 
80"+
012, 013, 014
(archery)
96% 80"+
015
(archery)
>83% 80"+
031
(archery, rifle)
>54%
>67%
80"+
032, 034
(archery)
>96% 80"+
033
(archery)
>51% 80"+
065
(archery)
99% 80"+
068
(archery, rifle)
>99%
65%
80"+
145
(archery, muzzleloader, rifle)
>60%
>54%
52%
80"+
161, 162
(archery)
>73% 80"+

* A lot of these units had no applications at the 10 point level, so your draw odds will be higher than what is listed.

Find your resident antelope draw odds with 10 points here

Nonresidents:

Although you are definitely getting some more presence in the draw there are still few opportunities for top-shelf units in the state and, if you are holding out for a unit with an 80”+ trophy potential, the only hunt that fits the bill with 50%+ drawing odds is Unit 172 archery. The top applicant last year only had six points and had a 73% chance of drawing. If you are looking for a rifle hunt, then your best odds now are going to be in Units 141, 143, 151-156 where, last year, you would have had a 51% chance of drawing. 26% of the bucks taken on this unit had 15” horns or greater.

Find your nonresident antelope draw odds with 10 points here

What can I expect with 15 or more antelope points?

Residents:

Well, it’s hard to say what went wrong, but either you need to throw away the rabbit’s foot you have been rubbing or, hopefully, your fall schedule has just been so full you have not had time to worry about your home state antelope hunt for the past 15+ years. Unfortunately, because of how Nevada’s system works, nothing is a guarantee; however, you do have some serious presence in most hunt selections in the state. With 15 points, unless you have an airtight plan for a specific buck in an odd area, swing for the fence with all five selections. You have not waited this long to simply hunt an antelope and, with the way things are going, you should have a crack at a real giant. Unit 033 is generally considered the best unit in the state, but we are seeing outstanding bucks come from areas of the state that historically have not produced high caliber bucks in the past.

If you’re near this point total, it’s very important to study the standalone Draw Odds here and adjust your individual point value to see your best odds for drawing a tag.

Find your resident antelope draw odds with 15 points here

Nonresidents:

Listen, this isn’t why you started applying in Nevada in the first place. Hopefully, you have a giant bull elk, a monster mule deer or possibly even a desert bighorn sheep from the Silver State under your belt by now and, well, the antelope hunt has been an afterthought until now. You have a rather serious amount of points you are trying to figure out what to do with. The unfortunate reality is that we still need a little luck to see this hunt come to pass. Unit 145 had a 35% chance of drawing on the rifle hunt for applicants with 15 points and is a great unit, considering trophy potential of 80”+ and a buck:doe ratio of 41:100 is sure to make this an exciting hunt. As we have said from the beginning: everything in Nevada should be considered a long-term goal. Once it comes together, you are often headed to an above average destination regardless of the species and antelope hunting in Nevada falls right into that same category.

Unit 031, which is often regarded as the best unit in the state, drew the rifle hunt at 26% last year.

If you’re near this point total, it’s very important to study the standalone Draw Odds here and adjust your individual point value to see your best odds for drawing a tag.

Find your nonresident antelope draw odds with 15 points here

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