Nevada Considering Hunter Apprentice License

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will meet at the Nevada Department of Wildlife in Reno, 1100 Valley Road, May 14 and 15 to set the 2010 big game tag quotas, review proposed regulations affecting junior hunt eligibility and consider establishment of a new apprentice hunting license. In addition the Commission will present the 2009 Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award, determine which 2011 Wildlife Heritage Trust proposals to fund with the $447,318 that is available and select vendors to auction next year's Wildlife Heritage Trust Fund tags.

The big game quotas establish how many hunting tags are to be issued for each species. Each year Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) biologists recommend the quotas for each big game species. The Commission uses these recommendations as well as input from the County Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife and the public to set the quotas for the year. This year, NDOW biologists are recommending an increase in the quotas for every single antlered mule deer hunt. NDOW is recommending that Hunt 1331 — a resident, any-legal-weapon, antlered mule deer hunt — be increased from 8,526 tags in 2009 to 9,451 tags in 2010. This is a recommended increase of 925 tags.

"In spite of some fairly difficult winter periods with cold temperatures and significant snow accumulation in many parts of the state, Nevada's mule deer still did better in terms of survival with more fawns surviving the 2009 - 2010 winter than last year," said Larry Gilbertson, Game Division chief. "This stronger fawn recruitment resulted in stabilization and increases in the population of most herds. This in turn, provides an opportunity for the Department to recommend an increase in deer tags in many areas for the 2010 season."

Big game quotas will be reviewed by the Wildlife Commission on day two of the meeting, Saturday, May 15.

The Commission will also award the 2009 Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award to Ben Miller for his commitment to Nevada's wildlife resources. Miller has worked for Wildlife Services as a wildlife specialist in Nevada since 2002. In 2009 Miller dedicated hours of work in the Washoe County mule deer protection area (Hunt Unit 014) to remove predators from the area. Miller is also being recognized for his research and utilization of electronic wildlife calling systems to attract predatory wildlife. This item will be heard Friday morning.

During the meeting the Commission will review many proposed regulation changes. Among them is the establishment of a new apprentice hunting license for persons 12 years or older. The apprentice license would provide an opportunity for a person to have a one-year introduction to hunt non-tagged species, such as upland game and waterfowl (except wild turkey) without first completing hunter education. A mentor adult hunter at least 18 years of age must accompany and directly supervise the apprentice. The apprentice license would be good for one season only, after which, the new hunter would be required to take hunter education and purchase a hunting license to continue to hunt. If the regulations are adopted this license would go into effect at NDOW regional offices this fall.

The Wildlife Commission will also consider changes regarding junior hunt eligibility. Currently a young person can apply for the Resident Junior Youth Mule Deer Hunt 1107 if they are 12 years old prior to the opening of the hunt applied for and they do not turn 17 before the close of the season for the hunt they are applying for. Junior hunters are also only allowed to apply for a hunt for four years. The proposed regulations would allow a junior hunter to apply through the age of 17, as long as they do not turn 18 by the close of the season. Junior hunters will also be allowed to apply for a hunt for five years. If this regulation is approved it would be implemented in 2011.

The Commission will determine which Wildlife Heritage Trust Fund proposals to fund; over a million dollars worth of valuable projects have been proposed with only $447,318 available. In addition, commissioners will vote to select vendors for the 13 Wildlife Heritage Trust Fund auction tags that will be available in 2011. Sportsmen's groups auction the wildlife heritage tags to provide a special statewide tag to the highest bidder; funds raised are deposited into the Wildlife Heritage Trust Fund. Each year, 75% of the previous year's auction receipts and funds received from Partnership in Wildlife (PIW) tags and 100% of the interest from the Wildlife Heritage Trust Fund is available to fund projects to benefit game species, wildlife habitat projects and predator control.

Other regulations being considered by the Commission include changes to master guide licenses and the Nevada Duck Stamp program.

Numerous reports will be presented to the Commission including updates on the Bighorn Sheep Disease event in Eastern Nevada, a report on Mule Deer Harvest Strategies and their population impacts and the activity of the Mule Deer Restoration Committee, Wildlife Damage Committee and Finance Committee. County Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife will be reporting on mule deer overview efforts within each county. There will also be a litigation report by Deputy Attorney General Nhu Nguyen.

Members of the public who would like to address the Commission on a topic not on the agenda may do so during the public comment period near the beginning of each meeting. People wishing to address the Commission should complete a speaker's card and present it to the recording secretary. The meetings begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

For a complete agenda and support materials visit www.ndow.org, under "Commissions & Boards," or at www.ndow.org/learn/com/mtg/.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat Conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. For more information, visit www.ndow.org.