NDOW news release:
Goose hunting at the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area is a popular hunt among residents and nonresidents alike. In fact, it was the extreme popularity of goose hunting that led the Nevada Department of Wildlife to dedicate a portion of the wildlife area to a controlled draw system hunt in the late 1980s.
“The controlled goose hunt was implemented about 20 years ago in response to overcrowding in fields. The overcrowding resulted in angry confrontations between hunting parties and severely diminished the quality of hunt for many participants,” said Elmer Bull, wildlife staff specialist for NDOW. “It was felt that a drawing system should be initiated in an effort to alleviate the ill will between hunting parties and to provide a quality hunting experience for those who were fortunate to draw a reservation to hunt.”
Hunters are reminded that additional goose-hunting opportunities are available exclusive of the controlled hunt zone including hunts in established agricultural fields and also in the many ponds on the area. “Generally speaking, goose hunting on the area’s ponds is often overlooked and that’s unfortunate because goose hunting there can be very good at times,” according to Bull.
Applications are now being accepted for the Mason Valley WMA Controlled Goose Hunt and can be found at local NDOW offices or on the NDOW Web site. Hunters are reminded that all entries must be received via a postal service to the NDOW office at 1100 Valley Road before 5 p.m. Oct. 14.
A public drawing will be administered at the Valley Road Office at 10 a.m. Oct. 28. The results will be posted on the NDOW Web site, and all party leaders will receive a letter indicating whether they were successful or unsuccessful in the drawing. Last year alone, NDOW received 103 applications for the hunt.
The hunt will be conducted on nine consecutive Saturdays beginning Nov. 28 and ending Jan. 30. In addition, two Wednesdays will be included in this year’s hunt. A total of eight blind locations will be available, each of which will accommodate a maximum of four hunters. No more than 32 hunters will be allowed to hunt in the controlled goose hunt zone on any single day.
“While the hunt is unpopular with some hunters, most enjoy the fact that they have a particular field all to themselves and they don’t have to worry about dealing with other hunters for that day,” reports Bull. “Three years ago, the decision was made to designate two of the available hunt days to family hunt days in an effort to encourage families to get out and hunt together. That, too, has generated positive responses from those participating.”
The Mason Valley WMA is located in Mason Valley in Lyon County, about 75 miles southeast of Reno via Interstate 80 and U. S. Alternate 95. The WMA area now totals
NDOW protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife and 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.