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Grassroots legislative push for military hunters in Nevada

Six-GunSix-Gun Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
Amid all of the political negativity in the presidential push, I thought a bit of a feel-good political story was in order. It just goes to show that contacting your state representatives can actually get traction on issues of concern.

At the top of March, I sent an email to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's office on a hunting related issue affecting military members. I have had good luck in the past getting responses from his office and have been generally happy with his tenure as governor. The long and short of it is that military members who are Nevada residents can only apply for resident hunting licenses and big game permits in either Nevada or their duty station state, but not both. What this mean is that when you are permanently stationed outside of Nevada, you have are forced to make the unsavory choice. You either have to 1) start applying for drastically more expensive/often less available non-resident big game tags for mule deer, elk, antelope, etc., or 2) continue applying for resident bonus points/tags in Nevada but then have to pay for non-resident tags where you are permanently stationed, live and can actually hunt every year. When you have been accumulating bonus points in Nevada for years, but can't always make it back to hunt, this is not a pretty situation.

Given that military members do not have a choice about where they get to live, we are usually taken care of for these sorts of issues when moving from state to state. For example, when I first got stationed in Nevada as a Pennsylvania resident, I was exempted from paying certain NV resident car registration fees. I changed my residency to Nevada after living there for 3.5 years to ensure no state income tax through my military retirement, and continued accumulating the big game points I now had as a resident. However, I find it aggravating while we get common sense accommodation for so many other state residency issues, we're stuck dealing with the situation described above. Military members are not trying to game the system to get cheap tags in two places, we simply have no choice about getting moved away from our states of residence. The way the law is currently written, however, fails to make that distinction.

Fast forward a week, and one of Gov. Sandoval's representatives forwarded my emailed concerns to Mr. Jack Robb, Deputy Director at the Nevada Department of Wildlife, who provided the outstanding, thorough reply, listed below. In short, he is going to bring my push for a dual-residency exemption for military members up at the next legislative session. With a little luck, my little 1-man grassroots activism will allow Nevada's military members to continue applying as NV residents, but still be able to take advantage of legally provided resident hunting privileges in the state where they are permanently stationed (much the Idaho already provides as described in Mr. Robb's response). God willing, this will be by sometime next year.
Your letter to the Governor’s office was forwarded to the Nevada Department of Wildlife for response. First, I would like to thank you for your service. As you have stated Nevada Revised Statute 502.015 clearly defines resident hunting and fishing license privileges, to include the prohibition of obtaining resident hunting and fishing license privileges in other states. This also pertains to tags, which are a form of license. Nevada also has a similar law as Ohio, allowing active duty military stationed in the state to obtain resident licenses without the six month waiting period to obtain residency. However we do inform those participants they may not obtain resident privileges in their home of record as it would be a violation of NRS 502.015. For enforcement purposes states, dependent upon their rules, may not allow a person to claim residency for hunting and fishing privileges in multiple states unless the law specifically exempts it. For example Idaho has a specific exemption for military stationed there, whereas Utah has residency requirements like Nevada. In looking at Ohio’s laws, their law is silent regarding how their resident privilege requirement relates to another state’s resident privileges.

To address your concern associated with Nevada, a change to the residency requirement has to occur at the statutory level through a legislative session. As it turns out the Department is evaluating our license fee structure and requirements for the next legislative session in 2017. Your request to regarding our residency requirements will be taken into consideration as we go forward with that process. In closing, until the statute is changed, you will need to continue to decide which state to obtain resident privileges. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact the Department.

NRS 502.015 Qualifications for resident licenses, tags and permits.

1.  For the purpose of issuing and using resident licenses, tags or permits pursuant to this chapter, a person is considered to be a resident of the State of Nevada if:

(a) The person is a citizen of, or is lawfully entitled to remain in, the United States; and

(b) During the 6 months next preceding the person’s application to the Department for a license, tag or permit, the person:

(1) Maintained his or her principal and permanent residence in this State;

(2) Was physically present in this State, except for temporary absences; and

(3) Did not purchase or apply for any resident license, tag or permit to hunt, fish or trap in another state, country or province.

2.  A person who does not maintain his or her principal and permanent residence in Nevada but who is attending an institution of higher learning in this State as a full-time student is eligible for a resident license, tag or permit if, during the 6 months next preceding the person’s application to the Department for a license, tag or permit, the person:

(a) Was physically present in Nevada, except for temporary trips outside of the State; and

(b) Did not purchase or apply for any resident license, tag or permit to hunt, fish or trap in another state, country or province.

3.  A resident license, tag or permit issued by this State is void if the person to whom it was issued establishes or maintains his or her principal and permanent residence in and obtains any hunting, fishing or trapping privilege or entitlement conditional on residency from another state, country or province.

4.  As used in this section, “principal and permanent residence” means a place where a person is legally domiciled and maintains a permanent habitation in which the person lives and to which the person intends to return when he or she leaves the state in which the permanent habitation is located. The term does not include merely owning a residence in a state.

Jack Robb, Deputy Director

Nevada Department of Wildlife

6980 Sierra Center Parkway

Reno, Nevada 89511
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.


  • Diver43Diver43 Posts: 12,747 Senior Member

    Just goes to show that with a little effort, things can be accomplished.

    Well done!!!!
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Thanks a lot! I'm not a huge political activist by any stretch, but I think people do themselves an injustice by not taking the effort to draft an email when they want to see a problem addressed, and resort to simply complaining loudly about it public. As a citizen, if you want action, you have to take to time to formalize a request. I hope this one works out.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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