Deer Forecast-West

Tonopah

Since Nevada went to a statewide drawing (April application deadline) for residents and nonresidents in the mid-1970s, mule-deer trophy quality has increased. According to public information officer Chris Healy, outstanding units with a substantial number of tags are Areas 6 and 7 in northeastern Nevada, where hunter success runs 45 percent or better and big-racked bucks figure prominently in the harvest. While the northeast is considered the place to hunt deer in Nevada, don't overlook the management areas north of Tonopah, where deer densities are lower than usual and so are hunter numbers, but the trophy potential is quite good. While habitat conditions in Nevada have been generally favorable for the past two winters, dry summers and the beginning of what could be a drought cycle have biologists concerned. Add the fact that about 2 million acres of the Silver State have been ravaged by wildfire and it stands to reason that permit allocation will be about 10 percent lower than last year. In 2000, 12,500 deer were harvested from a mule deer herd estimated at 130,000 animals.