Tips for taking down game birds

While Nevada is well known for the quality of its big game, the state also boasts some excellent game bird hunting opportunities. Hunters can pursue Blue Grouse (Dusky and Sooty) and Ruffed Grouse; Mourning and White-winged Dove; and Himalayan Snowcock, which began beginning Sept. 1.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife has a few tips before heading into the field to hunt, as these tricky game birds require some preparation.

A good, sturdy pair of broken-in boots is recommended when hunting upland game. These will protect your feet while walking or hiking in rugged terrain. Bad feet equal a bad hunt.

For upland game birds the firearm of choice is a 12, 16, 20 or 28 gauge shotgun with a modified choke.

When hunting dove, shotguns must be plugged to limit overall shotshell capacity to 3.

Don’t forget water for you and for your dog if you’re hunting with one. The nose of a dehydrated dog tends to lose its ability to smell the small amount of scent an upland game bird leaves behind in an arid environment.

If you’re hunting on state Wildlife Management Areas and National Wildlife Refuges, non-toxic shot is required.

Remember, an upland game bird stamp is required for anyone age 12 or older, to hunt upland game birds, except turkey and crow. The $10 stamp is available at NDOW offices, authorized license agents statewide and online. Funds from the stamp sales are used to support guzzler maintenance and habitat work that benefits upland game bird species.

To hunt dove any person 12 and over is required to obtain a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number annually by calling 1-866-703-4605 or online.

Apprentice License Gives Beginners a Chance to Experience Hunting

If you care about the future of hunting, introduce hunting to someone you care about. It’s now easier than ever to get a new hunter into the field for the first time with NDOW’s Apprentice License. In the past, a person hunting for the first time, was required to take an eight-hour hunter education course and purchase a hunting license.

The Apprentice Hunter License, introduced in 2011, allows anyone 12 and older to hunt upland game and waterfowl (no tagged species) for one season without first completing a Hunter Education Course. The apprentice must have never previously held a hunting license and must always be accompanied and closely supervised by a mentor 18 or older who holds a valid Nevada hunting license and is willing to assume legal responsibility for the apprentice hunter.

NDOW encourages you to be that mentor. Help get a new hunter as passionate about the sport as you are.

The Apprentice License is free, but with mandatory habitat conservation and license agent fees ($4) and applicable stamps (state upland and/or state and federal duck); the cost will be $14 for upland game, $29 for waterfowl or $39 for both. The new Apprentice License is currently only available at NDOW regional offices statewide, but will be offered online in the future. For information call (775) 688-1553 or visit


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