The Wildlife Commission in the state of Nevada issued a new ruling over the last couple weeks which made some changes to the regulations about what people can and cannot use to hunt. Normally you’d think that people would want animals harvested with the most accurate and effective firearms available on the market to limit the pain and suffering of the animals in question. It seems like the folks in Nevada disagree.

First on the list, the Wildlife Commission has summarily banned any firearm that uses an electronic sighting system or electronically controlled firing system. The regulation is laser-focused on TrackingPoint’s “precision guided” firearms, which enable shooters to put rounds more precisely on target than with traditional methods. Rifles like TrackingPoint’s gun should reduce the number of animals wounded or maimed rather than humanely harvested, but Nevada thinks that this simply isn’t sporting and isn’t having any of it.

Next up is a ban on ammunition with a case length longer than 3 inches. It sounds like the purpose of this regulation is to keep people from taking shots at animals over longer distances than they can accurately shoot but it feels like a backwards way of doing things. Reducing the permitted case length to 3 inches eliminates a number of traditional hunting cartridges, and increases the probability that the animals being harvested will suffer unnecessarily.

It feels to me like the new regulations are an attempt by the older generation of hunters to keep their “red and green” traditions in tact: hunting with “traditional” calibers using “traditional” firearms and “traditional” methods. Times are changing, and some of these improvements might actually make hunting more effective and humane. Personally I’m in favor of anything that reduces the chance of an animal being in pain, and improved accuracy firearms with larger caliber cartridges is squarely in that domain.

78 Responses to Nevada Bans Hunting with TrackingPoint, Large Calibers Because it “Isn’t Sporting”

  1. “Rifles like TrackingPoint’s gun should reduce the number of animals wounded or maimed rather than humanely harvested, but Nevada thinks that this simply isn’t sporting and isn’t having any of it.”
    I agree with them.
    What next, hunting drones and robots so couch potato hunters can hunt from the couch at home? requiring people to go out in the field helps control the culling every year. The easier hunting is, the more culling: remember the Buffalo.

    The caliber limitations. Well those just seem silly. Minimal caliber sizes make sense to ensure humane kills, but preservation of the meat puts a top end on the cartridge I think so I am not sure what they were thinking.

    • I don’t know, Hunting via drones could allow paraplegics who would otherwise be unable to, to hunt.
      Not all new technology, even new tech that makes things easier, is bad.
      Some simply serves to make an activity more accessible.

      • You are already not allowed to track, spot or hunt sporting game from aircraft in most states. P&Y and B&C also declare pursuit from the air, spotting from the air, etc to not be fair chase.

      • Technology like this could make hunting more accessible for the many disabled people in this country, including many of our wounded warriors. This seems like a knee-jerk reaction.

    • I know little of hunting, but wouldn’t it be fair to say that getting in and out of a hunting location with gear and a harvested animal is a sport in and of itself? Also, isn’t culling often a part of what we want? Again, I don’t know mush about hunting, so I ask.

    • One you have bag limits there is no need for any other indirect means of limited culling.

      As for the buffalo, that was all done with lesser firearms than we have now, no teaching point or drones. The only factor that made the culling easy was the animal’s disposition. What caused the destruction of the buffalo population was the policies regarding the hunting of them, not the means used.

      Since we have bag limits, there is no need for restrictions on the methods.

      It is not the government’s job to force us to be sporting. It is the government’s job to protect a natural resource and to do so in the least intrusive way possible.

      • Plus 1,000 on “the animal’s disposition.” I used to work on a place with several hundred buff grazing 20,000 acres. Cows were culled for slaughter every winter. This consisted of the head buffalo wrangler driving up to a bunch of them and putting a .270 through the spine at the skull base at about 10-foot range. The others didn’t even look up from grazing. Three more shots and we had a trailer load for the locker plant.

        Wiping out the buffalo also was official policy; it was strategic economic warfare against free-ranging Indians.

  2. If Nevada wants to ban hunting with the tracking point system so be it, but saying that its unsporting is rather dumb. The reason is that this statement implies that hunting is a “sport”. As much as I love hunting, tracking a wild animal, closing to within shooting range, and putting a well placed shot into the vitals is not a sport. A time honored tradition, yes but NOT A SPORT!!!

    With that being said. The tracking point system isn’t going to find the game for you, It won’t do your scouting for you, and it won’t do your hunting for you. What it will do is increase the odds of a well placed shot. This means less chance of a bad hit. I see the tracking point system as a good thing.

    • “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” – Ernest Hemingway

      I’m afraid Hemingway would eliminate motor sport these days – almost no chance of death. I’ve always shared that definition – if there is no serious risk of someone/something dying, it’s a game. Which is fine, the world needs games, but quit trying to give golfers or basketball players or any of the nonsense that’s called “sport” these days the added gravitas.

      They haven’t earned it.

      • semantics

        by that same token a sport would be skydiving, scuba diving, any “game” where one could accidentally die (football, baseball, hockey) so with all due respect to the scribe, I think he was talking out of his bottle of tequila when he uttered this.

      • Well motorcycle racing sure isn’t safe these days. Probably average a death at world grand prix level every 1-2 years. I’d say that’s still dangerous!

        • Chad, 1 or 2 deaths every couple of years is pretty much like a bunch of guys riding hot on the street – no big deal, expected to happen.

          F1 was actually a sport back in the days before that pantywaist Jackie Stewart turned Formula 1 racing into just another day job. At one point it was 2 in 3 of dying in 5 years – that’s when it was a man’s sport, done by men.

    • Hmmmm.
      Pretty torn over this one.
      As I’ve noted before: I don’t use a muzzleloader or my bow to give my prey an advantage, Nature has given them all the tools they need to escape me. I use them to give me a disadvantage, to encourage me to practice mastering my weapon.
      Having said that, I REALLY want to see any hunter who takes a shot to place their shot a precisely as possible to ensure a clean kill… I just don’t see this regulation helping that, rather, it discourages it.
      If we reallt wanted to enforce a “sporting hunt”, how far are we willing to take this? No more semi-automatic actions? Single-shot rifles only? Muzzleloaders only? Archery only? Spears? Well-thrown rocks? Where do we draw the line?

      • Same, torn for sure.

        I could say in rebuttal that nature has given us all the tools we need to catch them as well, my proof being we’re still around despite not having access to certain technologies for the bulk of our existence.

        Saying there’s sport to scouting an area with automatic cameras, planting a food plot or placing a feeder, wearing the latest camo with scent blocker, sitting in a blind, and shooting an animal from hundreds of yards away that has no chance to know you’re there…. Gimme a break.

        Banning something for it being “unsporting” is laughable because there’s no sport in the activity to begin with. Hunting has transformed into nothing more than an excuse to make the modern “man” feel like a man and if he’s lucky he can get a trophy to brag about and show off to all the other modern “men” to prove it. Are there plenty of skillful hunters left? I’m sure, but not near enough to convince me to have any respect for it anymore. I’ve hunted enough to know it’s too damn easy, and boring, now a days.

  3. Ban cases over 3″? If I were a Nevada hunter with a 45-120 I’d be severely pissed at that idea.

    What other common ammo is affected? 7mm RemMag is about 2.5″.

    • The .375 and .408 CheyTac rounds,the .416 Barrett, the .470 Nitro Express, and the .50BMG are about the only rounds I can find that will be affected (plus, anything wildcatted off these cases, unless shortened below 3″).

    • In Nevada you can watch your dog run away for 3 days. It’s a great place for a long range rifle. I won’t take a shot past 300 yards cause I don’t have those skills. But there are those that do.

      • Having hunted in Nevada, I maintain that there are damn few people who have the ability to dope the wind in Nevada. I took a shot at 250 yards across a canyon. 250 yards is trivial according to long-range shooters.

        Well, it isn’t trivial when the wind is blowing 15 MPH from your left at your location, and is blowing 30+ MPH in the middle of the canyon and on the far side. The deer was walking down the canyon; the math from where I stood said “aim mid-rib cage, the drift will take it into the kill zone behind the shoulder.”

        The bullet hit above the rear haunches, severing the spine. The deer flopped down the canyon to the bottom, savagely wounded. I had to finish the job at the bottom at point-blank range.

        Most people who are used to shooting on nice, flat ranges don’t know how to shoot in mountainous situations, especially in places like Nevada, where localized air currents can be quite different than what’s at your location. It’s far more difficult than it looks.

        • Few people except someone from Wyoming would have made that shot in my estimation. We get crazy swirling winds here in Colo and sometimes you just don’t have s chance, especially coyote calling long range.

    • My 45-90 as loaded for my 1885 winchester high wall with 540 grain paper patched slugs is a fair bit over 3″ long… 85 grains of swiss 2 1/2 x powder and i can drop them all day into a 6 inch circle at 340 yards… with iron sights too. when paper patching in a single shot overall cartridge length is set based on the free bore or the chambering reamer used not some SAMI spec dreamed up long after the $%-90 entered use.

  4. Lets be honest. Does game really have a chance either way? No.

    Hunting is about getting out there. Enjoying the outdoors, nature, and understanding the close relationship between the creatures of the earth and what we eat. Putting a trackingpoint scope on your rifle isn’t going to change that. Legislating away electronica sighting systems as “unsporting” is really just intolerant opinionated nonsense. And opinions are like assholes.

    • You’ve never hunted with me. Game animals pray that I’m the hunter coming after them. That gives their odds of surviving a huge boost.

      • Anyone who thinks hunting deer is easy, has likely not hunted deer. Even somewhere as deer-rich as the midwest, the odds strongly favor the deer.

        • I used to tell folks, “I’m only a part-time hunter; they are full-time survivors.” Sometimes it’s easy; usually, it’s not.

        • Ok. You guys totally missed the point. When a deer, or whatever, is out there and you are looking at them through a scope, what does it matter if the scope is a trackingpoint or a duplex reticle? Does the deer really have a chance either way? No. He’s going to be a sausage on a grill in no time at all.

          Where I live there is an abundance of deer everywhere at all times. More than once, I have stepped out on the porch on a cold dewy morning and took a steamy leak while standing a mere 20 yards from a deer frozen in it’s tracks watching me. I could have popped him with a pistol at that distance (I don’t piss-carry on my porch). The point is… any beast walking on planet earth is no match for the intellect of man with a scoped high powered rifle. If you think differently, you are absolutely delusional.

        • Comparing killing an animal that has lost it’s fear of people enough to be grazing in your yard to actual hunting is delusional. Simply having the animal in your scope means nothing. My only shot at a bob cat and I missed. Shoulda been mine, but I missed.

        • Comparing killing an animal that has lost it’s fear of people enough to be grazing in your yard to actual hunting is delusional.

          This yard I speak of is on an acreage out in the middle of nowhere. Which leads me to pose a question. If JWM is “hunting” and sneaks up on a deer and makes a shot, how does he know that it was because of his hunting skills or because the deer had lost it’s fear of people and knew he was already there? and… Is it delusional?

        • Sorry, anon, I’m not buying your baloney about it being a done deal.

          In my home state, the gun-hunter success rate for whitetail deer over the last two years averaged-out to 64 percent, and almost every one of those hunters was using a scoped, high-power rifle (bow and black-powder hunters are not included in this stat). That means a little bit more than one out of every 3 hunters got skunked. Sometimes the stats are higher, sometimes they are lower. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gun-hunter average over 75 percent in this state, though. And it’s not because the deer can’t be found, either; hell, some farmers register with the state to get hunters to come out to their farms/ranches and thin the deer herds so the deer don’t munch on their crops or cattle feed come winter.

          What you wrote may be your impression, but I’m telling you your impression is wrong.

        • Anon, Unless you have olfactory deprived urban deer on opioids, they just may bolt when you get them scoped, happens all the time in the real world.

          And if you’re rural an they’re in your back yard, you are baiting in some way – salt lick, corn, whatever. Non-urban deer aren’t stupid.

  5. I admit that I know very little about the tracking point system. But just from that photo it looks like it adds a lot of bulk and weight to your rifle. That’s fine at a bench at a range. But humping the hills looking for bambi?

  6. The wording does not ban “large calibers” other than anti-materiel calibers and possibly 3.5″ shotshells (does Nevada even have ducks or turkeys?). No “traditional hunting” cartridges have case lengths longer than 3″. .50-110 and .338 Lapua (which are probably the largest anybody would need to DESTROY a bear, buffalo, moose, or any other large game in North America) have cases shorter than 3″. It is a needless restriction though, as most people tend towards the smallest legal hunting cartridges and barrel lengths than the largest and longest. Nobody is out their blowing up deer with a Barrett…pigs maybe, but not deer.

    I do see a problem with banning “electronic sights,” but their wording would only rule out TrackingPoint, that CCAS thing from Trijicon (which is MIL/LE-only anyway), and possibly the Browe BCO. Red dots, holosights, and LED ACOGs would still be okay. Still silly, as most hunters can’t afford that stuff, and probably wouldn’t drag it out to hunt with if they could. This is fuddery at it’s finest. At least they allow you to blow up your muzzleloader with smokeless powder and shoot deer with a 4″ 5.7 now. lol

  7. After watching that video, i could have put 5 on target with my old standby 6.5 creedmoor with my conventional 20x scope. before they even get set up for one shot.

  8. As a Nevadan, I find these regulations rather pointless as well as unenforceable. I guess Remington EtronX electronic primers are banned (not that they’re in production anymore anyways), but this will only lead to more injured animals suffering. While I can understand trying to uphold the ideal of making hunting a slow and deliberate process that requires a lot of skill to do competently, short of requiring muzzleloaders or bowhunting, it’s already “un-sporting” by these folks interpretations. I can understand not allowing drones or remote controlled guns to be used for routine hunting, but what about disabled individuals that would like to hunt? What about people who have retinal detachment and can’t shoulder fire moderate rifle cartridges without risking permanent blindness… shouldn’t they be allowed to use a tripod equipped rifle to harvest their own “organic meat”?

  9. Well, the case lengths on 300WM and 338WM are less that 3″ (OAL is >3″), so they should still be legal. Seems odd to see a state putting upper limits on cartridges as opposed to lower limits for ethical hunting. I would think there are very few NV hunters that are affected by this, but that still doesn’t make it right.

    At least Nevadans can hunt on Sundays, and with semiauto rifles, too, unlike us Pennsyltuckians…

  10. Yeah, sorry, I tend to agree with the ban. The point of hunting is conservation, and the point of conservation is to manage the herd appropriately. If you are hunting in a state way overpopulated with deer, have at it with whatever means necessary that is safe.

    Otherwise, the state DNR manages bag limits and methods to manage the population and keep it stable. If some new fancy technology increases the harvest rate from 33% to 100% per tag, then the corresponding # tags has to go down or the population dwindles. An alternative to reducing tags is to specify methods, seasons, etc.

    Unfortunately, we are no longer in the days of the old west where land and wild animals were practically infinite compared to people.

    • Thank you for your insight. It hadn’t occurred to me that bag limits would change so drastically if they were the only means of managing game population.

  11. There may come a day when hunters are transported to the trail head in their self-driving cars to shoot game with their electronically guided munitions. What a brave, new world that will be.

    Call me a Luddite if you must, but I despise TrackingPoint and any other systems that try to take the shooter and his skill out of the equation. It’s an abomination.

    I’m also in favor of two things that reduce the chance of an animal suffering. They’re called marksmanship and good judgment.

    • My concern about tracking point is the guys that will cruise the back roads in their 4wd glassing the far horizons. Spotting a deer at 1500 yards and taking the shot from the bed of the truck. It ain’t hunting.

      • Wrong, that is hunting, just not a method you approve of.

        Who cares how others hunt?

        So long as they have a tag, who cares what others do?

        Its not your life, its not your time, not your dime so why they Hell do you care what others do?

        • Seems like your defending an execution not a hunt. Using a tracking point requires no skill what so ever. Is it hunting to use a weapon that requires less effort than for you to type a word on a keyboard? Don’t you think the animal should have a sporting chance? If you like shooting a tame animal I am sure that their are plenty of ranchers that will let you pay to put the muzzle of a gun up to a cow and pull the trigger. Tracking point is for no skill slobs that have more money than brains. I hope every state bans this device. I’m fine with people shooting it all day long at distant targets but at animals? Count me out.

        • Hunting from vehicle ain’t hunting. It’s poaching.

          The end result is the same. Sizzling sausage on a grill. When there is an overabundance of that species, who cares.

        • Seems like your defending an execution not a hunt. Using a tracking point requires no skill what so ever. Is it hunting to use a weapon that requires less effort than for you to type a word on a keyboard?

          Then you should use a spear not your rifle.

        • I hope every state bans this device.

          I hope every state bans guns, because we don’t need’em. Right? If they aren’t needed and they can be abused – Ban! Bannnnnnnn!

          I’m fine with people shooting it all day long at distant targets but at animals? Count me out.

          No… not count you out – count everyone out. You just suggested that everyone hunt in the manner that you approve of. What are you? A freedom hating conservative republican?

    • No doubt there were some who felt that way with the introduction of the telescopic rifle scope. Or the repeating rifle. Or gunpowder.

      I agree with your last sentence, though. If the fancy electronic sighting/triggering systems make a guy more confident in that 500 yard shot, and he shoots when he otherwise wouldn’t, then we haven’t made any progress toward the goal of a humane kill.

      • “No doubt there were some who felt that way with the introduction of the telescopic rifle scope. Or the repeating rifle. Or gunpowder.”

        I doubt it.

      • Whitetail deer were largely wiped out in many states by the 1930s. It took decades to re-establish the population.

        Deer populations need to be managed. If new technology dramatically increases hunting productivity, that does not mean the DNR can simply allow the technology. They can only allow so meany deer to be taken to stabilize the population. They have to compensate by reducing tags, seasons, and so on.

        • Owning a Trackingpoint doesn’t mean you can legally take deer without tags. Also, the advent of the trackingpoint doesn’t mean that more deer will be taken because it is available to the public.

    • The Luddites feared (correctly) that the sewing mills would cost their jobs. Fortunately, there was something new around the corner to employ the average person.

      That future no longer applies. As tech eliminates wide swaths every job from truckers, cabbies, accountants, and the list rolls on. Programmers and coders, your jobs aren’t safe either. No there aren’t enough jobs keeping the tech running to employ half of the laid off steelworkers, let alone the unemployed factory folks. 10 years from now this will hit home for the average person. 20 years from now, there will be the have-it-alls, and the rest will struggle to stay alive and compete at Chinese-level wages.

      Sometimes being a Luddite is understanding what the future holds.

    • Uh… I don’t know about the rest of what you said… but I agree with this:

      Call me a Luddite if you must, but I despise TrackingPoint and any other systems that try to take the shooter and his skill out of the equation. It’s an abomination.

      Trackingpoint provides a handicap to the shooter by means of eliminating the growth of their skills. I think it’s important to be able to do the best you can with both irons and glass.

  12. In the Intermountain West, where deer aren’t exactly plentiful, the intent of hunting regulations is to make hunting less efficient. For instance, in Idaho, where I live, baiting deer (for example, using salt licks, spreading feed, etc.) or using hunting hides is prohibited, although it would certainly be more efficient. Nevada’s regulations are pretty tame compared to what may come in a few more years if long range hunting becomes too popular. The Boone and Crockett Club has released a statement regarding fair chase that states: “The Club defines fair chase as ‘the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.'” The Club seems to be taking the position that this comes down to whether the animal has the opportunity to detect the hunter and escape or evade. Among other things, the Club says that “[s]imilarly, even if technology can be legally used to take longer and longer shots, a fair chase hunter would choose to stalk an animal to a proven, effective range instead of testing the limits of equipment and shooting skills.” The link to the document is: http://www.boone-crockett.org/pdf/On_Fair_Chase.pdf

  13. Having lived in, and hunted in, Nevada, I agree with banning sighting systems like TrackingPoint. There are already far too many wanna-be snipers trying to take > 500 yard shots on game in Nevada, and lots of game is lost into the PJ’s and tall sagebrush, wounded and spoiled.

    There simply isn’t game in Nevada as there is in the midwest, California or even places like Utah. There’s hunting units in Nevada where your odds of drawing a tag are literally 1000:1 (like Unit 011, in the very northwest corner of the state). There are maybe 80+ tags issued for rifle season every year in that unit, and the success rate is something like 80%. Allowing hunters to hunt in ways that result in a higher success rate will mean that NDOW will reduce the number of tags issued in that unit – that’s how hunting works in Nevada: The higher the rate of success in a unit, the fewer tags for that species that will be issued in that unit.

    Why the high success rate? Because it’s the high desert. All you need to do to fill your tag (if you aren’t finicky about getting a monster 4×4 mulie), you just set up over a spring or guzzler, and wait. Game will come to you.

  14. I don’t consider this very sporting, either, and, yes, its jackwagon-like. That said, it’s none of Nevada’s business. The state has an interest in ensuring safety of hunters, protection of the environment, sustainability of resources, and humane harvesting of wildlife. That’s why dynamite fishing is banned, as is punt gun hunting, for example. It’s not the state’s business to assess sportingness, however.

    Really, you can draw a line anywhere on the technology timeline and declare anything past that line to be unsporting, if you want. The line is largely arbitrary. Now, if a specific tournament or other organization wants to set weapons rules for participation in its events, that’s fine, but the state shouldn’t be in the snobbery business.

    • It might be arbitrary but most things in life are. Dynamite fishing (and dynamite hunting) is still arbitrary. You tell me where to draw the line. I say using sophisticated computers, scopes and rifles gives animals no chance. Many seem to feel that banning a high tech computer gun is wrong and yet they can’t say why except for to bring up the exception to the rule rather than the norm. All things in life are arbitrary if you don’t believe in God. If you do then you think shooting deer with a aircraft warthog .30mm or a 16 inch gun or a tracking point is stupid and wrong. They are all the same just varying degrees of difference.
      Tracking points should be for war, not hunting.

  15. Any of the so called “hunters” who could afford the TrackingPoint system can also afford a visit to one of the many high fence Texas “hunting” ranches where there is zero chance the hunt won’t be successful and the size of the trophy bagged is limited only by how much money you’re willing to spend.

    Good for Nevada for denying guided hunt high rollers with no skill and bought or rented TrackingPoint equipped state of the art sniper rifles to take game at ridiculous distances.

    To anyone who actually learned how to hunt through experience and practice over time, harvesting genetically perfected trophy game raised in pens to later be released into a managed high fence compound for a convenient, expensive, and easy kill; or using perfected computer software in high end optics to flawlessly deliver the equivalent of a smart bullet on target, neither require any hunting skill which is why neither by any stretch is considered hunting.

  16. Two questions:
    1. Does this make the use of so-called “smart gun” technology illegal for hunting?
    2. Does this make the use of tracking point system illegal for feral hog hunting (which is more akin to exterminating pests)?

    • In Texas and most other states with high numbers of the destructive prolific critters, feral hogs are not classified as game animals, and since they don’t fall into any other category of managed wildlife such as fur bearing animal, you ask an apples and oranges question that many folks who know little or nothing about wildlife management and hunting regulations might ask.

      In Texas there is no season or bag limit on feral hogs and they’re the only animal you can legally shoot from aircraft. The reason that aircraft exception was made is because the priority is efficiently killing and eradicating feral hogs on a mass scale which is the polar opposite of hunting.

  17. so another dumb rule to protect whom, they have effectively banned weapons by edict! guess I won’t hunt in Harry Reids home state any time soon! Democratic run You know

  18. Listen guys… lol… YOU DON’T NEED AN ASSAULT WEAPON TO HUNT DEER! You also don’t need a tracking point to hunt either.

    LOL.

    • Ah, THERE’S the true colors on full display.

      Fortunately, this is America, and it ain’t about “need”; “want” is a perfectly okay reason to buy, own, or even rent guns, as long as it’s legal.

      Sorry, comrade.

      • It was sarcasm.

        People here get upset when liberals say they don’t need assault weapons to hunt, but then they are ok with legislation eliminating their ability to hunt with a trackingpoint.

        • Nobody is banning the tracking point. The state of Nevada says you can’t hunt with them. You can own and shoot with all the tracking points you wish to invest in.

          Sounds like another first world problem.

    • Sorry bud, but the tracking point system won’t do your hunting for you. What the hell is an assault weapon anyway. You sound like the kind of person who thinks things you don’t like should be illegal.

  19. Whats next people start using scopes and rifling? whatever happened to hunting in packs with rocks? back in that day they banned sling shots because it wasn’t “sporting”

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